Monday, November 9, 2009

the art of zzzzzzzs

~kaden catching some zzzzs in the stroller at the farmers market on sunday.

We had a HUGE breakthrough with Kaden this weekend....he actually slept through the night! My feelings about sleep training and letting children cry it out are no secret to most people, I have always felt it was something that I could not do, and my intuition told me that it was something that worked well for others, but was not for us. Well after 10 months of co sleeping with him, restless and very LIMITED sleep (in 45 minute increments as of late), and watching his list of negative sleep associations grow larger, I began to stress if he was getting enough sleep such a little guy. All signs pointed to NO, and with the gentle coaxing of my amazing rock of a hubby, and our amazing new pediatrician, I thought it was our last resort and we had to give it a try.

An amazing mommy friend recommended the book, Sleep Easy Solution and walked me through how it worked miracles for her little girl. Chad and I picked a weekend when we could implement the training, and Chad took of from work for the festivities, knowing there was no way I could go it alone.

Night one was horrifying. I imagined it would be, but seeing his little face so horrified and having his itty bitty hand reach out to us whenever we came in and checked on him, was just too too much. The first night, I gave him a very long pep talk after our nighttime routine, and daddy and I said goodnight to him and put him in his crib awake. He smiled at first, oblivious to what we were doing, and just started to play with his cat and the hat and Ipod player. I kissed him and gave him some last encouraging words and turned around and left the room. The shriek I heard behind me will forever be in my nightmares. Chad had a glass of chardonnay waiting for me and he agreed to go in on the first "check in". The plan is to check in at increments and have them grow increasingly longer each time, staying only 30 seconds at a time, and offering encouraging words. Chad went in at 5 minutes, checked on him, left, and 5 minutes later the crying immediately stopped. We checked on him and he was slumped in the saddest little position I had ever seen with both arms hanging out of the crib. This continuued ALOT throughout the night, and I was beginning to think this whole idea was completely masochistic for all of us.

Night two. We gave him another pep talk and had one for ourselves as well! I said good night, laid him in his crib awake, walked out of the room, and he cried for about 4 minutes. We did not even have a first check in, he was completely asleep! He woke again at 1:30am, I went in and gave him some positive encouraging words, and he slept until 6:30!

Night three. I am trying not to get overconfident about this whole sleep training thing, but my goodness, it really seems to WORK! He knew exactly what was going to happen, I could feel his anxiousness when we started to say goodnight, and I smothered him with kisses, gave him his pep talk, laid him down awake, and closed my eyes as he cried in disapproval. I started to walk out of the room and before the door was even closed behind me, he was asleep. And he slept, and slept, and woke up 10 and a half hours later.

This may sound so ridiculous and dramatic the way I am going on and on about this....but for anyone who has seen us on a daily basis, you know that we were all in very rough shape, and this could be a turning point for all of us. Every new parent goes through a period of sleep deprivation, and my wish is that maybe someone will read this who can benefit from it. I look back on all the things we have done so far, and I would not have changed one thing. I won't ever regret co sleeping with him for the first ten months because I truly feel that is a gift for any little one to be able to have that attachment with his parents. The negative sleep associations were instinctual and needed to be corrected, but that's how we's all good. Fingers crossed we can all keep this up. Go Kaden!

~before starting the training, we went to the Los Angeles zoo with the fabulous Boceks! I carried Kaden around in his bjorn that he has WAY outgrown, and I was so consumed with the excitement of it all, that I only took this one pic of us, standing in front of a bear exhibit (you gotta look REAL close, but I swear he is there).

On Sunday we went to Travel Town, which is a railroad museum located in Griffith Park, and Kaden took his first "train ride"! He was so ridiculously excited, he was jumping up and down and making this sweet ayayay noise.

~catchin some R&R in a patch of grass

~hanna clapping her hands afterward!

~group shot with the boceks

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