At the point in our bedtime/soothing routine that I put A. in his bed, I do the following to help him settle into sleep:
Stage 1 (Needing no help — still and quiet or vocalizing happily): I stay out of view.
Stage 2 (Needing a bit of help — fussing): At first, I hold back from helping, but if it is escalating, I step in and try soothing with just my voice.
Stage 3 (Fussing continuing to escalate in spite of my lovely, soothing voice): In addition to my lovely, soothing voice, I pat (fairly firmly) A’s back. I will adjust the speed, frequency and level of my patting depending on his settling.
Stage 4 (Crying in spite of stage 2 and 3 strategies): I soothe with my voice, patting and I jiggle the co-sleeper, adjusting speed as necessary.
Stage 5 (Crying in spite of stage 2, 3 and 4 strategies): I would pick him up to settle him, though I have never had to do this in our sleep teaching.
With all of these stages, I try to back off and drop down to the stage before as soon as possible. The assistance I am offering is really just to get A’s attention off his fussing. So, for example, if he starts crying and I am at stage 4, I only jiggle the co-sleeper briefly to help him stop crying and then return to patting or talking, whichever lowest stage works.
At this point, I am thinking I might have A. hooked a bit on stage 3. He seems to really love ‘the pat’. I’ll have to watch today that I am not overdoing it to expedite his falling asleep.
Our last 24 hours: A. seemed a bit ‘off’ yesterday, taking mostly 40 minute naps. We are continuing to struggle with eczema, which is a brand new issue for our family, one I have never dealt with. Yesterday afternoon, I decided I needed to take the plunge and take dairy out of my diet. Topically, we are trying Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, which appears to be helping a fair bit. When I am done writing about Gentle Baby Sleep Teaching, I will blog a little about that.
6:39am Woke for the day
8:02am Bedtime Routine/Soothing (7 mins)
8:09am Fell asleep for Nap One
10:03am Woke Up (Nap One 1 h 54 mins)
11:30am Bedtime Routine/Soothing (11 mins)
11:41am Fell asleep for Nap Two
12:23pm Woke Up (Nap Two 42 mins)
1:36pm Bedtime Routine/Soothing (10 mins)
1:46pm Fell asleep for Nap Three
2:25pm Woke Up (Nap Three 39 mins)
3:59pm Bedtime Routine/Soothing (11 mins)
4:10pm Fell asleep for Nap Four
4:54pm Woke Up (Nap Four 44 mins)
Left for Homechurch.
6:35pm Fell asleep in sling at homechurch (really bedtime, but this would count as Nap Five since we were out)
7:25pm Woke Up (Nap Five 50 mins)
I had A. changed into his pyjamas and night diaper for the ride home. Unfortunately, he ended up falling asleep only about 3 minutes from home and then we had an unsuccessful transfer to bed since he woke right up as we took him out of the car. The micronap he had at 8:45pm lead to it taking longer for him to fall asleep. He was not unhappy in his bed, just a little less sleepy than he should have been. In hindsight, I probably should have had the kids play peek-a-boo with him to keep him awake for the last few minutes since he was not asleep earlier on in the car ride.
9:14pm Bedtime Routine/Soothing (16 mins)
9:30pm Fell asleep for the night
3:20am Woke Up, nursed 11 minutes
3:33am Fell back to sleep on own in co-sleeper
5:46am Woke up again. I think I jumped a little too quickly and ended up escalating his waking. Maybe he would have gone back to sleep if I had held back a bit more. My weakness is early morning, so he ended up coming into bed with me and nursing even though he was probably not too hungry!
6:58am Woke up for the day
I’d say it was a so-so night. I am hoping today goes a bit better since we have nowhere to go today or tonight, finally. Tomorrow, unfortunately, I have an appointment in the morning that I suppose A. will have to come with me to. I am hoping I can time leaving with a nap and will just bring along an older child to sit in the car with him when we arrive. If our sleep teaching ends up not working well, the next thing I’ll try is making sure I clear off a week with basically nowhere to go to work on things.