One big change around here is that we're started Elijah on a schedule. I feel like I'm eating my words in a way -- because we're trying to get him on a routine that we have dictated, rather than follow him. He's 16 weeks now, and his sleep/eat routine is just too erratic. He keeps taking cat naps of 45min rather than 1.5 - 2 hour naps, and he is a terrible snacker (much like his mummy). I've been halfheartedly
following the routine part of E.A.S.Y., which stands for Eat, Activity, Sleep, You (time for me!). I can do that part, but we decided to add in some time constraints, since we can never plan to do anything because of E's arbitrary naps.
Last Monday we (well, me really, since Gary is back at work now - summer's over) started the schedule. Starts at 8am, with naps at 10 and 2, and a cat-nap at 6 -- and following the eat, activity, sleep routine. Bedtime is at 8pm.
Doesn't seem hard, does it.
Oh, but it is.
It's very hard.
Like trying to navigate a crowded subway with multiple line changes while lugging 2 huge suitcases, a carry on bag, and your purse. And the subway stations don't have elevators - just stairs. Flights and flights of stairs, and long hallways.
[I have actually done that - Quite possibly it's worse than water torture.]
Anyway, since we have a mighty sleep fighter, trying to get him to nap has always been a task of Herculean proportions. We have been able to coerce him to sleep by bouncing with him on an exercise ball, but that has created a monstrous problem... he can only fall asleep this way. I see pictures of infants asleep in all kinds of poses and places. Not this lad. He can be exhausted, yawning, droopy eyes... but he will not sleep unless he's swaddled and being bounced.
Part of the E.A.S.Y. method is the "pick-up/put-down" method, in which you put the baby down, but pick him up when he cries -- soothe him, then put him back down. Repeat until asleep.
The problem is, he screams bloody murder when we put him down. The neighbors probably think we pinch the baby just to make him cry, or worse, since we are weird foreigners.
Anyway, Elijah gets so worked up that it takes forever to console him. Poor wee lad. Then when he DOES fall asleep, he only stays asleep for 30-45 minutes. Whereby I am supposed to do the pick-up/put-down thing with him until he falls asleep again, or nap time is over, whichever comes first.
The whole week has been awful. He does his short nap, then I spend the next 50-60 minutes trying to get him back to sleep. It is like running a marathon. Not like I know what that's like, but I feel like that's an appropriate comparison. I'm beyond exhausted, and probably being quite catty to Gary.
It seems like this method just isn't working for us. In the book "The Baby Whisperer", this sleep training is only supposed to take 3 days. This is day 6. On Thursday, I gave up following the time line so strictly, instead giving a leeway of 30 minutes on either side of the hour. I've read that this is NOT how to do it, but you know what? It appears to work for us.
Yesterday was not bad though, so maybe we're getting somewhere? He even went to sleep after I put him down awake! Granted, it was only once, and he was pretty drowsy, but it happened! I can't even tell you how proud I felt watching his little eyes close.
However, we've got so far to go. I would love to hear your experiences and your advice on napping and sleeping.
So, to all parents out there.... HELP!!
(random pictures of week 16 for your viewing pleasure)