Baby boot camp

27 Jul
This parenting thing sure can be tough.  Sometimes, I just feel so darned incompetent.  Especially when it comes to the whole issue of sleep.  Actually, I’ve been lucky in that I haven’t been that sleep-deprived in the past few weeks, but I’ve been so frustrated and Jade’s had a lot of cranky time.  She gets cranky from being tired but doesn’t have good naps, which makes her overtired, which means she doesn’t sleep well when bedtime comes.  And the cycle continues.
Janet, Jen, and Lise (all moms of 5- or 6-month-olds) were all over at my house yesterday afternoon and the talk inevitably turned to sleep.  Lise, in particular, had been finding sleep a challenge ever since her daughter was born.  Last week, she got so frustrated, she read five different baby sleep books and decided to put her baby on a schedule and also let her cry a bit.  She called it "baby boot camp".  I don’t think she really means she’s on a strict schedule, but whatever it is, it apparently worked.  Her baby is now sleeping 12 hours a night plus getting a couple of good naps in during the day.  Wow!
Last week, I decided to try letting Jade cry it out one night.  It was horrible.  It took an hour for her to fall asleep, during which time I had the television on and did scrapbooking at the same time in order to distract myself.  She cried for almost an hour and when I went upstairs to check on her, she was asleep, but had thrown up all over herself.  Her Grobag (the sleeping bag she uses instead of blankets) and her nightshirt were soaked through, and I couldn’t even change her because she was, after all, asleep.  When she woke up an hour later, I changed her and took her into bed with me.
It was so traumatic that I felt ashamed that I had even tried the "cry it out"method.  Besides, even though she technically went to sleep by herself, she still woke up an hour later.  I don’t mind nursing or rocking her to sleep if she’ll stay asleep.  If she won’t stay asleep, this is really not a good solution.
I called my friend Sara earlier in the week because I needed to talk to another mom who had been through this recently.  After talking to her, I decided to try a different tactic.  Last night was night 3 of using the new technique and she actually slept a total of 12 hours, with her longest stretch being 7 solid hours.  This could be progress!  She was much happier today, and even though she didn’t get any really good long naps, she never got really cranky . . . which makes me a much happier mommy!

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