Tears Before Bedtime. And During. And After. And …

Little Bun has been a fabulous sleeper from early on. She napped like a champion from week one, and I entered her second month with hours (literally) of downtime every day under my belt. She’d crank out two naps of at least two hours every day, with a few shorter ones thrown in for good measure.

Nightime was also smug-worthy. While yes – granted – she wasn’t sleeping until 10 or 11pm, by six weeks she was going from then until 6 or 7am. I threw my daytime naps away and started to see the under-eye bags disappear.

So, when things started to go sour a fortnight ago, I wasn’t too sure how to handle it. The infamous 45 minute sleep cycles that Little Bun used to snooze happily through, with just a peep and a snuffle, were suddenly waking her up. Loudly. And she wasn’t going back to sleep.

And as we head towards the big 12 weeks, I began to wonder just how long we could manage evening after evening with her on our laps. Not conducive to adult things like dinner and conversation. And not really fair on a little bebe who needs a proper bedtime.

And finally, I would really like a routine. I’d like to know in advance when she would probably be napping, and probably we awake – so I could plan things like doctor’s appointments, or a visit from a tradie, or even – gasp – going out for a coffee with more than 30 minutes notice.

You know where I’m getting to, right? We’re doing some sleep training.

She’s still young, so the approach I’m taking is very gentle on her (and me!) It’s really just about teaching her to self-settle through one sleep cycle to another. I’m shushing and patting and notching up future chiropractor bills like no tomorrow. It’s only Day 3, so a set schedule is a while off. At the moment it’s about getting her used to the rhythm of the day; to going down to sleep, and to staying that way for longer than 45 minutes.

Part of me is frustrated as I thought we had this sorted a few weeks back. But since I’ve started (and she’s been getting more sleep) I’ve been seeing a huge difference in her. She is so much more smiley, ‘talkative’ and engaged. I think maybe what I thought was a good pattern, wasn’t so much after all.

The first three days are (apparently) the hardest … and I can attest to that. I’m starting to climb the walls, as I’ve been staying home to really lock in a routine. Yet for the past few nights she’s been asleep by 7 or 8pm, and has gone through until 5 or 6am.

I am ready for two steps backwards for every forward. But I think the small wins I’ve had since beginning are enough to keep me going. I’ll be interested to see how I feel in a week or two.

Have you done anything like this before? What did you find difficult? Did it help you in the long run?


7 thoughts on “Tears Before Bedtime. And During. And After. And …

  1. Wow, it sounds like you’re really making progress! Good for you for doing this early. I know a lot of people who wish they had, myself included (though I’m trying to take it easy on myself on the self-criticism front).

    • I’ve had some criticism saying it’s *too* early, but I figure I’m not leaving her to CIO or anything … at least not without me in the room, patting and shushing at the same time as she yells! You’re right to take it easy on yourself, hindsight’s a wonderful thing ain’t it!? x

  2. Teaching Little Bun to soothe herself at this point in her life is probably such a good idea. I didn’t do that with our little guy. After all those years of waiting and wanting, I rocked him to sleep EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

    And now he is 13 months old. Not sleeping through the night (thanks to teething) and we are really struggling to get some sleep in our house.

    My suggestion to you would be to teach LB to fall asleep on her own – experts quote putting down while drowsy but still awake. This is much easier to do with a baby who can’t pop right up and stand there wailing at you to pick them up and rock them…We have been attempting to teach our little guy this trick for about a month and a half and we are no where near trained, just even more tired…

    • Man, that sounds tough. You guys *must* be tired – but I hear that while it may take a little longer, training at any age will (eventually) work … it’s just the perseverance that’s so hard. Hang in there! x

  3. Pingback: F&*%$ING Sleep Cycles | the (once) bunless oven

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