I think, and hope, that we have now settled into a good sleep pattern. I had mentioned before that I had started to sleep train Diego. This involved some changes and behavior modification for me.
One of the biggest obstacles to establishing this sleep routine was my own need to check in on him every time he cried. I was usually in his room in an instant. One of the first things I started doing was to let him cry for a few minutes in the hope that he would settle back down. My maximum was twenty minutes and in the beginning it was difficult for me to make it past five.
As Diego has gotten older this method has proven valuable. When I first attempted this a few months ago he wasn’t ready and I could tell since his crying would gradually increase to inconsolable hysterics. Now, on most nights, he puts himself back to sleep within minutes if he wakes up at all.
Obviously you have to use judgment here and not just ignore his crying for hours. He could have a wet diaper or not be feeling well. I think every parent knows their child and his/her cries so going by what you know is key. If Diego was sick, had his shots, or was having a tooth come in I would proceed differently but on a regular night this is what we do. He now knows that he needs to go back to sleep. In fact, he hasn’t slept in our bed in weeks!
His bedtime routine is still the same except he is off the bottle! He doesn’t even miss it. It’s been a little over a week since I just stopped giving him one before bed. Instead, he has a glass of milk before his bath. Then he gets put into his pajamas, brushes his teeth and is settled into his crib.
My husband puts him to bed at night and insists on staying in the room with him until he’s asleep. I know this is unnecessary but it’s harmless so I let the two of them do their thing at night. During the day, however, I started putting Diego in his crib, closing the blinds, turning on the sound machine and leaving him to his own devices. The first couple of times were a little noisy. Diego cried for about ten minutes before falling asleep. Today he surprised me by cuddling up with his lion blankie and putting himself to sleep without a fuss. He didn’t complain or cry at all. It feels great to see that consistency is paying off.
While writing this post I got to thinking that my husband I do things differently but still as a team. We are two individuals so it’s only natural that we have different styles and demeanors. I think it’s important to be open and relaxed in your parenting. I try different things and confer with my husband about what I’ve read and what I think we should try. That communication is important because it’s only a matter of time before Diego starts playing us against each other, ha ha.