Saturday, January 21, 2012

Night Night, Sleep Tight

I will probably say this many more times, but I really have no idea what I'm doing parenting. I'm basically winging it, doing what feels right for Sweet Baby Scarlett and us. Recently we hit one of our first "now what do we do" problems....sleeping.

We've never really followed a strict schedule for anything really, just more of a guideline of when things should happen. But right before SBS turned one, sleeping (or lack of) became a problem. It started with a lengthy sinus infection. The only way she could breathe well and be comfortable was to be upright, so that meant sleeping on one of us while we sat in a recliner. Once the sinus infection cleared up, we had a series of family visits across the state we took that threw everything off. Then there was the stomach bug that hit all of us. Gradually, we had a baby who wouldn't sleep in her crib and fought going to bed tooth and nail.

I started looking up information on getting baby to sleep and found the usual suspects - Ferber, No Cry Sleep Solution, co-sleeping, etc. I hated the idea of 'Ferberizing' and we were not planning on co-sleeping. Then I found the Sleep Lady Shuffle.

All I can say is "wow". The Shuffle, while not a no-tears approach, really appealed to me. The approach is about how to coach your baby into being able to settle themselves and go to sleep. There may be some tears, but the parent can be right there with them, coaching them to sleep.

The first night was brutal. 30 minutes of standing up crying. But then she laid down on her own and went to sleep. The second night was only 15 minutes.

The third night, less than 5 minutes. The fourth night, no crying.

On the fifth night, we had a bath, and read stories. Then I picked her up, hugged her tight, kissed her on the forehead, laid her down in the crib and said, "Night night, sleep tight.". She looked up at me and smiled, said, "Nigh, nigh" and curled up with her blanket. I walked out of her room and didn't hear another peep until morning.

What's right for one family isn't necessarily right for every family, but if you are struggling with sleep issues, I recommend giving the the Sleep Lady Shuffle a try.  The author is Kim West, "The Sleep Lady" and the title of her book is "Good Night, Sleep Tight."  It starts with the basic foundations of sleep for everyone, then is broken down by age/milestones and has sections for special interests (multiples, twins, etc).  I was able to download it on my Kindle ap for iPad.

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