Since i last posted Henry and our little family are going through a spate of transitions. There was Henry and i's first trip away from JT when we spent a week at the Delaware shore and DC with family and friends, Henry's continued developmental progress, and preparations for my return to work on the 28th.
Henry will be starting childcare with Brenda the mornings of the 27th and 28th and will then go a full day on the 28th. In order to make the transition less jarring, and to help Henry be a more rested happy baby, we're "sleep training" little Henry.
Sleep is a hot topic with parents-- not only because new parents are so sleep deprived but because how we treat our children's sleep has become a marker of the type of parent we want to be perceived as. There are "attachment parents" who would never dream of letting their children cry themselves to sleep and "cry it out" parents who wouldn't want their children's sleep to be dependent on them for very long.
I feel we're somewhere in the middle but Henry seemed to be suffering from exceptionally poor sleep. He was never a particularly good sleeper but he had gotten to where i couldn't put him down at all during the day and even when holding him he slept very lightly-- continually waking up. I couldn't even nurse him to sleep.
We talked to our pediatrician who hooked us up with a sleep expert here in Chicago. We met with him and developed our plan to put him in his crib before he gets overtired for both his naps and at night. JT goes in after 5, 10 and then 15 minutes and talks to him and tells him things are okay. I asked the sleep expert what the worst he'd heard was in terms of crying-- he said 2 hours.
We were prepared on the first night for Henry to break the record because he's easily cried 2 hours even when we're holding him and soothing him. Luckily he clocked in at 1 hour 40 minutes and then slept for 8 hours-- straight. He had a great night and then cried for only 30 minutes for his first two naps and slept for an hour each time. His third nap however he cried right through (1.5 hours). We got him up and gave him a bath, fed him and put him back down. He only cried about 20 minutes and slept about and hour and then cried another half hour. His night wasn't great after that but it wasn't any worse than before the sleep training. His first nap this morning he only cried about 20 minutes so maybe we'll start seeing some progress.
I believe that Henry is ultimately going to be better off because he's going to be getting better sleep and will be more rested. Yesterday when he wasn't crying in his crib he was calmer and smilier than he's ever been. It's just so hard to get through. I've been sitting on the porch a lot and taking showers. We're hoping that we've made dramatic progress in 4 days or so which is about the norm.