4 Months, 4 Days/ 2 Years, 3 Months, 1 Week

I know i've been remiss in posting lately. I have a few ideas for things i'd like to write that will require me to sit-down and focus, and i haven't been able to come up with that time lately. Work has certainly picked up and we've been pretty busy on the personal front as well.

Because Chicago has a much longer winter than summer i feel like each weekend, nay each day, needs to have enjoyable summer activities planned into it. Of course we have to schedule laundry and grocery shopping in there somewhere, but we've been doing a pretty good job of accomplishing fun stuff. Friday we finally made it to the pool by our house and Henry got excited all over again about swimming. I've taken to heading there after i pick the boys up from Brenda's, because the baby pool area is completely shaded and it's not as busy as on the weekends. We only wind up with about 30 minutes before the pool closes but that's a decent-enough amount of time-- especially considering Silas would really prefer to start getting ready for bed around 6-- more on Silas and sleep later.

This weekend we enjoyed a really nice bbq at Tiffany and Mike's house and Henry FINALLY got to see "Mike's Dogs" as he calls Zippy and Josie. Even better, he got to play "Hide Seek" with Helen and Carys. A high point of the night for us was that Henry went to bed uncomplainingly on a pallet on their floor, and Silas slept in the pack-n-play without much fuss. Unfortunately neither of our kids have ever let us fulfill the "transferring a sleeping child to the car" scenario that i see in my minds-eye movie of parenting. Our children wake-up and stay awake-- looking dazed, all the way home. Henry always goes right back to sleep once he's in his own bed, but this move threw Silas off his game. And here's where i start to become consumed by sleep issues again...

On Saturday Silas took a 5 (!) hour nap and went to bed like normal right about 6:30. We woke him around 11 to head home and he didn't sleep great that night (which didn't surprise me). The next day however, he wouldn't nap for more than 30-45 minutes at a stint and would wake up absolutely crying. He couldn't be soothed back to sleep and in general seemed overtired and miserable. That night i worked and worked to get him to go to sleep for the night and he put up a fight to say the least. We decided that it was time to commit to sleep training the little guy. We went through this with Henry around this time and it was truly terrible.

I was feeling like it was almost worse with Silas because he was surprisingly stubborn when it came to sleep training. Silas has been and continues to be a happy mellow baby. Everything i've read about babies with mild temperaments indicates that you might have around 20 minutes of crying and you've got the whole thing whipped in 3 days. The first night Silas cried off and on for 2 hours. Most of the time it wasn't full-on screaming, but he was definitely crying and NOT sleeping. Last night was better-- i think he only cried 20 minutes when we put him down, but he cried quite a few times during the middle of the night. He hasn't eaten in the middle of the night for almost a month but he's very resistant to falling back asleep on his own.

I was feeling drained and vulnerable the way only an infant's incessant crying can make you feel so i re-read some of my sleep books-- in particular Weissbluth's Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. He helped me remember why we were "sleep training" in the first place and realize that this is short-term pain for long-term progress. After my experiences with Henry i do truly believe that good sleep habits are a crucial skill for babies to learn.

The only thing that caught me off guard, is that we're having to "teach" Silas these habits. I thought we might have lucked into one of those babies that somehow figure this out on their own. That's why the first night of crying was so difficult and unexpected. I'm hoping that with some good naps under our belt, and reduced crying at bedtime (and did i mention that 6 pm bedtime routine) we'll be on our way to solid-sleep habits for all of us. I'll let you know.

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