Sleep Associations

D turns 6 months next week and has grown so much and learnt so many new things. But M and I are facing some sleep issues and we feel if we don't fix them now it may get all the more difficult once D starts sitting and crawling and basically more mobile.

D's basic nighttime routine consists of feeding to sleep or rocking/swaying/bouncing to sleep. He has always been a high maintenance baby but the feeding/rocking never bothered us before. It did not take up too much time. M would take him to his room and start the rocking and was done by the time dinner was on the table.. but now the once simple process taking minutes takes an hour and some time, more often then not the moment D's head touch the mattress of his crib he is awake and crying.. but once picked up he would fall back asleep within seconds. We would often have to do the put him down pick him up routine 4-5 times just to get him to sleep. And while we have heard that a 6 month old should at max wake up only once or twice during the night he was now making about a minimum of 4-6 times.

We were both tired and frustrated and ended up taking it out on each other. And so began the research of how to put our baby to sleep in a more efficient manner. Now from all the information we have gathered we have come to learn that it is all about sleep associations. D has associated sleep with me, feeding and rocking. We need to break this association and create a new one, one that does not involve M or I. Meaning introducing a blankie or a stuffed animal I assume. So how do we go about breaking this association?

There is of course the most popular 'Let him cry it out' solution which I find just too hard to do. I have forewarned M that D isn't going to be the only one crying that night. But we are parents now and sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do.. But then again I have seen my son's lung capacity and I have a feeling he has no problem crying out the best of us.
Then there is a more gentle and slower method where you eliminate one association at a time. Stop the feeding to sleep and just rock, then slowly eliminate the rocking until and replace it with you association of choice but that all seems a bit vague to me. I want a step by step guide..which I know I know does not exist..so what do we do! I did read somewhere to introduce this so association prop.. lets say blankie to your feeding sessions. Something he can hold on to while he feeds and slowly just eliminate the feedings and so on so forth.

Whatever method we decide to try it's all going down over the weekend.. the key is consistency.. so we'll start Friday night.. wish us luck and chime in if you have an words of wisdom or tips to share.. i'll let you know how we fared next week..

1 comment:

Stephanie said...

good luck!! hope that you get some solid sleep asap

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