November 2, 2007

Sleep Training Week '07, Part Three

Last night, Thursday, was day three of STW ’07, and as the previous two nights began, Annie only slept for an hour before her first stirring. She went back down easily enough, but proceeded to wake up an hour later at 9:30. We were not off to a good start. The second wake up was due to a beast of a burp that erupted from deep inside her belly, and once it was out seemed to calm her down considerably. I was hopeful that on this night we would get a good first session out of her before the second bottle.

My wife went to bed around ten and I decided to stay up reading until the time finally arrived. Most likely this would be around eleven, so another hour awake was looking much more enticing than the old startle-Dad-from-a-dead-sleep routine. Besides, I was enjoying my book, and a few quiet moments alone would be a rare treat. At around 10:45 I started to drowse a bit, so the plan switched to TV watching with the lights out. Yeah right. She had me right in her sights. True to her record, as soon as my eyes bobbed shut she let out a little wail, and the game began. Remember, the plan called for 20 minutes of untended crying, and the goal was a night of untended sleeping.

At around the 15 minute mark Annie fell back to sleep…for about 45 seconds. In retrospect she was most likely catching her breath, because the last four minutes and change of the 20 allotted were really loud. I did, however, reach my goal, and when I picked her up out of bed she was one red-faced, angry baby. Of course, once she got what she wanted, she settled right down and was sleeping by 11:30. It was time for Dad to turn in for the night and wait out the next round. All in all, the first round was a success if you consider the 45 second reprieve three quarters of the way through.

Ding, Round Two. At 2:22 Annie awoke. I didn’t want to keep my wife up while I waited out the rules, so I transferred to the living room couch and waited. At approximately 2:33 I fell back to sleep and didn’t wake up until 3:34. The house was quiet. Once I got past the guilt of ignoring my screaming baby, I broke out my shit eating grin again and waltzed off to bed. On the way, I did some quick math. The longest she could have cried is an hour and twelve minutes. This didn’t seem likely. I doubt she cried the entire time I was asleep and just happened to stop when I woke up. I’m going with the theory that before the twenty minutes were up she fell back to sleep, thus allowing me the same privilege. My theory has the built in bonus of assuaging my conscience.

Not surprisingly, she stirred a few more times during the night, but each time I approached her room (once making a bottle) she fell asleep again. I am a well trained Dad however, and slept poorly while I waited for her nonexistent, pending meltdown. Finally at 6:45 she was up for good and we started our day somewhat well rested, and with a positive outlook.

For all of you keeping score, that was one feeding over a twelve hour span. Ridiculous. Here’s to more of the same tonight; Another date night for the adults and another babysitter for the little one. I’ll check back in tomorrow with a report on the date, the sleep, and the babysitter.


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