November 3, 2007

Sleep Training Week '07, Part Four

It’s Saturday, and since my wife and I don’t get much time together, and since she just got home from work, I will keep this one short. Last night was day four of STW ’07 and it was another successful night. Annie didn’t sleep as long as she did the night before, but we started out much better. The Babysitter!? put her down at 6:30 (very early so we could meet friends for dinner) and we went out for a few hours. It was pretty obvious that I was nervous about leaving Annie, but not for the reasons you might think. This was the first test of my parenting skills. If Annie spent the whole time crying uncontrollably and the babysitter never wanted to come back, what would that say about the job I was doing?

So I left with a heart that fluttered as if I were about to sit for the SAT’s. Dinner was great, with the usual unfailingly polite company. Everyone here is so nice that coming back to the Northeast next year is going to be quite an adjustment. After a few drinks and a quick dinner, we headed over to a local Starbucks to see a friend of a friend play guitar. We took our leave at around 9:15 and hurried home…well I hurried; it was my reputation on the line. You see, the babysitter also works for a friend of ours, who owns the local baby store we love, who is close friends with some of the people we were out with, who brought with them one of the women who works at a favorite lunch spot of ours. Our entire circle of friends here in town were somehow linked to this night.

At 9:30 I crept through the front door and found the babysitter sitting quietly on the couch with a book. Phew. Turns out Annie never even stirred while we were away. It looks like she may actually come back for more in a couple of weeks.

Annie then slept until 11:00 and we let her cry for the requisite 30 minutes. She eventually fell asleep and when she woke up again at midnight we fed her. As with the night before, when she woke up at 2:00 I transferred to the couch to wait it out. And as with the night before I shortly fell asleep. Annie did too, and I wound up on the couch for two hours this time. At 5:30 Annie woke up and because she had been sleeping for almost 12 hours I decided to feed her without a fight. My kindness was rewarded and we all slept until 8:45. We couldn’t believe our good fortune.

Recap: Four nights of sleep training and Annie is already developing better habits. If she wasn’t always drenched in urine (sorry) I think she would be ready to sleep all the way through. The next frontier is putting her down at a predetermined time while she is still awake so that we can develop a more rigid routine.


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