November 1, 2007

Sleep Training Week 2007, Day Two

Wednesday night was day two of Sleep Training Week 2007. All in all it was a success, but for reasons that I think had little to do with the plan. As I posted yesterday I was in shambles and definitely at the end of my parenting rope. However, one of the ideals that my father instilled in me was that I never ask for help (is that actually an ideal?), not even from someone who I love very dearly. The good news is that she knows when I need help and doesn’t make me ask. So last night my wife took the first shift, which is the one I dread most. It always comes shortly after I have fallen asleep and my nerves get a little jolt from it every night. You see, Annie has a knack for knowing precisely when my head hits the pillow, and BAM! She’s awake.

Knowing that my wife is taking shift number one has a way of easing my nerves. When I go to sleep with the guarantee that I won’t be waking up within the next ten minutes I am relaxed enough to sleep deeply. Even if Annie was on her usual three hour schedule I would get at least four hours of rest if my wife took the 11 pm shift and I went to bed at 10 O’clock. And wouldn’t you know it; this is exactly the way it played out.

Like clockwork she stirred at 2:10, and following the rules I let her cry for ten minutes. I lay there for exactly eight minutes listening to her on the monitor. On the screaming scale of one to ten, ten being hoarse and bewildered with tears making pools in her ears, I would say that she was only about a five. This seemed like encouraging news for the latter stages of Sleep Week ‘07. After eight minutes passed, I went into the kitchen figuring it would take me two minutes to prepare her bottle. In reality it took me three minutes and by the time I had Annie in my arms she had been crying for more than 11 minutes. I know, sad.

After four ounces of her six ounce bottle, I changed her diaper turned pee bucket so that when she was all riled up I would still have two ounces in the tank to get her back down. This worked like a charm and by 2:45 I was back in bed. Annie obliged my industrious planning by sleeping until 6:30, which is about 45 minutes before we get up every day. My wife and I audibled and decided to reward the little peanut for a respectively solid night’s sleep by getting up early and singing some of her favorite morning songs.

To recap, unlike most nights lately where she wakes up at 10:30, 1:30, 4:30, and then with us at 7:30, Annie was only up at 11:00 and 2:30. Not bad, eh? I’m not stupid enough to think that we had anything to do with this though. This isn’t my first rodeo, but I will take a fortuitously timed night here and again.

Tonight we move to 20 minutes of crying. Good thing both of our beds have waterproof covers, the tears will be flowing.


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