Last night I sat on the couch at exactly 7:11 pm (11 minutes after laying Avery down in the elusive drowsy yet awake state) confused. First of all, I should clarify that my mommy and me instructor is somewhat of a “sleep guru” in Los Angeles and is addressing sleep training in the next two weeks of class. I could not wait that long and attempted to bootleg sleep train Avery into a nap yesterday prior to our evening sleep training extravaganza. It did not go well. There were blood-curdling screams for an hour. I did everything wrong. I touched him, I hushed him, I stayed longer than 30 second intervals and ultimately, I did the most blasphemous of things, I picked him up (shudder in horror) cuddled him close (roll over in your grave Ferber) and let him sleep on my chest for the rest of the day (bite me BabyWise). Epic fail. After several desperate emails, Google searches and internal debates I had renewed vigor to commence sleep training the right way – starting with night sleep (scrapping the naps for now) and getting this baby to fall asleep on his own. I would fight every disorganized schedule-less fiber of my being and follow the “plan”. As mentioned yesterday, I sent the instructions to Micah and was ready for battle. I warned Micah that he would ultimately be responsible for all check-ins since I lack any self-control. Besides Micah seems to have some strange cry filter that allows him to interpret Avery’s shrieks as “just him talking”. Let’s be clear – he is not ‘just talking’ – he is screaming, and my husband may or may not be a sociopath because a baby’s cry does not register any sense of urgent response whatsoever. Luckily for Avery my nagging does.
So anyways, last night we began. At exactly 6:30 I began Avery’s luxurious evening wind-down routine. I completed the whole song and dance around 7:00 and instead of rocking him into a milk coma and dropping him dead asleep in his crib with ninja-like precision, I placed Avery in his crib awake. I scurried into the hallway shutting his door, holding my breath and waiting for the wailing to begin. I waited. And I waited. And I waited some more. I frantically grabbed the video monitor (obviously he must be in respiratory distress since he is not making any noise). He was not. My darling son was happily lying there, staring at the ceiling and cooing softly. He continued this with a couple grunts and maybe 1-2 fussy sounds and then at 7:11 he fell asleep. What?! Where is the monster that I put in the crib at nap time? Is he faking? When is the other shoe going to drop? Mind you, Micah now thinks I’m insane since I’ve made him promise to be home for this adventure and have built it up to be a horrifying experience. I stared at the monitor in disbelief thinking this can’t be right. But it was…until 3am.
At 3 am the fun began. There was screaming and fussing and “talking” as Micah calls it for an hour and 45 minutes. I sat in the bedroom trying not to lose it while Micah went in 5 minutes then 10 then every 15. Every once in a while I desperately begged Micah to go in and check on him again because it MUST have already been 15 minutes (except it had usually only been about 6). And then, at around 4:45, he let out a massive cry and with no wind down was instantly silent. He literally went from a 10 out of 10 scream to silence without missing a beat. I checked the battery in the monitor and when I saw that it was still working, I turned to Micah and insisted he go in and check on him to see if he was breathing. Micah (who is irritatingly relaxed and calm as a first time dad) responded with Hell No, he’s just sleeping. Ok, he didn’t really say Hell no – Micah won’t say “bad words” (also irritating)…but he did laugh at me and tell me to go to bed and that there was no way anyone was going in to check on him.
I stared at the monitor until I saw him move a little, then spent the next hour trying to sleep until at 5:49 I heard him squawking. Deciding that it was close enough to 6am, I jumped up, exclaimed, “I’m going in there and feeding him!” and practically ran down the hall to feed him (hoping he didn’t hate us for what occurred an hour ago). He hungrily gulped up food, passed back out and slept until 8. I fed him again at 8 in our bed and he fell back asleep for another hour and a half! When he woke again he was all googly eyes and smiles (reassuring me that he doesn’t hate us…yet).
All in all, night 1 was confusing, successful, surprising, horrifying, exhausting and most of all OVER!
1 down 2-4 to go…