Monday, December 17, 2012

Sleep Workshop 2.0: Or Sleep Training Take One Million?

Roland and I both went the the second part of the sleep workshop.  We brought our sleep and behaviour logs with us. There was only one other family there, so it was 2 hours of one on one time. She reviewed our logs, told us we were doing great with our current plan, but pointed out something I figured she would. We're great throughout the night at sending Matthew back to bed, but by 5 am, we're done and just let him crawl in bed with us. This has to change.  She couldn't seem to figure out what the trigger was for waking him up. I have no idea myself, except to test us again and again in hopes we'll give in and let him sleep with us. So we set up some goals and developed some strategies to encourage change.

Our goals are:
#1 Get Matthew to go to bed without a fight.
#2 Get Matthew to sleep through the night until a reasonable hour (6-6:30 am)

To reach these goals she recommended a few things:
1. Leave Matthew longer before checking on him after putting him to bed. Or only go back up if there's a need, and wait 5 mins before going up.
2. Try pushing bedtime by an hour or two so he's utterly exhausted and doesn't fight bedtime.
3. Reward Matthew for staying in bed. (We couldn't figure out what that reward would be, stamp maybe?)
4. Matthew is no longer allowed in mommy and daddy's bed at 5 am. March him back no matter what time.

We decided to forgo pushing bedtime. Roland didn't think it would work and didn't want to give up our entire evening to keeping Matthew awake until the point of exhaustion.  I wanted to try, but we decided to wait 2 weeks to see if going without this strategy would still yield results.  We couldn't figure out an appropriate time or reward to give Matthew for staying in bed, so we didn't end up doing this.  We stopped checking on him altogether, so there would be no time to give him a reward.

So far bedtime has still resulted in screaming.  The first two nights there was much more screaming than normal. It does seem to be getting better, but tonight might just be a fluke.  Matthew is still waking in the night 1-2 times on average.  We are able for the most part to tell Matthew to go back to bed, but we've been having to get up more often to march him back. Last night was utterly ridiculous.  Matthew woke up 6 times! He had an early day and an early, short nap plus much excitement at Christmas at Oma and Opa's and he passed out at 7:30 during bedtime story.  He woke up at 10 wanting in bed and water, he woke up at 10:45 wanting water, 11:15 wanting in the bed, 12 wanting to be tucked in, 1:30 saying he was hot, 3:30 screaming "mama no go!" and finally was up at 5:50 for the day. Good god!

Tonight's bedtime routine went great. I'm trying to teach him to tuck himself in so he doesn't wake up at night just to have me do it for him. He told me he wanted the door mostly closed, so I closed it behind me and went downstairs at 8:15.  I haven't heard a peep since.  He did say something peculiar when we were snuggling before bed. He kept saying "rawr wake me up" or "penguin wake me up". I'm not sure if he's got imaginary friends or if he's having nightmares, or seeing monsters or making up random excuses. I really wish I could get inside his head and find out what is going on in there.

We're going to stick with this plan hopefully through the Christmas holidays at Grandma's. Not too sure how well that will work and fully expecting sleep to be a struggle while we're there, and to have some undoing to do when we come back. In the new year, the behaviour therapist is going to call us to ask how we're doing and to reassess our sleep plan. We're hoping things are fantastic, but she can recommend other resources if need be including a home visit. I'd love a home visit, but I'd love it more not to need one.  I was planning on potty training over Christmas break, but if we're still in the midst of sleep training hell, it might be best to only work on one thing at a time.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Time To Sleep Workshop

So I went to the workshop last week. They covered causes of sleep issues and 5 different sleep training methods, some of which I had never heard of. We are not to try any of these just yet. For the next two weeks, we are to simply track what happens at bedtime and throughout the night and bring it back for them to analyze. Then we can make a plan.

So far, everything has been going the way it's been for the last few months. He is great until we leave the room, then the crying starts. We've been leaving him for longer and longer hoping he'll fall asleep waiting for us to return. He usually doesn't, at least not until 20 mins after the first 20 min check. So the bedtime routine is still 1-1 1/2 hours long and he still doesn't fall asleep until after 9:30.  Last night he slept through until 5:30. Probably a fluke. I know he wakes up at 5:30 because he wants in bed with us, and we let him. We should probably stop that too, but we're tired and if he sleeps until 5:30 without waking up, we consider that a win. We usually get up between 6 and 6:30 anyway.

So I guess I'll check back next week after we have our second workshop session. Maybe Matthew will be magically sleeping by then, but at the very least, I know we'll have a plan. And if that doesn't work?  I don't want to think about that right now. Let's just hope it works.