Last night I did a little experimenting with our current sleep problem (transfer from my arms to the crib) and I enjoyed some relative success.
Instead of taking between 2 and 6 hours to get him in the crib and asleep with countless failed transfers, I managed in 1.5 hours with only 2 failed transfers.
I have incorporated a different hold while I’m rocking him, which involves him being tight against my body in a similar position as I need him to be in when I stand up with him. This hasn’t been necessary in the past, but lately the jostling has bothered him and woken him up. This eliminates some of the jostling, and seems to help a lot.
I also “shush” him veeeeeery quietly when it comes time to stand up. This seems to calm him down when he (inevitably) stirs as I stand up and he seems to be able to sleep through the transfer better.
Lastly, I ditched the sleep sack. Several nights ago, Kyle suggested that the sleep sack might be bothering him, because – generally speaking – he goes down for naps better than bedtime, and he doesn’t wear a sleep sack during naps. I was resistant to giving up the sleep sack because it keeps him warm and is “dangerous” to have blankets in the crib, but a lot of reputable websites say that at 12 months old you can switch to a blanket. I’m still nervous about it, but last night when he was sweating profusely as I rocked him (and screaming), I took it off to cool him down. When he fell asleep, I put a warm, snuggly blanket over him. It seemed to work okay, although he was not under the blanket when I went in when he woke up. So I think if I continue with this strategy, I may do warmer jammies for when he wiggles out from under the blanket. (And I will also ask his doc at his 12 month appointment if she agrees that he can do a blanket now instead of a sleep sack)
Staying asleep once deposited in the crib has been really consistent lately. For the past 5-7 days he’s either gone the WHOLE night, or only woken up once after about 8 hours. This has been a lovely change of pace, and has done wonders for my sanity and overall zest for life.
However, the crib-transfer issues that have taken over are very upsetting, and I find myself frequently losing my patience. I am ashamed of how often I’ve been angry at Lewis, but I know it is a normal part of parenting. All I can do is my best… and I’ve certainly been doing that.
And you know what else? If these last 12 months with Lewis have taught me anything, it’s that absolutely nothing about parenting is permanent. The phases come and go, and I’m sure this one will be no different. (trying to look past the page to look at the whole book here… enjoying mild success)