Star Powered Parenting: The Sleepening!
My wife goes back to work (AAH!) next week and I will be the stay-at-home dad. This is good for us, since daycare is expensive as hell and I have the great fortune to work from home, but I’m still a little scared.
With my time as stay-at-home dad looming, we’ve begun sleep training our son this week. Leto has usually slept very soundly when he was being held by one of us, but freaked out when he was put down for any length of time. I can’t really blame him. I’m thirty five years older than he is, and I’m grumpier when I’m not being held, too. While I developed a pretty sure-fire method to put him to sleep when I’m holding him, it was not a sustainable practice. So we bit the bullet and began getting him accustomed to sleeping outside of our embrace.
I don’t want to jinx things, but we’ve had pretty significant luck with this so far. Leto protests quite a bit at first, but eventually he falls asleep in his crib and sleeps either through his nap times or entirely(ish) through the night! Do we have a miracle baby? Probably not. We’ve developed a few tricks to help us stick to our guns with this new routine, and there are some factors that have proven to be helpful as well.
1) The door to his nursery muffles his cries somewhat. The banshee shrieking is a little easier to deal with when there’s a “shield” protecting our ears. 2) We got him a “sleep suit.” These things are miraculous. It’s enough of a full-body “embrace” to ease him to sleep. The thickness of the suit also eases his sleep-jerking, so he doesn’t startle himself awake. 3) That banshee shrieking can be pretty bad, so Alyssa invested in shooting-range grade ear protection. I look ridiculous wearing that thing in a baby’s nursery, but his protests are much easier to deal with.
Parenting is learning when to improvise and when to stick to a plan. Sometimes you have to improvise to make the plan work, sometimes you have to stick to a routine when improvising doesn’t work.
I only hope our success with this sleep training keeps up.