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sleep cycles

We are sleep training Harvey. In order to get him to sleep through the night we have laid down the lay of NO NIGHTTIME NURSING between his evening feeding at 7:30 pm and his morning feeding, loosely defined as anytime after 6am, and which is currently defined at 6:00 ON THE DOT or 5:45 if the sun is up and I can't stand his screaming anymore. Harvey is still sleeping in the bed with us, so during his no milk tantrums he flails, kicks, or more often these days just crawls atop my chest, places his elbow on my larynx, and screams directly into my nasal cavity so that the sound reverberates all the way through my sinuses.

But at least he doesn't feel abandoned.

The method has actually worked over the past few weeks. He's pushed his morning tantrum time later and later - from 3am to 4am to 5 and this morning to 5:30. He's sometimes waking up earlier in the night, but he seems to go back to sleep with a little soothing or a diaper change if necessary. All in all I've been amazed by how quickly our portion of uninterrupted sleep jumped from three to five to seven hours. That alone is worth a few minutes of screaming tantrum.

On the other hand, after two weeks the tantrums are started to wear on me worse and worse. It's like I'm out of tantrum ignoring reserves and the moment I wake up I'm tense all over and grinding my teeth. This puts me into a very crumby mood for the morning. I seem to be able to recover by the time I'm done walking the dog, but I'm not exactly a wellspring of patience during the day. Which is frustrating, because I'm getting more sleep than I have in over a year.

Although it's hard to compare the value of short bursts of sleep interrupted by slightly uncomfortable nursing with the value of a long stretch of sleep instantly forgotten when you wake up to intense physical abuse that you can't reciprocate because the tyrant is only 15 months old.

six of one, half a dozen of the other?


It scared me to read that you were sleep training - that has a bad conotation for me. I would just say you are night weaning.

Good luck on figuring out the sleep situation. I'm the one who chose the short bursts of sleep with very mild interruptions vs. the intense physical abuse because I don't like to be woken up and I don't think my children would have survived the later scenario. But to each his own.

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