Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Simple sleep

The Chou is not a bad sleeper by any stretch. She's taken to twice daily naps, sometimes as long as two hours. She's caught on to the night time routine quickly and goes down without a fuss 99% of the time. She's back to her long stretch of 3-4.5 hours sleep on the beginning and end of her night. She's no longer getting us up before six.

But the middle of the night? Sometimes it's not so fun. She can sometimes wake up five or six times in a two hour stretch. She's not really fully awake, just fussing, and once in a blue moon she wakes entirely, although never to play or chat, just to look around and drift back to sleep.

Some will say it's teeth. Or she's growing. Or she's not tired...or, or, or.

I can't complain much. I seem to function just fine on short stretches of sleep. Compared to some babies, mine is a peach who, on average, gets enough sleep and lets me get enough too.

But I also see the beginnings of patterns I don't much like, and that leads me to start reading books. And books are wonderful things until you're drowning in advice that all seems wonderful on the page and then doesn't really work in real life.

And what of real life? I want to start some basic sleep training to help Chou get more like a 5-6 hour stretch at least once a night (12-6 am would be nice). Yes, I said to help Chou, not me - sure, I'll enjoy the sleep, but I think she needs it more than I do. All the books tell me this is reasonable and super easy in just seven to 10 days of sleep training! Right. But how does one person sleep train? I'm not calling down the husband. I recognize that he's got to be up at 6 for a 10 to 12 hour work day. He's working 6 days a week, too. I'm at home and can nap and therefore I get up at night with Miss Wumpus. Always have.

Sleep training is tough and it's draining. The trick is to always be consistent (as an aside, the more I read about raising kids, the more similarities with horse training I see. Funny, no?). But it's tough to be consistent when your partner is a) not really part of the sleep training and b) doesn't actually read the books himself. And it's not that he doesn't want to help, he does, but his help usually only happens on weekends, which by definition isn't really consistent.

I'm not uber tired. I'm not at wit's end. I'm just finding this task of most wondrous sleep training a big, fuzzy world of not necessarily knowing what I should be doing and I hate that. I like reading up, tackling a problem, solving it and moving on. Nothing about this is going to happen that way. And so we go back to the pages of the book, the timer on the microwave and the fuzziness that is 2 am wake ups.

There's a reason they come out adorable.

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