Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sleep, time, and Mother's Day

To start this post, I need you to time travel with me way back to this past Thursday.

Alright, it's a beautiful day out. Steve is in Peoria. The sun rose at about 5:30 a.m. I know this, because I was awake to see it. Reid woke up at about 5 a.m. to eat. Jack woke up at 5:30. Neither of them went back to sleep. And so began a very long day. In fact, I don't remember a lot of the details because by 4 p.m. I was so exhausted I was crying. I do remember that neither boy wanted to nap that day. Going through my pictures, I also remember that it was Field Day for Jack at his school. I thought that was going to ensure a nap. It did not. That evening, I decided I needed a blog post about sleep. But I was too tired to write it then.

We are working on training Jack to go to sleep by himself. It's a long process. I started it about 2 or 3 weeks ago. When we started, we had two scenarios for Jack's bedtime. Both scenarios started with a bath followed by two to three books. In scenario 1, the books were followed by Steve and me leaving the room and then proceeding to spend the next 30 minutes to an hour watching television and periodically going upstairs to put Jack back in bed, threatening things like turning off the hall light or closing his door. Scenario 2 had me or Steve laying in bed with Jack until he either fell asleep or we got too irritated and then reverted back to Scenario 1.

Week 1 of sleep training was me laying in bed with Jack, rubbing his back, until he fell asleep. I would calmly enforce the bedtime rules. The bedtime rules are: stay in the bed, be quiet and calm, no talking, no playing. It was a little difficult for me to do his and remain calm at first. But I reminded myself that the point of all of this was to teach Jack how to calm himself and fall asleep. If I got upset, then I would be teaching him the wrong skills.

For week 2, I stopped rubbing his back. I would lay in bed with him, but we added a new bedtime rule: no touching. After books, I would give him a big hug and a kiss, then the rules would go into effect.

Week 3, I sit on the floor next to his bed and wait for him to fall asleep.

We are about to start week 4. I'm going to sit in his room, but close to the door.

I am hoping that I will eventually be able to leave the room and he will be able to calm himself and fall asleep on his own. Maybe by week 6 or 7. That would take my time involvement for bedtime from about an hour to an hour and a half and shorten it to about 30 minutes. That would be awesome! Not to mention the life skill for Jack of being able to calm himself down and fall asleep. I don't want to have to lay with a 16-year-old kid to get him to fall asleep some day.

I'll keep you posted on the progress.

So right now, it's 9:30 and I should be sleeping myself. But it was Mother's Day and we were very busy doing fun things today. We didn't get home until after 6 p.m. That means that bedtime didn't start until almost 7:30 since we had to eat dinner and such. The boys finally fell asleep at about 8:30-9:00. I wanted to be ready for this week, so here I am still awake. I'm almost ready.

There are so many other things I wanted to write about. But my brain is turning to mush from lack of sleep. So here are some pictures from Field Day and Mother's Day. My boys were very good to me this year. They made me a painting and brought me breakfast in bed. Jack says he wants to bring me breakfast in bed lots more. I told him that would be fine. We also went to Independence Grove in Lake County with our families. Everyone had fun as you can probably tell from the photos. Enjoy, and hopefully I'll be back to my regular writing self tomorrow.

Field Day
Tag, Drop and Run

Jack's Sleep Hollow Preschool Class
SH Preschool class

Mother's Day
The Painting and Flowers

Reid and his grandmas

Climbing the rock wall

Chasing bubbles


Susie Nustra said...

Almost sleep success...I will be cheering you on from Gurnee!!!

Tina said...

I can't say enough about this book: Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Dr. Marc Weissbluth.

He's an actual pediatrician in Chicago. THe book was wonderful to get David to be a self sleeper. RUN to the store today and get it...or just download into your e-reader.

Karen Barrett said...

Tina, we love that book too! That's where I got the idea for the sleep training :).

So far so good, guys! I'll give you an update next week :)