Sleep Training For Adults (From A Baby’s Point Of View)
I suspected something was up with our twins as I was tucking them into their sleep sacks when I found copies of the following bit of baby propaganda tucked into their back pockets. Needless to say, we are deeply concerned about the implications of this communication and how our boys will act upon it. I can tell you that already they are making more trouble for us at night and I suspect we may never get a good night’s sleep again. Even their older sister has been waking in the night lately. Sigh. Here’s what the letter said, though, unfortunately, the little author didn’t leave his or her mark.
“OK, here’s my situation.
“My Mommy has had me for almost 7 months. The first few months were great – I cried, she picked me up and fed me, anytime, day or night. Then something happened. Over the last few weeks, she has been trying to STTN (sleep through the night).
“At first, I thought it was just a phase, but it is only getting worse. I’ve talked to other babies, and it seems like it’s pretty common after Mommies have had us for around 6 months.
“Here’s the thing: these Mommies don’t really need to sleep. It’s just a habit. Many of them have had some 30 years to sleep–they just don’t need it anymore. So I am implementing a plan. I call it the Crybaby Shuffle.
“It goes like this:
“Night 1–cry every 3 hours until you get fed. I know, it’s hard. It’s hard to see your Mommy upset over your crying. Just keep reminding yourself, it’s for her own good.
“Night 2–cry every 2 hours until you get fed.
“Night 3–every hour. Most Mommies will start to respond more quickly after about 3 nights.
“Some Mommies are more alert, and may resist the change longer. These Mommies may stand in your doorway for hours, shhhh-ing. Don’t give in. I cannot stress this enough: CONSISTENCY IS KEY!! If you let her STTN (sleep through the night), just once, she will expect it every night.
“I KNOW IT’S HARD! But she really doesn’t need the sleep, she’s just resisting the change. If you have an especially alert Mommy, you can stop crying for about 10 minutes, just long enough for her to go back to bed and start to fall asleep. Then cry again. It WILL eventually work. My Mommy once stayed awake for 10 hours straight, so I know she can do it.
“Last night, I cried every hour. You just have to decide to stick to it and just go for it. BE CONSISTENT! I cried for any reason I could come up with. My sleep sack tickled my foot. I felt a wrinkle under the sheet. My mobile made a shadow on the wall. I burped, and it tasted like pears. I hadn’t eaten pears since lunch, what’s up with that? The cat said “meow”. I should know. My Mommy reminds me of this about 20 times a day. LOL.
“Once I cried just because I liked how it sounded when it echoed on the monitor in the other room. Too hot, too cold, just right–doesn’t matter! Keep crying!! It took awhile, but it worked. She fed me at 4am. Tomorrow night, my goal is 3:30am. You need to slowly shorten the interval between feedings in order to reset your Mommies’ internal clocks.
“Sometimes my Mommy will call for reinforcements by sending in Daddy. Don’t worry Daddies are not set up for not needing sleep the way Mommies are. They can only handle a few pats and shhing before they declare defeat and send in the Mommy.
“Also, be wary of the sleep sheep with rain noises. I like to give Mommy false hope that listening to the rain puts me to sleep sometimes I pretend to close my eyes and be asleep and then wait until I know Mommy is settling back to sleep to spring a surprise cry attack. If she doesn’t get to me fast enough I follow up with my fake cough and gag noise that always has her running to the crib. At some point I am positive she will start to realize that she really doesn’t really need sleep.
“P.S. Don’t let those rubber things fool you, no matter how long you suck on them, no milk will come out. Trust me.”
Photo by danaspencer