Sleep training for the Robin man was very successful once we committed to it. The first attempt was pretty disastrous. We started on the Monday after Christmas vacation. We weren't really ready and he wasn't ready either. I put him down for the first time in his nursery and then we prepared to wait him out. Unfortunately he had caught a bug and with it some intestinal discomfort that lead to some massive diaper rash. So we did the 5, 10, 20 minute interval check ins, but he just wouldn't settle. He cried so long that he actually lost his voice. After 4 hours we gave up and decided to postpone until he was in a better state.
In a couple of weeks when he was ready we started again. We read a couple of different sleep books and decided to follow the plan involved checking in on his every few minutes with steadily increasing intervals. This time we started on a Friday when the sleep deprivation wouldn't effect a work day for Alice Louise. We put him down and started the 5, 10, 20 minute visits, alternating between Al and I until after about 2 hours he soothed himself to sleep. The next day it took maybe 40 minutes, and after that he just started going down right away.
That wasn't to say there weren't hiccups along the way. The occasional cold or tooth would interrupt the night. But for the most part he is a great sleeper.
Which makes night like last night that much more painful. See, my kid is an over achiever. When most kids would be content to cut one tooth at a time, Robin has decided to cut four molars at the same time. It's made him a bit pickier of an eater, and has definitely affected his sleep, but not in any sort of predictable way. His naps have been pretty short this week, with an hour nap in the morning and only about a 45 minute nap in the afternoon if I'm lucky. And oddly, when he gets less nap sleep, he also shorts his night sleep.
After about 5 minute Alice Louise came back to bed. He hadn't wanted any milk, and after a few minutes she had put him back down. It seemed to be successful. Just has I had drifted off again he started up again. I went up this time and gave him a shot of Tylenol in case it was his mouth keeping him awake. He eagerly sucked down the grape flavored goo and after a few minutes of rocking he settled, so I put him back down and headed down to bed. He gave us another 5 minutes, then was up and crying again. I went up again and decided to change his diaper, which was wet, but not too bad. After another few minute of cuddling he seemed ready to settle, so I dropped him down in his crib with 5 pacifiers and headed down again.
This time he gave us maybe 10 minutes. It was about 2:30 when he started up again. Slowly at first with little pocks like an engine trying to start. When the full chainsaw of crying started Alice Louise got up again and went up. It took a while to sooth this time, and that meant sleep was not to be for me either. Between the baby monitor and the baby it was a nonstop barrage of unhappy baby sounds. Since the baby monitor is on a little bit of a delay and we can hear him pretty well in our room, it was like a call and respond of discomfort.
Alice Louise soothed him and read him a couple of books, but every time she even tried to get him back into his crib he would start up like it was the worst thing that has every happened to him. Which meant every time I drifted off, I would be started awake. After about an hour, around 3:30 he finally fell asleep.
I know that Alice Louise by far gets the rougher deal on nights like last night. I try to help, but there are somethings that she does better than me.
This morning she snoozed her alarm a couple of times and she let the kiddo sleep in. She left for work without seeing him, which is always a little sad for her. He work up around 7:30 and was his usually cheery self.
Before I was a parent stories like last nights would have concerned me a lot. But now its just part of the package and perhaps a little like a badge of honor. I didn't really miss out on that much sleep, just an hour and a half in the middle of the night, but it will probably mean an early night for us tonight. That is perhaps the most startling part of his new phase in my life, that going to bed at 9pm is a fine thing.