Screamapillar Morphs Into A Sleeperfly

Thanks to everyone for their advice. For those of you that might Google my blog while looking for ways to deal with a similar situation…this is what we are doing:

We have established an evening routine that we are trying to follow diligently. On rare occasion our evening schedule might interfere (evening church, etc.) but that is the exception and not the rule. The evening occurs like this:

  • I get home from work…Dad is usually feeding Gabe dinner
  • After dinner Gabe and I play and hang out
  • About 6:30 pm, Gabe gets a bath
  • About 7:00 pm, Gabe starts showing signs of fatigue
  • Gabe and I go upstairs. I usually offer him an evening bottle, but he rarely finishes it. After that, if he’s still awake, I read the bible to him. He’s usually asleep by 8:00 pm
  • I put him down in his crib. He will usually wake up and cry a little, but is easily soothed back to sleep.
  • Gabe usually wakes up at least two times in the night, sometimes more. We’ve established a 10 minute rule. We give him 10 minutes before we tend to him. Lately, he’s been waking to cry for a couple minutes and fall back asleep. After 10 minutes, we go upstairs. We try to rub his tummy and quietly soothe him to sleep. Sometimes it works…sometimes it doesn’t. When it doesn’t we hold him &/or rock him back to sleep. Typically, he will go back down without much of a fight.

    We have shifts. While Dad is at work, I tend to him. That is usually from bedtime until anytime between 1 AM-3 AM. After Dad gets home, he’s on duty until 4 AM.

    The first couple of nights, it just took some tough love. The only thing that would calm him was putting him in our bed. So, we basically had to let him scream. It was powerfully difficult, but he was fed, changed and we did what we could to comfort him…that was really all we could do. Honestly though, I think it took those first two or three difficult nights to let him know that we were there, but he couldn’t sleep in our bed. I believe this was probably a necessary step to get where we are.

    I’m confident that he’ll soon be sleeping through the night in his crib. It seems like he is waking less and less and when he does wake, he needs our assistance less and less.

    Thanks again to everyone who offered up suggestions. Between your suggestions and some Internet reading, I think we found the plan that worked for us.



    1. October 25, 2005 at 7:18 am

      That’s great to hear that he’s figuring out that you guys haven’t disappeared and he’s getting more and more able to sleep through the night.

      Good job, you two!

      Tho, the nickname ‘Screamapiller’ is still just too funny.

    2. Tracy said,

      October 25, 2005 at 10:03 am

      YAY! I’m glad to hear you guys found what works. I know how hard that can be, and how frustrating it gets, when you want to cry as much as he is!

      I’m just jealous you two get to tag team. Being a single parent sometimes had it’s plusses – but when it came to needing someone else to take care of things so you could sleep or just take a breather – yeah – there were many nights when I just went outside and took some deep breaths for awhile!

    3. daisyhead said,

      October 26, 2005 at 7:20 pm

      I can’t remember which book we followed as we had 2 of them, but I remember them both saying the bedtime routine is the most important. We used the bath as our “sleepy time” trigger. It always worked like a charm and our little one was fast asleep by 7:00 every night.

      Of course, now that he’s older (2 1/2) it’s a different story some nights, but we still try to keep the routine as much as we can and we always try to stick to the same bedtime every night. It’s amazing how well little ones respond to routine!

      I’m glad to hear your Gabe is sleeping better!

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