Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Breaking the swaddle habit

After 6 months of swaddling, reswaddling and uber-swaddling, we finally decided it was time to move Noah to a sleep sack.  He's at a point where he's very adept at maneuvering his soother back into his mouth, and after we sleep trained him, we realized he was only waking for his soother (which meant we were up several times a night, staggering down the hall to put it back in).  He's a very tactile baby, and he's always holding onto something when he's awake.  When he's upset his arms flail and his hands/fingers move spastically.  We were worried it would be a rough but necessary transition, for all our sakes!

On day 1, I decided to try the sleep sack with his afternoon nap, when he was REALLY tired.  It worked great!  Almost too good to be true.  I decided to push my luck and try it at bedtime and it was a disaster.  He wasn't quite ready for bed when we put him down, and usually we can put him down awake and he'll soothe himself, but this was too much for him.  So after 40 minutes of him crying and shouting, I swaddled him and he was asleep within ten minutes.  At that point I decided we needed to master naps before we could tackle overnight.

For the next three days, he was in the sack for his morning and afternoon naps.  I made sure there were plenty of soothers nearby so he could easily find one when he wanted it.  He also had his two comfort blankets (a bunny and a lamb) on either side so he could hold onto them.

Once we mastered the naps, which went a lot smoother than I expected, we decided to try bedtime again.  The first night we tried it, I let him fall asleep in my arms before transitioning him to the sack in his crib.  He didn't wake during the process, and he even slept through the night!  Success!  The only "bump" was putting him back to bed after his dream feed.  He woke up and it took him about ten minutes to settle.

After a few nights, we were able to put him down like we used to - awake with his bedside light on.  After we zip him up, we kiss his forehead and turn off the light.  He settles in about ten minutes and he's been sleeping through the night for about a week now - whoo hoo!

I have three sacks, one that's lightweight for hot days, and two heavier ones for the cooler nights.  We make sure to adjust his jammies and sack according to the weather so he isn't too hot or cold.  It's also good to have a backup in case of "accidents"!

He seems to have adjusted to the "freedom" nicely.  In fact, he's become quite mobile during the night.  Sometimes we find him sleeping on his side, sometimes he's turned sideways with his head against one bumper and his feet on the opposite bumper.  A few times we've even found him turned around with his head at the other end of the crib.

Funny kid.

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