Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Ahhh... Sleep...

Ever since Ben came home he has been sleeping in our bed. When we first came home with him he was so scared, I just couldn't let him be in a room all by himself. He had been sleeping with his foster mom, so I wanted to give him at least a warm body to lie next to, even though it must have been terrifying for him to sleep next to two complete strangers. We went from waking up at 1 a.m. in the morning every night (and being up for good) to 4-5 nighttime wakings where he had to have a bottle and/or be carried for hours on end. Then the bottles became less and less, and the need for us to carry him so he could go back to sleep slowly vanished. We started to be able to calm him by simply reaching over to pat his back.

I loved our pre-bedtime ritual of playing and snuggling in the bed, especially when the husband was working long hours and this was our main family time. Things we didn't enjoy so much were the twisting and turning, headbutts and kicks we got throughout the night.

We had been talking about transferring Ben to his crib for weeks, and couldn't really decide on how to go about it. I ended up ordering a book on the internet - my first sleep book, believe it or not - after reading another adoptive parents recommendation.

I read the book and thought it would never work.
The method that is used is to basically put the child to bed and check on him in increasing intervals. The book said that the first night it would take about an hour, the second night a little longer, and the third night it would take 20 minutes for the child to fall asleep. Even though it went a little against my grain to use any method where my child will cry, we gave it a shot.

And it worked.

The first night was awful. Ben screamed and threw up. I wanted to cry. But after a little over an hour of going in and reassuring him, he was asleep. That night we got up about 3 times to pat his back as he woke up and each time he went right back to sleep.

The second night involved more puke (it was disgusting) and all of us ended up having to take a bath or shower. Yuck, yuck, yuck is all I am going to say. But we put him back in his crib and after an hour and a half he was asleep and pretty much stayed asleep all night.

The third night we were prepared with extra sheets and PJ's ready and a pre-filled bathtub, but didn't end up needing it. Ben was asleep in 15 minutes and didn't cry until he was ready to get up in the morning.

We are on the fourth night and just got done with the changing of the baby after the throw-up ritual. 10 minutes after being changed, he is asleep.

Now if I can get the cats to sleep in another room, I will be one rested lady!

Yesterday we actually watched some sitcoms. On TV. For 2 hours. Uninterupted. It was amazing. Weird, but amazing.

And we got to sleep. Also weird but amazing!


  1. Wow. First of all, AWESOME progress in the sleep dept. Secondly, don't let the barf intimidate you. Olive did that too, and it's a way of taking it up a notch for the little guys. Thirdly, you haven't seen TV since he came home! Yikes. I'd be in serious withdrawal.
    Bravo, mama! Keep up the good work!

  2. wow!!! good job, sandra! what book was it? i am so, so scared of the sleep situation!

  3. YAY!!! This is awesome progress!! Go Ben!

  4. Congratulations Sandra! That is awesome news! I feel your pain on the co-sleeping front. After that long, it must have felt incredible to have the bed to yourself!

  5. Way to go. Ben (my son is Ben too) used to cry so hard he'd throw up - it was awful. But they eventually HAVE to learn to sleep on their own! Good for you!

  6. This is awesome progress Sandra! I am so glad that you are getting more sleep and time to watch some TV:-)

  7. I nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award - not sure if you've already done this but I haven't read it so I'm sending it your way. Looking forward to meeting you! :)

  8. Yeah for sleep! It is amazing what a difference it makes, not just for you, but I'm sure you will see a difference in Ben. We have had amazing sleep for about a month... but last night we had a relapse. I hope it doesn't continue tonight.