So if I do say so myself, I'm feeling pretty proud of the way tonight's sleep training went. Now don't get me wrong, the truth is in the amount of time the little fella stays asleep - but the putting to bed part was remarkably better than it has been in the past two nights.
We went through our bedtime routine (which, in case you're curious, consists of putting on clean diaper/pajamas, brushing teeth, reading some stories, then rocking and nursing in the dark) but tonight, Gage was really drowsy during and after reading books. I decided to try doing lights out, and then just rocking him to sleep. I'm at the point where I believe he's about ready to wean, so I'm not too concerned about any time he doesn't nurse. He gets nutrients from the foods he eats each day; he eats a variety of solids and tries new things virtually every day. He is a great water drinker. We need to bump up his milk intake, but as of now he doesn't much like milk, and since he's still a strong breast feeder, I'm not yet terribly concerned. So, back to the matter at hand, his sleep training.
He got cuddled into my arms about 9:00, after reading stories, saying goodnight to his daddy, and turning off the light. It was much later than we usually like to start his bedtime routine, but today was Brian's late day at work, meaning by the time we ate dinner and whatnot it was already about 8:30. After only about 10 minutes of rocking, Gage nodded off to sleep, and I started my internal 20 minute countdown to trying to put him down.
As a side note (or two)... the reason for the 20 minute wait to put him down is sleep cycling. After 20 minutes, he will have passed through the first sleep cycle to the second, deeper sleep cycle. It is much easier to get him to stay asleep through the transition if he is in this deeper, second part of the sleep cycle. I know that putting him to sleep and then putting him down is not optimal, rather, the goal is for him to be able to put himself to sleep. We're not at that point yet. Right now, we are much more concerned with getting to sleep in his crib than getting him to GO to sleep in his crib. We are also more concerned with getting him to be able to soothe himself back to sleep. Second side note, tonight I was trying a variation on the last two nights. See, the first two nights we started sleep training, I would just sit quietly for the twenty minutes, then put him down. The last two nights, I played with my phone catching up on blogs, surfing the web, etc. Now, if you're familiar with Droids in the dark, you know they emit a pretty powerful light... so I wondered if maybe the presence of a bright light close to his face was causing trouble with him entering the second sleep cycle.
So tonight, I took my iPod in instead of my phone. I put on a sermon from Sagebrush Community Church in Albuquerque (really liked Sagebrush teachings when we lived in Albq) and listened to that for the twenty minutes instead of playing with my phone. The time flew, I enjoyed the first part of a really great teaching, and there was no light, as my iPod screen was turned off.
At the end of the first twenty minutes, I was able to turn off my iPod, take off my headphones, and move Gage carefully from my lap to his crib. He woke up just a little bit as I lay him down, and I patted his tummy to relax him back down. He closed his eyes and went back to sleep. Then I moved my arm out from under him, and he woke up a bit more. I patted his tummy for a little while longer, and he relaxed back to sleep. I was able to turn on his monitor and get out of his room without any stirring.
He has now been down since 9:30. It's 9:53. 30 minutes is the true test to a somewhat lengthy sleep, and if you've been paying attention, you know two hours is OUR true test. We'll see how the remainder of the night goes... I hope it goes well! Sure would love to have a good night's sleep for us all! We're all beat.
On a totally seperate note, I had phone drama today. If you know me, you know that I loooove my Motorola Droid 2. It is absolutely awesome as it does just about everything. Incidently, the fact that it does everything is also an issue in that it makes the phone all kinds of glitchy. If you're familiar with smart phones, you know they all have weird little things that they do that isn't quite what you'd like. Today my phone started locking up like crazy and I had to do a master reset. I ended up with a Droid 2 after I bricked my Droid 1... by doing a master reset. It took me a little while to get my phone back under control, so there was a little bit of nervousness. It all worked out though, and I got the perfect opportunity to do a little home screen redesigning. Ah, Droids. I sure do love them. So exciting, my life. Just how I like it!
I baked bread last night, delicious Amish white/wheat bread. It didn't rise quite right, but it sure is tasty. Baking at high altitude is a bit tricky, and back when I baked four loaves a week in Albuquerque, I had the yeast quantities down to a science. Now... I'm quite rusty. I can't seem to quite get the yeast quantities just right, even for a single batch. Tonight I made some delicious spaghetti for dinner, and some garlic bread with my homemade bread. It was a very tasty dinner!