As I predicted, there is a third installment to the sleep training series posts.
The new goal I set was to get the girls to sleep together. Even if they currently sleep in our room (and in our bed), eventually when they are older my hope is that they will be comfortable enough sleeping in a room by themselves, like sisters should! Mommy New York said that she has made both her kids nap and go to bed at the same time — by design, for her sanity’s sake. I can understand that. So that is part of the goal too!
I’d have to say though that currently it is highly erratic.
First of all, Sam is adjusting to so many major changes. I gave birth. We had relatives visiting and helping us out for two months. We moved apartments. Now she is currently potty-training. So all of these coupled with her persistent creative little brain, make it tough to maneuver the bedtime battles. I also think she and Daddy miss spending time with each other. So more often than not, he is highly persuaded to stay in bed with her. My infallible argument, as I have proven via time-and-motion studies, seen through my trusty monitor, that when Dad sleeps with her in the room it takes her at least an hour to doze off (While in the meantime, Daddy is snoring in under 15 minutes and Sam is just tossing and turning over his limp body). In contrast, when she is allowed to sleep by herself (well with her new best friend bunny named Grace-y), then she is out in 15 minutes’ time, sometimes even less. So it is really just a matter of two things: 1) getting her consent to be in bed by herself, and 2) getting Daddy to leave the room (He is always reluctant. Why wouldn’t he be when Sam so aptly plays up the drama and hugs her daddy’s neck tightly as if to hold him down).
Then there’s Jamie, the baby who is forever asleep. I swear she sleeps more than she eats. As Dr. Minozzi her pediatrician said, I shouldn’t complain. For as long as she is swaddled, she can sleep as long as her big sister does. But of course since she is only two months, it is not yet always consistent. Each night varies depending on how her day went. On some nights she would rather be in my arms, and so I take her out of the room and let her sleep while I get my me-time.
Generally Sam is easier to persuade to “sleep by herself” if she knows Jamie is in bed beside her. In the first few weeks she would rather that Jamie be in the room sleeping too more than myself or her daddy. She would happily kick us out and try to scoot as close to her sleeping sibling as possible. She’d start to cry if I took Jamie out, and so I’d always have to say that I’d bring her back; I just need to put her to sleep. I suppose that’s a good sign of things to come.
There are some nights though you can tell Sam wants to be babied too, and in those instances I end up in bed with them, pinned to the bed with Jamie on my left arm and Sam on my right. When I wake up, I feel like I lifted weights the whole night.
The current challenge I’m working through is when one wakes the other up. Sam stirs when Jamie starts to fuss and cry and then she will make her own sympathetic cries too. Jamie gets startled by her big sister’s excited voice, as she has not yet mastered her quiet soft tone (Sam will whisper to me, “Jamie’s sleeping mom” and then after I nod in approval, she will brighten up and exclaim loudly, “Very good whispering mom!”).
I have been told that the solution will present itself after at least 6 months (there are no guarantees, but definitely sometime after that!), when things “normalize” and everyone gets adjusted. So I have a few more months of roller-coaster sleeping patterns and bedtime battles. Then again will the bedtime battles really ever end?
In the meantime, I’ll take what peace I can get when I can get it.