After Tristan had one of his worst sleep nights ever (waking at 4 am to 'talk' for an hour before going back to sleep, this after being fed twice already in the night) I decided that something had to change or I might not keep my sanity.
I got Dr. Richard Ferber's book (Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems) and gave it a quick read to get the basics (I'm still working on the rest of it) and decided to give it a go last night. Tristan had gone down for a nap at 5:30 and decided it was bedtime. He woke up at 9:15 to eat and wouldn't go back down. Ugh.
The basic idea is to allow them to cry/fuss for short periods of time which you keep increasing so that they learn how to put themselves to sleep and break a dependance on you/bottle/boob/etc. You check on them, but don't pick up or feed in between these progressively longer times. Anyway, I put him back down for the night at 10pm and he cried for 3min, I went in to reassure him, gave him his pacifier (we'll wean off of this later) and he went right off to sleep. He woke at 1am (I had decided to not feed him until 2am based on the book and how long he's been able to go between feedings in the past) and cried for 3min, 5min, 5min, 5min and then went back to sleep - probably w/o the pacifier in his mouth. He didn't wake up again until 4am! That proved to me that he wasn't truly hungry at 1am since hunger would have caused him to wake up sooner than 4. I fed him at 4 and he 'talked' to himself (no crying) for about 10 min before going back to sleep w/o a pacifier in his mouth and woke up happy as a clam (so was I) at 7am!
I'm using the same program for naps and the most he's needed today is one check after the 3 min. I know lots of books say that you're not supposed to sleep train until 4mo, but frankly he's already over 15lbs and eats pretty well during the day and was only snacking at night to get back to sleep so we decided to start now to save my sanity and keep him from getting any more dependant upon eating/rocking to go back to sleep.
In other news, Sunday was a great day for nursing. I'm not even sure I've mentioned much on here how he's stopped nursing in public and hardly wants to nurse during the day at all, preferring to take his milk from a bottle. That makes for a lot more work for me since I have to do all the work of nursing (pumping) and the work of bottle feeding/washing. Well, Saturday he nursed in a restaurant at lunch for the first time in weeks. Then, Sunday, we didn't really go anywhere and I got him to nurse for all but 2 feedings. Yay!! I think we'll get him back on the boob in the next few weeks.
Lastly, today was my first day back at yoga. Ryan had been taking swim lessons at the gym that coincided with yoga so I had not been able to get back yet. Being a typical 4 year old, he was preferring to play and goof around in the pool and I realized that it could take months for him to improve enough to get to move on to the next level which would allow me to do yoga. I asked him last week if he wanted to prove to me that he was going to do a better job of listening to the teacher or if he'd prefer to take a break from swim lessons and spend time in the Kids Club at the gym while I do yoga instead. He eagerly asked to go to Kids Club so we pulled him out of swimming and both of the boys went to Kids Club this morning while I was in yoga. Ahhhhh, if felt wonderful to be back. I'm not sure what part of me enjoyed it more, my mind, body, or spirit. All I know is that I feel like a new woman today.