Tuesday, December 04, 2007

The Great Sleep Experiment - 20 day results

It is time for the second "reading" on how our sleep experiment is going. As you may recall, we are in the midst of an experiment with the no-cry sleep solution. The ten day results were encouraging but not overwhelming. The twenty day results are a little better still, but also not overwhelming. This method is definitely not for the impatient. It is however, good for the soft-hearted- Pumpkin really hasn't had to cry much to make the progress we've seen so far.

So here are the latest statistics, from last night:

Asleep time - 7:45 p.m.
Awake time - 6:10 a.m.
Total wakings - 3
Longest sleep span - 2 hrs 45 min
Total sleep - 9 hrs 30 mins

So we are down two wakings, from five to three. Two of those wakings were to eat. We are now slowly decreasing the amount in her bottle (which Daddy usually gives her at ~11 p.m.) to see if we can get her to give up at least one of those night feedings. She only added it about a month and a half ago, when she had croup, so we're hopeful.

The other parameter I'm watching is how we get her to sleep. There is a lot less bouncing going on now. We can usually get her back to sleep from a non-feeding waking by just patting her for a few minutes. Hubby tried that method to get her down for the night tonight with mixed success. It only took him 35 minutes to get her down, and she never really wailed. But I still had to go sit in the garage.

Overall, my opinion of the no-cry method is that it has some good ideas, and that you really can change your baby's sleep habits without resorting to letting her cry it out. However, it is a slow method. Also, I think it really needs two grown-ups working on it, so that each person can get some reasonable (albeit not wonderful) amount of sleep. One of the other mommies in my breastfeeding support group tried this at the same time as I did, and she had to give up and try the Ferber method instead. Her baby (who is a bit younger than Pumpkin) required 45 minutes of bouncing, white noise, etc. to go down, and was waking up an hour after going down- all through the night. Her husband travels on business a lot, and she was trying to do it all on her own. I don't think I would have lasted as long as she did!

We also wonder if Pumpkin is having issues with gas, and if that is interfering with her sleep. We have started giving her gas drops after dinner, and that actually seems to be helping. I am also cutting all dairy out of my diet again. Pumpkin had trouble with dairy in my diet from the beginning. I had thought that I could add cheese back in at ~5 months, but wonder if I have added back too much. I do know that I forgot about my dairy restriction on Thanksgiving, and had whipped cream and ice cream with my pie, and Pumpkin had a really bad night. So dairy is back out. This is a huge sacrifice for me. I told Hubby the other day that I think I miss ice cream more than I miss beer (besides, I can have the occasional beer). But apparently, I miss sleep most of all!

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