Friday, October 21, 2011

Dare I say it?

a snoozing Finn - haven't had the guts to take one of him alseep in his room yet.

So it happened like this:
Last week, we went to visit my mom in Connecticut, about five hous qway, not including the 1.25 hour ferry ride. 2 adults, 1 infant, 1 medium sized dog, and all the stuff we would need for a week away from home.  We started our day at 5:30am, and reached our destination at 3:45pm. It was a long day for everyone involved, but I have to say, Finn was a ROCKSTAR. He slept for about 2 hours until we stopped for lunch and a quick outlet shop, nursed, hung out happily for a little
over an hour, and slept again for almost the entire rest of the trip.
I was expecting a hellacious night considering how much the little dude had slept that day, but it was one of the best nights he'd had in a while (up twice to nurse, but only for about an hour total). Not only that, but it was the first night he spent in a room separate from us. Normally at home, he was in a co-sleeper about a foot away from me all night, which didn't do much for my sleep cycle, as he's a really noisy sleeper.  I was a little sad that he didn't seem a little more upset to be separated from us, but must admit that it was blissful...apart from when I got up to check that he was still alive ;)
When we returned home, we spent one night with the little man next to us in the co-sleeper, but it was clear that he was happier in another room, and we were happier with him there.  Since my husband and father have been working on building a crib for Finn since....oh.....May.....and it isn't finished yet, we opted to take the co-sleeper out of our room and put it in Finn's, the open side facing a wall where his crib will eventually go. (Disclaimer: Dad and Chad thought they'd have three solid weeks to work on it, but since Finn decided to show up early and summer is crazy busy on the island, they kind of put the crib on hold for a few months...which is FINE because I expected the baby to be in the co-sleeper for at least six months. The design of the crib is pretty elaborate, too - a 3-in-1 jobber, and neither of them has done much furniture making, even though they're both carpenters).
So step 1: Move Finn out of the room
Step 2: Make sure Finn is getting substantial amounts of sleep during the day. (Step two is sooooo contradictory to me - it took me forever to actually admit that when he sleeps during the day, he sleeps at night... I have a sneaking suspicion that the "colic" we were experiencing was really just a tired baby, but more on that later).
Two days ago, a friend mailed us a little package (how she can be a full-time Master's student, a wife, a mother of three, and remain so thoughtful as to send us sweet and helpful packages, I will never know). Inside were two gifts for Finn, including the cutest L.L. Bean rain jacket EVER with multi-colored octopi on it and one article that I think has seriously changed our lives. It's called "sleep success!", by Maura Rhodes from Parenting Magazine, March 2004, and not only did it fully support Step 1 and Step 2, but it introduced Step 3: putting the baby down while he's still awake.
Let me describe to you our bedtime routine with Finn prior to reading this article:
6:45: start preparing bath and stripping Finn
6:50-7:10ish: bathtime
7:15: baby massage with lavender oil
7:20: swaddle and nursing in bed while Chad reads Winnie-the-Pooh stories (with voices!!!!!)
7:30ish: down for the night
Now, we'd only been doing this a few weeks, and it's not like it was some big intrusion on our lives, but I knew that eventually, we'd have to wean him off it and it might be a little tricky.
This was our bedtime routine last night:
Bathtime and massage the same, just because we like it, but started a little after 7.
Tried nursing and reading - not interested, got really fussy...
7:30: down in his crib, eyes wide open...not a peep until 2:30am.
Not only that, but he took an unprecedented 2&1/2 hour nap yesterday afternoon.
In his room.
WHAT? Are you serious? This is amazing. Not only do I have a solid block of time in the afternoon to be an adult and get stuff done, but I have a baby who is happier and only wakes up once in the night (instead of, oh, five times)?. No s**t.
Now, this has been my reality for a total of about 24 hours. I do realize that it probably won't last and that we may have to adjust, but for Finn to learn to put himself to sleep and to get on a routine at 15 weeks is HUGE for me.
In fact, this blog is brought to you by that article as Finn went down half an hour ago (wide awake), and I haven't heard a peep since. I've taken out the compost, hung a load of laundry on the line, and written a whole blog. I am a new woman.
Hallelujiah (and by the way, I just spelled that right on the first try).
Unfortunately, a friend introduced me to Pinterest last night, and I'm afraid that might be where some of this naptime free time goes today, but you know what? I deserve it.

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