The Therapy Fund | Vol. 2

May 15, 2012

In honor of Peter, Sam and myself....

The past few months with Sam have been hard. I have written a few times about the troubles we have had with getting Sam to sleep and keeping him asleep. Things really came to a head two weeks ago when Sam started taking two hours of rocking each night to get him to go to sleep, and then waking up every two hours screaming for his mommy and her boobs. Finally fed up, Peter and I resorted to hiring a sleep consultant.

Yes. We are those parents. And I am not going to apologize for it.

So, we are now on Day 2 of Baby Boot Camp and I have to admit it is really hard! I am not sure who it is harder on... Me, Peter or Sam.

The consultant, Meg Zweiback, spent about an hour and half with the three of us, watching Sammy and listening to Peter and I describe our woes. She then drew up a plan, and told us we had to stick to it - no matter how hard things got. She told us it was clear that Sam was a man on a mission: determined, stubborn and strong. She also said he was a healthy, happy and joyous little boy. Bottom line, he knew what he wanted and he knew how to get it, and god help those that stood in his way.

It was clear that for Sam, nursing equaled down time and sleep time. When not nursing, Sam is in constant motion, unable or unwilling to sit still. I can attest to this as the last three times I tried to clip his fingernails I had to practically sit on him to get him to sit still. Anyway, she told us we had to do the folloiwng:

  1. Introduce quiet time to Sam's daily routine.
  2. Remove nursing as an option before bed time and nap time.
  3. Change Sam's bedtime routine completly.

It's the last one that has led to the contribution to the Therapy Fund. In order to change Sam's perception of bed time, we had to remove me totally from the equation. Meg told me I was not allowed in our house from 7 pm - 7 am.

That's right. She threw me out! For a whole 7 days.

She also told us that Sam had to see me go. So, for the past two nights, after dinner, Irene and I have loaded into the car and headed to my parents house for the night. Sam and Peter come up to the garage and watch us leave. Irene thinks this is the best thing that has ever happened to her (hence no contribution in her name).

For me, this has been horrible. I love my quiet time with Sam at bedtime. I love nursing him and rocking him. The problem is, in doing this, he has never really learned how to fall asleep in his own bed on his own.

For Peter, this has meant he is all alone working on training Sam to go to sleep and to stay asleep. The first night, it took 5 attempts to get Sam to go to bed and Peter was up with him three times during the night. Last night, things went a little better. Hopefully tonight will be perfect. (Meg did tell us with Sam's "spirit" it may take 7 nights to get this new sleep pattern down.

For Sam, it means his mom and her boobs have been taken away. He has relied on me and the boobs for months as his comfort. Since he first came home from the NICU, Sam has woken up every day in our bed, nooked into my side. And, just like that, no more. I'll admit this might be hard on me, but I have to imagine this is hard and confusing for Sam too.

So, we are all suffering, but hopeful that at the end of this Baby Boot Camp we will have a happy and rested family unit.

Sam the Anti-Preemie sleeping

A sight we all hope to see more of

Tagged: Sleep · Therapy Fund
Hi there.. just stumbled to your blog. How did the 3nd week of your sleep session go? Was it a success? Do you recommend your sleep consultant?
I LOVED our sleep consultant. She nailed our situation, personalities and needs perfectly. Her methods were difficult, but it is hard to argue with the results. By the end of the third week, Sam was sleeping like a champ. I was able to put him down for naps and a bedtime without too much trouble. He is getting molars right now, and having a hard time going down, but we are following Meg’s rules, and by minute 15, Sam is always asleep. If you are looking for help, Meg is the best. (She is located in Oakland, but also does consultations by phone).
I take it by asking, you are having your own struggles with sleep training?
[…] I mentioned in my second Therapy Fund post, Peter and I broke down and hired a sleep consultant to help us get Sam sleeping better. The plan […]

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