Daily Archives: November 15, 2010

She Says… Early Morning Wake-up Call

So this morning I got an early morning wake-up call at 4:30am. And 5:30am. And 6:00am. And by wake-up call I mean Owen crying through the monitor.

Not the best way to start the day (especially at 4:30am), but unfortunately the way I’ve been starting my days since last Tuesday.

In this post last week I described how I’m trying out a sort of modified sleep training to get Owen back to waking up only once (like he used to do on his own). Basically I’m letting him wake up for the first time whenever he does naturally. The past week or so that has been around 12:45am. I feed him a nice, big 8oz bottle (of which he normally drinks about 7oz) and pop him right back in the crib. He falls asleep immediately. Then the plan is to not go to get him again until morning time, even if he cries. I thought it would be the easiest way to get him to remember how to just get up once and to combat this recent return to a 4:00am wake-up as well. Because at this point he’s eating more than enough between his daytime bottles and his midnight feeding (usually 32-34oz a day!), so he does NOT need to be eating again.

I’m not really sure what’s causing the 4:00am wake-up. When I HAVE gone in there to check on him (before I started this modified sleep training thing), nothing was awry. He did not pee/poop out of his diaper. He was not cold or warm. His swaddle/pajamas are fine. When I go to him in the morning, the crying immediately turns to smiles and he’s ready to play. Which leads me to believe that this 4:00am wake-up is purely social. Perfectly normal for his age/development, I know, but not a habit I’d like to ingrain.

One problem (which I plan to fix starting tonight) is that I’ve been leaving the monitor on, turned down as low as it will go, after the midnight feeding. I think this was my way of keeping a foot in the door, so to speak. I guess I felt like if he cried a certain way, I would know something was wrong, and I’d go in and check on him, even if it meant “screwing up” sleep training. I also kind of wanted to know when he was crying so I could keep a mental note of how many nights it took him to adopt the new schedule and how long he cried for (you know, gathering data for future sleep training). But really all it’s done is make me get less sleep (since I’m awake starting from 4:30am when I hear that first “a-WAH”), and frustrate me and make me doubt myself at 5:30am when he’s been crying on and off for an hour.

He’s a stubborn little dude.

  • 1st night: 10 minutes of crying at 4:30am and then he fell asleep
  • 2nd night: 15 minutes of crying at 5:30am and then he fell asleep
  • 3rd night: Perfection — no crying after the midnight feeding, woke up at 6:30am (Overly confident/naive me thinks, “AWESOME! We did it!”)
  • 4th night: 3:00am wake-up followed by nearly 1.5 hours of crying (on and off). Since it was at a weird time (3:00am instead of 4:00am), I thought maybe something was wrong, so I went in and checked on him. All smiles. I picked him up and patted him, got one little burp out of him and put him back in the crib. Ugh.
  • 5th night: 4:30am wake-up, 15-20 minutes of crying, then asleep. Up again at 5:30am, 15-20 minutes of crying, then asleep. Good progress?
  • 6th night: 4:30am wake-up, 15-20 minutes of crying, then back asleep. We’re getting somewhere…
  • Last night: 4:30am wake-up, 30 minutes of crying, 5:30am wake up, 30 minutes of crying. I got up at 6:00am and we started our day. Back to square one.

My goal is to wake up between 6:00am and 7:00am. Before 6:00am is too early for all of us, unless of course he decides to sleep through the night. Then I will happily get up at 5:30am! But if he’s still getting up once, I think 6:00am – 7:00am is reasonable. But the issue I had today is that 6:00am rolled around and he was in the midst of crying for 30 – 40 minutes. I don’t want him to think that I went in and got him because he cried for so long (thus training him to cry for 40 minutes and I’ll give up and come get him). But it was morning, and there was no guarantee that he was going to fall asleep again, so I could have been waiting a long time for that quiet period to go get him.

I thought sleep training was supposed to take only a few nights? Ha. Hahaha. No such luck. Thoughts on how to deal with this? Am I crazy to think that I can “train” him back to the schedule he once set for himself?