Thursday, September 25, 2008

Sleep training

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that Finn had cut his first tooth. It now appears that the first tooth brought a friend to the party and this second guy is a real jerk. I don't know what he's done to the Ninja's cry-hole, but over the past week and a half it's been WAY more active than normal. We've had to dump an entire baby pharmacy into his face in a futile effort to get our smiley baby back.1

This is a very inopportune time for this level of discomfort to arrive as we were just about to embark on some "sleep training." Finn will be six months old this weekend and we still swaddle him as tight as a tourniquet to get him to sleep. Failure to do so results in DJ Spazzy Jeff 2 instantly punching himself in the face and waking himself up. He has a total inability to stop moving for even a second. Jena thinks he's got a wicked case of Restless Leg Syndrome, but unfortunately they don't make Baby Mirapex so we're stuck with the swaddle.

To complicate matters further, Finn's first order of business when put down for a nap or night-night time is to flip himself onto his stomach using only his legs. He's gotten really good at this and can have himself flipped over and crying before anyone can say, "Let's have a glass of wine before we pass out from sheer exhaustion." Not surprising, considering how long it takes to say that, but when you're this tired you run out of clever and/or concise things to say.

In the beginning this stomach-sleeping sans arms freaked us out. We still live in constant fear of SIDS and the idea of a kid sleeping with his face planted in his mattress and no easy way to pick it up made sleeping tough for us.
It quickly became clear that his neck and back were plenty strong enough to lift his face up, even without the benefit of arms, so that crisis was averted. However, every sound he makes wakes us up, and even when he's not making any sounds, we still wake up every hour or so to make sure he's still breathing. The only option available to save our sanity, other than just tossing him out the window and being done with it, is to move him out of our room and into his nursery. Finally.

This is a great time to do this, since I recently finished decorating. Check it out.

Just in time for spring training 2009.

Anyway, we decided it would be a bad idea to try the put him down for the first time without his baby straitjacket in an unfamiliar room, so we opted to do it in our room instead of the nursery. And would you believe that it worked perfectly?

I hope not, because that would mean you're an idiot. It didn't work at all. At least not the first night. It has gotten progressively better since. Last night he slept for almost 4 hours with one arm out of his swaddle. That was huge. Granted, I woke up at 2 AM to see him wide awake trying to crawl around the co-sleeper and had to wrap him back up, but it was still an improvement.

Our new goal is to get him in the nursery by early October, since Grandma Parker arrives mid-month and we'd like to make him accessible for her 24/7. Getting between her and her grandson is like getting between an investment bank and a bailout offer.

Yowza - topical zing alert! I should sell that one to Leno.

Here's the champion sleeper taking a break from his training to do an imitation of a 13-year old New Kids on the Block fan, circa 1990. Hangin' tough, indeed.


The great thing about baby drugs is that they're so little and the boxes all have cute pictures of babies on them. Which means, of course, that even though they're half as strong they cost twice as much. I gotta find a way to get into this racket.
2 Forgot that one last time.

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