Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Gathering Storm

This might get ugly, at least for a while.  Today, we're starting Fiona on a schedule.

In case I've never told you this in person, or you haven't read it before, I know you already know everything about child-rearing, and I will likely ask for your advice on things sometimes.  I also know that there are a great many differing opinions when it comes to babies and schedules.

This is not one of those times where I'm soliciting advice.  You probably did this differently than we are, and it probably worked out great.  If there's one thing I've gathered from hearing the plurality of parenting advice out there, it's that as long as you pay attention to the needs of your kid, whatever approach you use will likely work just fine.

So the idea, in brief, is that life will work in 3-hour increments, starting when Fiona wakes up in the morning:

  • Get changed as soon as time starts, to help wake up.  
    • This bears much resemblance to my dad's wake-up method when I was in school, which was to turn on the lights and pull my covers off, so I know it works.
  • Eat.
  • Stay awake until midway through the 3-hour cycle.  
    • This could be tricky, but we're trying to do stimulating things right after eating - dancing around with music, tactile stuff, anything engaging.
  • Ramp that down as you hit the 1.5 hour mark, then it's nap time for the second half of the cycle.
    • This is tricky, too.  How do you make a baby sleep if they're not tired?  Especially one like ours who does NOT sleep in a crib yet?  In this first 3-hour cycle, the wrap did the trick.  We hope that, given a couple of cycles, she'll start getting tired when it's time to get tired.

There are two major snags in this plan: eating and sleeping (which are two of the three or so things Fiona does in life).  Right now, they happen whenever she wants.  Delays in either result in a pissed off baby, usually pretty quickly.  So for this to work, there will inevitably be times in the coming days where she gets really mad at us for things like putting her in a crib, or not giving her more to eat 45 minutes after she just ate.  The "rules" are not set in stone, of course, but we'll try to stick to it as best we can.

So knowing that this could get ugly for a couple days, we're going for it.  Hopefully the payoff will be a baby sleeping through the night soon!

1 comment:

  1. I just started sleep training Parker this past Sunday and he is doing really well! We are doing 3 hour cycles too (except that gets muddy in the late afternoon/evening because I nurse him every 2/2.5 after he wakes up from his last nap). The last 3 times I've put him down he has not cried at all, and has actually talked himself to sleep (adorable). Only wish we'd started him when he was Fiona's age! Good luck with everything- you guys can totally do it!