Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Operation Deswaddle!

S is a great sleeper and I am grateful for this. He goes down easily, wakes only briefly to eat, and typically in the morning, I have to wake him up so we can get going with our day.  I have it good. (Please don't hate me.)  Unfortunately, I am shaking things up right now and attempting to "deswaddle" our boy. 

Why?  He grew out of the only swaddle that he couldn't break out of...the HALO SleepSack Swaddle.  I could have ordered the small, but that would only fit for another month or so and I knew we were going to have to do it sooner anyway (I will get to that part in a minute). 

So for the last 2 weeks he has been sleeping in a woombie that is a bit too big for him (I bought it on sale long before I realized that he wouldn't be swaddled at 20 pounds).  But being the problem solver that I am, I tied a hair band at the bottom to make it shorter.  However, the fact that it is too big for him has been great.  It has allowed him to move his hands up to his mouth and learn to do some self soothing without the pacifier.  Ahh the pacifier...that has also been given to him less and less (but that is another story for another day).  He also doesn't seem to be as startled by his hands suddenly coming up to his face in his sleep.

So, S has been wiggling around in his woombie for 2 weeks and fairly early on I began to realize that he was attempting to roll from back to front.  This got me worried. He wasn't an expert roller and I wasn't sure he could roll back to his back if he wanted to, but I had been hearing stories in my mom's group about other babies that had to be immediately unswaddled in the middle of the night because they kept rolling to their bellies.  What if S rolled over in the middle of the night and we had to unswaddle him right then and there? Would he be okay? Would he scream his head off for hours? Could I avoid this?  Well the simple answers were that he would be fine, he might scream his head off for hours, and yes, I did think I could avoid this.  I was going to slowly "deswaddle him". 

Trixie and I had talked a lot when she was "deswaddling" her youngest and I knew that I needed a plan (and that there might be tears-both his and mine) and that there wasn't much "real help" out there for moms (just a lot of other moms telling their story).  It seems like there are two main schools of thought: one arm out first OR cold turkey. Since we had transitioned to the woombie and I don't have one of the uber cool new convertible woombies (they don't come out till July), doing the whole one arm out thing wasn't going to happen.  However, back when Sam was about 4 months old we had transitioned him to the one arm out with the HALO, but ended up going back to the full swaddle when he stared teething.  While he had the one arm out (prior to the teething), he did really well.  So cold turkey it was going to be.

So here is what my plan was going to be:
  • Cold turkey
  • Start at the afternoon nap 
  • Start Monday, June 21st
  • If he cried? We were going to go into the room to sooth in intervals (5, 7, 10 minutes)
  • If all else failed and he was just miserable? We would give up on that night and try again the next sleep opportunity. 
Here is what has happened so far:

June 21st:

Afternoon nap:
  • He cooed for most of it- I think he was silent for all of about 10 minutes of the hour. At the end of the hour he was awake and smiley so we ended the nap.
  • He wasn't as thrilled this time (8ish).  I went into sooth at 5 minutes, then when he cried I went in after 7 minutes, and then when he cried again I waited another 7 minutes (I couldn't bring myself to wait any longer).  Then...he fell asleep!  Actually, I realized that he wanted to be on his side so I helped him get on his side and he immediately fell asleep! 
  • He woke up at about 11:30pm and decided he was hungry.  I had decided that I didn't want to impact hubby with this because he needs to go to work in the morning so sending him in to sooth wasn't an option (although he would tell you that it was).  I fed him and when I went to put him back into the crib he began to protest.  I tried soothing in the crib, tried walking around the room with him, frankly I tried all my tricks (even changed the diaper) and he was just not happy.  So I decided enough was enough for one night, I put him in the woombie and we called it a night.
June 22nd (today)

Nap #1 (put him into the crib at 11:40am)
  • He cooed for about 25 minutes and then fell asleep for an hour and a half.  I finally woke him up because I didn't want to disrupt our sleep schedule.  (This is a nap schedule that he created naps typically start with me nursing him at 11 and 3 give or take 15-20 minutes.)
Nap #2 (put him into the crib at 3:15pm)
  • This one started with tears.  Lots and lots of tears. But they were the protest type tears that would get loud and then he'd calm down and then he'd get loud again.  After a little less than 20 minutes he was silent (thankfully because I was beginning to get tears in my eyes at this point).  I didn't follow my interval thing that I said I was going to in my plan mostly because it was this protest crying.  I knew he was fed, clean, and not in pain.  Had there been any question or if the cry was different, I would have checked on him sooner. 
  • It is now 4:45 and he is still sleeping.  If he is asleep at 5:15, I will probably wake him up.  

Will he make it the whole night without a swaddle??? I will report tomorrow how he does!

Mommy C


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Mama Hen

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