Today we did something very different; we had our first consultation with a pediatric sleep specialist.
Yes, you read that right: a pediatric SLEEP specialist. I had no idea that office/ profession existed, but following the recommendation of a well-respected teacher of mine at the vet school (and mother to triplets) we decided to give it a try and at least see what he would have to say. You may be wondering how this even came up. Well, as a veterinary student AND mom, I need my sleep to be able to retain information and FUNCTION so that I may become a successful veterinarian. When we were living in Memphis, during Squally’s younger days, we had a very efficient sleep routine that worked for us and now we don’t. Lariah stays up as long as she wants and sometimes that can be until 2-3 in the morning! While I don’t necessarily MIND her doing this, I do believe that I have the potential to be more efficient if we could get her to bed at around 9 so that I can study and do other motherly, studently, LIFEly things!
After a brief physical and discussion of what we already do at home, we came up with a plan to establish a bedtime routine for little Squally. We are going to start bed time prep at 8pm and will be putting her in bed, her OWN bed, by 9 and allowing her to fall asleep in her crib. Now, Lariah is breastfed and is NOT night-weaned, which is part of why she still sleeps in the bed with us, but she is 17 months and although I like to think that her nighttime feedings are purely nutritional, I know that they are also partially for comfort and out of habit, so that they are not necessary for her survival.
So let’s summarize all the changes we’re about to try to make:
- No more co-sleeping
- No more dream-feeding (sleep-feedings)
- No more staying up until the crack of dawn
- No more going with the flow as far as the timing of our bedtime routine
Now, I take full responsibility for how “bad” our night time routine has gotten, because I’m a busy mama and I just want my child to be happy and healthy. Lariah is “spoiled” by many other people’s standard, and I’m fine with that, but I’m also open to AT LEAST trying to make some changes that will ultimately benefit us all. Scheduled children are happy ones!
Now I’m including the Behavior plan that he gave us for trying to transition Lariah into sleeping in her own crib.
We have also decided that I more than likely will NOT be the one putting her to bed, at least not until we get the routine down. I will probably leave the house all together, as to make the process easier for my husband or sister and we shall see how it goes.
I honestly probably will be MORE upset if this is successful than if its unsuccessful, because that means that our nighttime snuggles have come to an end..BUT, only time will tell!
As with all things Squally, we are open to trying to new things and are if they work, GREAT, but it they don’t, that’s okay too!
The specialist told us to try this for 3 weeks and then we’re due for a check-in with him. So I will be documenting our struggles and triumphs with this on the blog, obviously, but also on the facebook page and twitter, so feel free to follow our progress or the lack thereof! And wish us luck!