Thursday, November 5, 2009

Operation - Sleep Training

Putting a sleeping baby down in its bed is tricky business. Lately, it occurred to me it is quite like that childhood game of Operation. You have to somehow accomplish the delicate task required without setting off the alarm. They key difference being that with Operation you can see all the things you are not supposed to touch and can accomplish the "Operation" without touching them. As demonstrated below, with babies sometimes the very thing you have to touch may turn out to be the piece that sets off the alarm....

For those not familiar with the baby version this is how it works. First, you get your wriggling infant to fall asleep. (NOTE - This may take 2 minutes or 2 hours). Then, you ponder if they are really asleep or just a bit. You carefully stand up and transition as carefully as you can their little asleep body to the bed. Often times along the way they will be awoken by any number of things - standing up, moving, bending down, removing your body from theirs, touching the sheet or some weird sixth sense. Not only are you working against this amazing little alarm system they have, but also against this general sense that you want to just hold and snuggle that baby forever. Sometimes you will give in to the later and often the former will stymie you, but hey, this is sleep training and for the long term greater good.

Of course, if you are daring and more advanced you will put the "drowsy" baby in still a little awake but on their way to dreamland and "hope" they continue on their way thus avoiding jarring them awake from sleep in the transfer. This is intermediate "operation" or sleep training. Finally, you move on to the master trick-- that is putting your clearly awake baby in their bed, wish them well with hugs and kiss and leave. If you are lucky you can make it from beginner to advanced in less than a year with good practice (or at least we did last time in around 9 months.) Individual results WILL vary.

With M we "had" just begun working on intermediate. Then, I guess, the earth wobbled or the time changed or she just began some new phase and we seem to be back to trying to master the asleep transfer. Today and the last few days, Brent and I are apparently horrible at this. We would have totally lost the Operation game many times over by now. Here's hoping we can graduate back to intermediate soon.

Meanwhile, Brent love's this picture. He calls it "palm hand." Illustrates how we feel amidst this at times.... Oh, there she is, up again and around we go!

1 comment:

Jamie said...

LOL! I love the comparison to Operation!

We waited to do the expert sleep training (putting them down wide awake) until 18 months.... I DO NOT recommend waiting that long. Now that John is wide awake at nap and at bedtime when we put him down adn walk away, it amazes me how we lived without it.

Yeah for you guys for trying, and I wish you well as she cycles in and out of the stages.


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