Tuesday, October 12, 2010

getting there

Malakai hasn't been much of an independent sleeper. From day one he would sleep best snuggled up with Ben + I. At the time we weren't planning on co-sleeping and knew very little about it, but we learned and we loved it.

Around 5 months of age he started sleeping in his crib more regularly. By 8 months he refused to sleep in our bed at all (which made me a little sad). Yet he rarely slept through the night. He needed soothing to sleep at the beginning of bed time and 2-3 times in the middle of the night. It hasn't been a burden to us, we've gotten used to this routine.

A few months ago we knew that we needed some help assisting Malakai in his transition to independent sleep. Cry it out was never an option. It just doesn't work for any one of us in this household. I had heard great things about the book The No Cry Sleep Solution and ordered a copy from Amazon.

When it arrived, Ben and I read through it and then discussed the sleep solutions and habits we needed to create. We took notes and followed the plans, but quite fluidly. We never forced anything, but what worked best for us was to get a more solid routine going and to stick to that as closely as possible for as long as possible.

When Ben gets home in the early evening he has playtime with Malakai. They go get the mail together and run around the house until dinner time. After dinner we all hang out together and try to quiet things down a bit. Then it's bath, jammies, story time with daddy and bedtime. At bedtime Malakai transitioned from needing to be rocked until he was passed out asleep, to just recently refusing to be held and falling asleep on his own after a few minutes of snuggling his blankie {his lovey of choice}.

It sounds simple but we have waited a very long time for this. He'd fake us out here and there over the months by falling asleep on his own and/or sleeping through the night soundly, but it was never a consecutive event. All this time he has been getting enough sleep, and so have we, but he just needed help getting calm and comfortable to drift off. Often he would be fighting a cold or teething pain. The child has 12 teeth at 15 months old. All four of his molars hit him at once and one of them is all the way through.

There's no remedy or solution that fits every family. We have always done what works for us and will continue to do so. Now that I'm writing about this, Malakai could revert back to waking 2-3 times a night and needing to be rocked to sleep and that's okay. We'll do what he needs, when he needs it...I think that's called parenting.

Needless to say, I really recommend The No Cry Sleep Solution if you're looking for some good information on the science of sleep, ideas about gently setting routines, and great worksheets to help you get there.

The past week we've had time to unwind or get things done while Malakai sleeps and then get our own 8 hours of uninterrupted rest on top of that. We hardly know how to handle this new normal.

Now if only I could figure out how to get him to nap away from home...


  1. I miss snuggling with Liam as he falls to sleep. He just squirms at night. He cuddles the most in the morning. I love our morning cuddles.

    Even though Liam squirms at night, we've developed a routine. We change him for bed while a soft light is on, and play his music box. Then we kiss him, often rock him, and I whisper a prayer in his ear. After that, we lay him down with a binki and turn on his mobile. He'll usually play in bed for a bit, but eventually falls asleep.

    Away from home is a challenge. It usually involves him taking longer to fall asleep. We just roll with the punches.

  2. One thing at a time :) At least mommy and daddy have the bed back! he looks adorable sleeping.

  3. i think it's good how you guys just take everything in stride and don't rush this transition. you have developed a routine that works for you guys, which means it's the right one! i have been blessed to have two very easy sleepers, but it sounds like you guys are very in tune with what malakai's needs are, and you have made it work for your family.Good luck!


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