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Independent Sleep Training

As I write this post, I am more than a little confused and unsure about what’s really going on. In fact, I wanted to classify this as a ‘Parenting Mystery’ as I really don’t know what’s happening. Here are the facts.

1. Two days ago, Noah refused to take a single nap during the day. You’d think he would be exhausted by nightfall and thus be able to sleep earlier at night, but no. My guess is that he was over-tired and we couldn’t get him to sleep till almost midnight. This happened for two days in a row.

2. Yesterday, out of sheer desperation, I popped him into the Manduca even though we were at home, and after some frantic patting and singing of songs, he fell asleep and I let him nap in the Manduca.

3. Last night, no matter how hard I tried, Noah refused to be nursed to sleep. C carried him and paced up and down in our pitch-dark room to calm him down as he was getting extremely whiny and I couldn’t deal with his fussing anymore.

4. When he rejected my boob again after that, I kissed him good night and put him into his cot. The crying miraculously didn’t begin, so I switched on the cot mobile, sat next to the cot, and started patting his chest. After a while, my arm got tired so I stopped patting him, and just sat there watching him stare at the mobile. Initially, he would look at me every now and then, as though he was checking to see if I was still there, but he soon seemed more interested in the mobile. A couple of minutes later, he was sound asleep! It was already 11pm by then, way past his usual bedtime, but an hour earlier than the previous two nights, so it was an improvement.

5. Tonight, when he refused to be nursed again, we kissed him good night and put him into his cot again, with the mobile and its light on. I had to pat him for a while longer than last night, and he cried the first time I tried to stop the patting, but he managed to fall asleep on his own again after that.

So, my question is, what just happened? Did our baby grow up all of a sudden? Did he just sleep train himself? It’s still early days of course, and we’ll have to see if this works every night, but I’m just stunned by this. I remember how I used to have to let him sleep on my chest for at least half an hour after nursing him each night, just to ensure that he remained asleep, and now, he doesn’t even want to be nursed to sleep, much less lie on my chest to sleep. My baby’s growing up too quickly for me!

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