Object Permanence – Who Knew? (Sleep Training #1)

sleeping jamSo there are multiple things I could talk about, JAM’s first carvery, the concerns and slight disturbance I felt as weirdly a child was screaming no to it’s mothers offer of ice-cream at the carvery??? The rising cost of ballet, tap, modern etc (will save that for another day – whine), but the most invaluable thing I learned this week was about object permanence.

So yes, I am one of those mothers who has been blessed with a baby that slept through really well. From the 2nd night with me on the ward (he spent his first 2 nights on neonatal), JAM could sleep through 6 hours straight and it only increased, until now. He began waking several times in the night and proving more and more difficult to put down after a nighttime feed. He wanted to be held constantly. When on Friday night I literally got half an hours sleep, the worst ever since he was born, I declared my frustration to the world of facebook and began scouring the internet for advice. I stumbled across this site (http://www.troublesometots.com/what-you-need-to-know-about-sleeping-through-the-night-part-i/) . It explained to me how now JAM is older he is aware of object permanence. He knows that even though he cannot see us, we are around somewhere. He is now capable of missing us. Also, that because we have been jiggling him, pushing him around in his buggy, or in my case feeding him to sleep that would be his last memory, and then as he awoke in his room, in his cot, it would cause confusion. The author likens it to us falling asleep safe in our bed and waking on the lawn outside. JAM was becoming increasingly more obstinate about going to sleep. He knew that once he gave in we would disappear, and he didn’t like it one bit. I figured it was our fault that we had created this monster as we didn’t know what we were doing (due to lack of knowledge), so although, some may think I’m soft, I decided and my lovely husband agreed, that we should move JAM back into our room whilst we dealt with this habit.

Despite various advice I didn’t feel it would be fair to begin to let him cry it out (not really read much about CIO theories but it didn’t quite sit right with me) cold turkey as he needed to relearn, we had created this issue. So, whilst we were in the room, I fed him until he was drowsy and put him to bed awake. He knew we were around, was clean, fed, warm etc… so we waited. He whimpered for about 7 minutes and then fell asleep. Fantastic, I was happy. He first woke in the night as I (after no sleep the night before) could not sleep. My body clock was all messed up and I was driving myself insane with my own thoughts and determined to put the illustrious Desperate Housewives on the DVD player in our room (much to my husbands dismay). I find that it’s familiarity and the fact that I’ve seen them so many times, it would help me switch off my brain and fall asleep. Big mistake!! Not fair on the JAM at all, the noise of the TV didn’t seem to wake him, but my pottering around and banging things (by accident) woke him. I decided as it was my fault to feed him, he had cried for about 5 mins before I came to this conclusion (I was trying to let him self soothe). I fed him just enough to comfort him, he wasn’t hungry and then put him back to bed, again he was awake. This time there was more than a whimper for about 2 minutes, then he fell asleep. The second time he awoke, JAM was a lot more vocal about not being happy, but his cries only lasted 10 seconds, he calmed and shortly after the little snores resumed (he has a snuffly nose). He next woke around 6 in the morning, as his usual trick. I fed him, he seemed wide awake, eager to play, we put him back into the cot, expecting a fight and there was no sound. Wow!! I was very shocked with his first night. He went to sleep until around 8am when I found him happily awake as I returned from the shower.

My conclusion

Obviously we have only tried this for 1 night so far, but I am very impressed and am sure we can wean him back into his own room within the week (secretly I quite like having him back, I put a photo next to my bed when he moved, like he’d gone off to war or something). I believe the JAM likes having more control over his own sleep knowing he will awake exactly where he drifted off instead of never knowing where he may appear next. Will keep you posted as the week goes on.

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2 thoughts on “Object Permanence – Who Knew? (Sleep Training #1)

  1. What’s Happening i am new to this, I stumbled upon this I’ve found It absolutely helpful and it has helped me out loads. I hope to contribute & help other users like its aided me. Great job.

  2. Its like you read my mind! You seem to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do with a few pics to drive the message home a little bit, but other than that, this is excellent blog. A great read. I’ll certainly be back.

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