Hours Asleep Per Day: 12:00
Average Nighttime Sleep Length: 1:47
Average Daytime Sleep Length: 1:30 (this is higher than normal thanks to a 3:00 hour nap yesterday)
Longest Stretch of Sleep at Night: 3:05
Average Number of Sleep Periods Per Night: 5.4
So with that information, our failed attempt at letting Henry cry it out, our failed attempt at the No Cry Sleep Solution, and knowing Henry's general disposition our pediatrician referred him to a pediatric behavioral therapist.
This past Tuesday we went and saw the new doctor. She talked with me about Henry's medical history, his reflux struggles, his personality, and his current sleeping pattern. We also talked about my expectations. My willingness to try different techniques, and my desire to change current habits.
And out of that appointment we have learned a few things. One, Henry is pretty typical for a baby with bad reflux. The behaviorist said she wasn't surprised given his medical history, and that we didn't have anything to worry about long term. Basically, the reflux/colic has delayed his sleeping development. And we can't think of him as a typical 10 month old, but as a baby that hasn't had to deal with reflux for only 8 short weeks.
To me this made a lot of sense. During the reflux periods he never really got to work on sleep. His sleep cycle became more and more disorganized. And now we just have to help him get organized and work it out. This is made slightly more difficult based on Henry's personality. He is not flexible, not easy going, and very stubborn. And again, the doctor said that this is a very typical personality for a reflux/colicy baby.
So she came up with a plan for Henry. Henry will now have a forced wake up at 8 am (and of course he can wake up earlier). Then he needs to be down for his first nap 90 minuets after he wakes up in the morning. We can nurse before his nap but I must put him down awake in his crib. Then I leave for 60 minutes. I cannot return no matter what - as hard as that is. (As I write this he has been screaming for 50 minuets). Then I do the exact same routine for his second nap at 1 pm.
For nighttime we follow a slightly different plan. We follow our normal bedtime routine and time (bed by 8 pm). I will nurse but put him down awake. Then I can go in as often as I feel is necessary to comfort him. But I must comfort him without picking him up for at least 60 minuets (so shhhing, back rubbing and patting, comforting touches and just being there). After 60 minuets, I can pick him up and rock him, but must return him to his crib awake. Whatever I do, I cannot nurse until after 2 am and can only nurse once.
At night, we just want to avoid him getting in such a frenzy that he cannot fall asleep, which is what happened last time we let him cry it out. But we also want to give him the space to fall asleep on his own. It will be a fine balance, and a very hard few nights.
This is going to be very hard for me - emotionally and physically. I'm dreading every part of it. But I'm hoping its for the best. The behaviorist said that for a "normal" baby the plan will usually work in 3 days, but for Henry it could take a week, two weeks, a month. No one really knows. She and I will have a follow up chat after a week.
I'll keep you updated. I'm also going to be live tweeting for the next 10 nights like I did with No Cry (it helps with my sanity), so if your interested follow me on twitter @NicMKav.