I'll skip to the chase - sleep training in a one bedroom apartment is impossible, or nearly so, at least for me! I searched the web high and low for sleep training guides focused on families in small apartments forced to share a bedroom with their little one. And you know what, I couldn't find a single one. Sure, I found the occasional question on a sleep training forum, with a few suggestions such as "put up a barrier so baby can't see you", etc. But I'll tell you, it's not easy and for us it just wasn't happening.
Baby wakes up for whatever reason: transitioning between sleep cycles, a loud truck rolled by, the neighbors dog was barking, you name it. Baby wakes up just enough to start crying and stand up in his crib. Then he sees you, or if you have the barrier up or are hiding under the covers, he still knows you are there. Thus begins the process of getting himself so worked up that eventually he's dinosaur screaming (you know, where it's all guttural high pitched screaming from the throat, that sounds like he's in excrutiating pain). Maybe you are deteremined to let him cry it out. Commence torturous moments or even hours, if you have the will and heart of coal. Maybe baby gives up and lies down, but is up and at it again in 5 to 30 minutes. You finally cave, thinking something must be terribly wrong with your baby - he's hungry, teething, has a poopy diaper, is gassy, had a night terror, sees dead people, who knows!?!?! it's the middle of the night and you're exhausted and you're scared your child is crying for a real reason and you've been ignoring him! Worst mother ever!!! So you pick up your screaming child and the SECOND you pick him up out of the crib he is the most quiet and peaceful thing you have ever seen. Your mind suddenly switches from terrified to angry - YOU BIG FAKER!!!! But he's angelic and sweet and so you cuddle or nurse him and he's back to sleep in no time. Finally you put him back down in the crib, maybe he protests with a few cries, maybe not. But he's back to sleep and you know the cycle will just repeat in another hour or two.
Welcome to the #ZombieMom Zone.
I've been here for about 7 months, since my perfect little sleeper turned 5.5 months and decided he would no longer sleep 11 hours through the night, would no longer find comfort in sucking his thumb, and would begin torturing his parents on a nightly basis. #ZombieMom Zone is not just uncomfortable, it's dangerous. Your ability to reason and to have patience of ANY sort whatsoever are out the window. It's not healthy for you or your family or the world. The longer you remain in #ZombieMom Zone, the deeper you go until you don't even remember what it's like to function like a normal thought processing human being. Every cry of your child in the night sends you to the edge, making you remember the words of your discharging nurse after birth warning you about shaken baby syndrome: "no baby every died from crying - do not even go near that crib if your thoughts are anything other than warm nurturing ones".
I used to bring him into bed with us, but I broke that habit with our last attempt at CIO sleep training a few months ago (that attempt did help - he's now a great napper and goes down at night usually without crying at all, it just didn't help with not waking up every couple of hours!), and don't wan to start the habit again or confuse him with sometimes allowing it and sometimes not. I love co-sleeping actually, but my biggest fear is baby will fall out of bed in the middle of the night. He's really restless and does acrobatics all over the place. Co-sleeping is not conducive to me getting a good night's rest, unfortunately, so it's out of the question.
Yesterday I analyzed our living room and realized there is a spot by the window that I can fashion a makeshift room for Kenzo. If I put the sound machine in there, and we are super quiet when are going about the rest of the apartment, he should be able to sleep in there...
So, our plan was not to go to Kenzo unless he was crying for at least 20 minutes. How did it go??
AMAZING NIGHT OF SLEEP!!!!!!!!!!!!
I put him down at 8pm. While we were still awake and working in the kitchen, Kenzo woke up and cried for a minute or two at 9:45 and again at 11pm. There were a few more times during the night were I heard him cry very quietly for a minute, but it was the kind of cry you could tell he wasn't really awake, and thankfully he just laid himself down and went back to deep sleep. He didn't really wake up until 6:45am. Hooooo-freaking-rah!!!!!!!!!
I'll still put him down in the bedroom in his crib for naps, so I can get stuff down around the house without tip-toing around, and then we'll continue the nighttime sleep in the living room. I really hope last night wasn't a fluke and this is the solution until we move to the new home in 2 months and he gets his own for real room! Also hope this cold-turkey night weaning doesn't land me with another bout of mastitis! Eeeek!
I'm a NYC metro area mom blogger living in NJ with my Japanese husband & our 3 kids (twins plus 1), focusing on fun and honest product and travel reviews, saving moms time finding the best for their families! Find what you need in the menu bar or search section above!