In the past 10 days we have not been quite as strict on protecting Quinn's sleep schedule and we had a mild set-back with the pacifier. I suppose that's par for the course in this sort of thing.
Pantley recommends being very careful to not upset the baby's sleep schedule while you're working on achieving more sleep. Once success has been achieved, then you can be more flexible. But we're having a hard time with that. Being here in California with no car means that when we go somewhere to do something it's going to take a long time. Public transit around here takes 3-4 times longer than driving directly does, so it's really hard to plan around naps. Some days I'd rather get out of the house and risk messing up naps a bit, so we haven't been quite as strict as we probably should be. Thus, this sleep change will probably take us longer than it would have otherwise.
And the pacifier...oh, the pacifier. Whenever we consistently removed the pacifier from Quinn's mouth, his sleep would degrade over the course of several days. He would start waking up every 30 minutes, inconsolable. It got to the point where, after several days of being consistent with removing the pacifiers, I couldn't rock him to sleep--at all, even with a pacifier in his mouth. At the same time, he was vehemently rejecting the lovey we were trying to get him attached to. He knew what he wanted and was feeling very deprived. I ended up giving two additional pacifiers--one for each hand--and then he relaxed and fell asleep.
That was a lightbulb moment: What if pacifiers WERE his lovey? What if they were more than just suckling comfort?
After talking with several other mothers, many of whom have older children, I came to the conclusion that Quinn is very young to try weaning from the pacifier and that if his sleep degrades that badly and he becomes that difficult to comfort without the pacifiers but improves quickly with the pacifiers, that maybe it's not time to fight that battle. And so we retreated and regrouped. Looking at the pacifiers as his comfort object, his loveys, gave me a new perspective. He has always loved holding and manipulating pacifiers and I hadn't considered that he would find comfort in that.
I wasn't ready to give up the goal of getting him attached to a "real" lovey, though, so I decided to combine the two items. Inspired by Wubbanubs, I stitched a pacifier onto the face of the lovey we want Quinn to become attached to.
I was shocked when it was an instant success. He had been actively rejecting the lovey and refusing to have anything to do with it. Once the pacifier was sewn onto it, Quinn was happy to hold it and carry it around. I have allowed him to have it during the day (but no other pacifiers at all except at sleep times) and he will often go find it when he needs a little bit of comfort. Of course, he's going for the pacifier, but hopefully he is now beginning to connect the whole lovey to comfort. When he sleeps, he often has a pacifier in his mouth, the lovey pacifier in his hand, and his other hand holding another part of the lovey. I regard this as a grand success.
So that's what we've been up to in the past 10 days. Now the real question: are we getting more sleep?
Day 20 Sleep Log Summary
Nap(s): 2 hours, 45 minutes
Last time: almost 2 hours
Night time sleep: 10 hours on the dot
Last time: 11 very restless hours
Last time: 8
Total sleep per day: close to 13 hours
Last time: almost 13
So the answer is a definitive "maybe." Actually, I can say that last night's sleep was definitely better than it used to be. Only 4 wakings is absolutely amazing, a nap of almost 3 hours is incredible, and (I haven't reported this in the summaries but I will comment on it here) his longest sleep span has improved from just over 2 hours to over 3 hours this time. I can definitely say that he is on the road to sleeping better...but me? I need to stop waking up every time he wiggles. He was only up 4 times last night but I was awakened at least twice as many times as that. :-/ Hopefully once he consistently sleeps longer, I will get used to sleeping longer as well.
Find all my No-Cry Sleep Solution Logs here!