Stay Curious.
Dig Deeper.
Nurture What Matters.
Be BoldHeart.
Enjoy Your Life.

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The BoldHeartMama desires to enjoy living out the choices that she’s made for herself and for her family. She is a relentless learner: curious, inquisitive, and open to the possibilities of her life and of the human condition. She understands that there isn't one right way—she asks questions that dig deeper to make sense of it all and to find her own path.

She pays attention to and nurtures whatever it is she really cares about, letting go of the rest (for now) knowing she can't do and be everything all at once. She embraces her imperfections in favor of "good enough"—her imperfect self, her imperfect home, her imperfect mothering, her imperfect desires—and she never stops evolving as a woman and mother. She is a BoldHeart, authentic and true to herself.

The BoldHeartMama knows there is only this one life and she's all in. She is present and engaged and making things happen. Her intuition is her guide. She seeks to be inspired and relies on her creativity and her resourcefulness to solve the big and little challenges that she and her family face together as they navigate their relationships and their world.

The BoldHeartMama is willing to take calculated risks to make her biggest dreams come true. She is living out her BoldHeart in the moment, making small moves and taking little steps that add up, and she's cultivating a good life for herself and her family in the process. Read More!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sleep Training. kind of. The No Cry Sleep Solution

We are obsessed with sleep. or lack thereof. It's all we can think about. Exhaustion has set in after almost 3.5 months of tending to Roscoe every hour, day and night. The three of us are cranky, dysfunctional, and starting to feel a little crazy as our ability to cope with the demands of our new life has been whittled away.

As a breastfeeding mom it's hard not to beam with smug satisfaction when all goes well, and also feel that I've let Roscoe down now that things aren't. Ever since the Pediatrician suggested that Roscoe's growth may be affected by his constant snacking and poor sleep habits, I can't help but take it personally.

Our parenting philosophy has always centered around Roscoe. Observe the baby. Follow the baby's lead. We didn't seek a schedule and instead tended loosely to a "routine" that varied from day to day, as needed. I never felt it was necessary to manage the way that Roscoe ate or slept in large part because I took extended maternity leave and then did not return to a work schedule that required Roscoe to make any major adjustments. I felt free to go with the flow.

Of course there are any number of variables at play here, but if I had to pinpoint any one event or catalyst, I think that our troubles began when Roscoe was about 3.5 months old and I figured out how to nurse while lying down. During the night, instead of moving to a chair to nurse, or propping myself up to sit with him in bed, I started to nurse him while lying on my side which allowed me to fall back asleep after he latched. This meant more sleep for me--heck neither of us really fully awoke--but it also meant that Roscoe probably missed out on the other half of his meal, which may have contributed to his habit of frequent nursing, and a pattern of frequent wakes.

The more we've tuned into the situation the more obvious it is that that our "routine" just isn't working. At almost 7 months, Roscoe wakes between 10 and 12 times during the night, and his morning "nap" occurs within 30 minutes to an hour after he wakes up. In general, his naps typically last between 30 and 45 minutes and he wakes up from them yawning, fussy, and clearly unrested. It is rare if he is awake for more than an hour before he begins to show signs of fatigue. Some days he acts tired all day.

Every failed nap or sleeping difficulty now triggers a rush of cortisol while a little voice in my head screeches, "this is AFFECTING HIS HEALTH!!" And that is where I draw the line.

The sleepless night saga has unfolded over the past few months and I have resisted implementing any particular sleep training method because I don't really believe in that...but desperation is a great motivator so I decided to take a girlfriend up on her suggestion and bought both the No Cry Nap Solution and the No Cry Sleep Solution. The books arrived last week which coincided nicely with Roscoe's weigh-in, and I read them cover to cover in a matter of days. The more I read the more wound up I became. The dots are connected: we have a lot of issues on our hands.

The No Cry Sleep Solution (NCSS) begins with a detailed nap log, pre-bedtime log, and nighttime sleep log. We completed all three and learned that Roscoe does not get the amount of sleep that a baby his age needs (he gets about 12.5 hours total nap and night sleep, when he should be getting 14-15 hours), he also has a serious suck-to-sleep association, which is no surprise since we cosleep and I have always nursed him on demand. According to the NCSS the fact that he wakes approximately every 30 minutes to an hour indicates that he is not completing a full sleep cycle--in fact a nap less than an hour is considered a "cat nap" and doesn't even count--and that he relies on external factors (i.e., nursing) to help him back to sleep each time he wakes. Those are the biggies, but there is more: our bedtime routine is insufficient, his nap routine is nonexistent, when he is not sleeping with us he sleeps only in his swing--which he is quickly outgrowing. Oy! Where to begin?!

The second part of the NCSS is to choose "solutions" based on what you've learned from the logs. The bottom line is that we now have a plan, and we're taking action instead of feeling sorry for ourselves. The sleep plan we've created coupled with a new approach to feeding will hopefully turn things around for us. I will check back in 10 days after we do another set of logs and hopefully some progress will have been made.


  1. Hey Jaqueline- So our first baby is our test run. We are coupling attachement parenting with a scheduling system based on scientific needs. I hope getting through this will help us with the next baby. I have Christmas to get through and then its back to the NCSS approach to naps and night sleep. FYI- When I started side lying nursing Lillian at night only is when everything went downhill for me. Now she is refusing to be put back in her crib and wants to nurse often and sleep right be side me. Did I mention this has caused Griff and I to sleep in different rooms for over 4 months? I'm ready for the change I already knew I needed...


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