So yesterday (or was it the day before? I can't remember...) I decided I was tired of having to rock James to sleep EVERY time he needed to go down for a nap... so I laid him down in his crib the moment he started rubbing his eyes and sat next to the crib with my hand on his tummy for comfort. It took 20 LOOONG minutes, but eventually he settled down and fell asleep! Without rocking or holding! I felt like I had conquered the world.
Since I had so much success with that nap, I decided to try it again, though with one change: no swaddle wrap. He was struggling to get out of it anyway, so I put him in a blanket sleeper and did the same routine (with a Twilight book to read to pass the time). 10 minutes and he was out like a light.
It's a miracle.
You see, before this he was screaming when we were holding him because he would get overtired and cranky and be IMPOSSIBLE to put down. And now, more often than not, he puts himself to sleep as long as I am sitting next to him. There are times when we put him down too late and I have to jiggle him a little to calm him down, but usually he's out within 15 minutes.
The best part? He's learning how to soothe himself back to sleep when he's not hungry. So instead of waking at midnight, 3am, 4am, and 5am as he has been doing, last night he went to sleep at 7pm, woke up at 1:30am, went back down at 2:30pm (he played in his crib for awhile before I feed him) and slept till 6:40am!!! That is the LONGEST he's EVER slept in! I am excited because it doesn't seem to be a growth spurt fluke this time but rather true sleep training.
I am praying it happens again tonight... or even someday maybe dropping the 2am feed?? Dare I hope??
In short, James is learning to fall asleep on his own. Which is great because I don't want to still have to rock him to sleep when he's a teenager. :-)