This weekend we plan to do the first bit of, dare I say it, sleep training. My beloved Dr. Sears would not be pleased with the word "training." If you're a regular The Actor's Wife reader, you know that "Beware the Trainers" is one of our primary parenting philosophies. But our Turtle has reached the 4 month stage and I think he's hungry for a little more predictability.
First let me say, I have a childhood friend who's now a daddy and a professional dog trainer and boarder (yes CH I'm talking about you) and I think he gets a kick out of this whole baby training concept. And it is a little odd. I mean did my mum think about "training" my brother and me? I don't think so. Then parents had three experts to whom they needed to listen: Dr Spock, Grandma A and Grandma B. Oy!
Truth is, I can say with a fair amount of confidence that what we're planning is not really "training." Over the last four months we have tried to log the Turtle's natural patterns. The first few weeks were pretty sporadic. We were, of course, feeding on demand, and welcoming sleep whenever and wherever it came. Eventually things evened out and became fairly predictable. But I went back to work and some of our early morning routine became as much about my needs as the Turtle's. Plus, bottle-feeding (even if it's mama's milk), creates new patterns. As such, I would say the last month has been about my boys falling into their own rhythms. And we have seen new patterns develop. So rather than "training" I would like to think we are going to encourage our baby's natural tendencies through structure.
Right now it's about naps. We're aiming for three naps, in his crib, throughout the day. It's not far off from what he naturally does - though we do occasionally fall back into whenever and wherever mode; especially on the weekends when I'm home and want to cuddle. But this weekend, I'm spending my days in the nursery. I'll let you know how it goes.