Sleep Training and Vaccines

Ryder’s first birthday is fast approaching (already!!!)… and with it, his 12-month doctor visit. It suddenly dawned on me that this means time for more vaccines. Originally, we decided to go ahead and vaccinate. We didn’t do a lot of research, but sorta figured that if they were still offering it, it must be safe, and most kids aren’t negatively affected by it. Although the first round of vaccines can’t be taken back, we’re starting to rethink that decision. We haven’t come to a conclusion yet, but the options are weighing heavily on my mind. I never expected to feel so stressed while trying to decide what’s best for my child… and yet, I certainly am!

It’s awful to have to decide between vaccinating “just in case” to make sure he doesn’t get miscellaneous illnesses, or not vaccinating to prevent him from possibly being poisoned by mercury.

So we’ll continue to do research, seek advice from friends and experts we trust, and pray pray pray until the time comes. Stay tuned for the results…

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In other news: Ryder’s been a fairly good sleeper straight from the start. I think part of it is just the way he is, and the other part is because we worked very hard to get him on a schedule right away. It was flexible, but predictable, and it worked for all of us. Eventually, he learned to fall asleep quickly on his own… but that didn’t last long.

He got his first two teeth at about 5 months. We managed to get through that teething session with minimal whining and disruption. But about a month and a half later, all hell broke loose. He started working on six teeth at once (yes, I said SIX!). He was also learning to crawl, pull up on furniture, and stand up in his crib. All of the sudden, he was waking up many times throughout the night, and taking up to an hour to settle back to sleep. Sometimes, I even had to nurse him back down, or sleep in the recliner with him out of desperation. The very worst of it only lasted about a month, but the residual affect has left me rocking him to sleep at every nap and bedtime for 30-45 minutes. Obviously something has to be done!

I attempted to begin the sleep training process a couple of times this summer, but his normal life was interrupted with family visits and vacations. All of that is over now, and things will be back to normal until Thanksgiving. So I have three months to get him falling asleep on his own. But if it takes that long, I just might pull my hair out!

Anyway, tonight, I decided I’d give it a shot again. He got a bath, some milk, a little extra quiet playtime, and then we went upstairs. He got his binky (that’s a bridge we’ll worry about crossing later), and I started rocking him. The clock said 8:01. I allowed myself four more minutes, and then vowed (in my head) to kiss him, put him down, and leave the room. 8:04 rolled around, and my heart started beating like crazy. I was already feeling guilty for the crying and screaming that was sure to ensue, and trying to find ways to justify to myself why I shouldn’t do it. But when the clock changed to 8:05, I took a deep breath, kissed my sweet boy’s forehead, and laid him down. He appeared to be barely awake, and I was just sure he’d roll over and pop right up to his feet, as he usually does. Instead, he rolled over to his tummy, stuck his butt in the air… and went to sleep. GO FIGURE!!!

Make no mistake… I’m not crazy enough to think that I will continue to be so lucky. But at least it gave me a strategy… rock for five minutes, and then put him down. After that, we’ll take it one crying session at a time.

Wish me luck!!!

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