This Little Miggy Stayed Home: Sleep Training part II: Vacation

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Sleep Training part II: Vacation

This is what I meant to write about in my last post. I appreciate all the comments about sleep training and there are definitely some things I need to change, but what I really meant to ask about is sleep training and vacation. We're on vacation and we head home tomorrow. My issues with her recent bout of night wakings were worrying me, because at first I didn't attribute it to the fact that we're on vacation, however now I'm pretty sure that's what happened--I was just looking for reassurance that that was indeed the problem. So let me rephrase what I meant to ask the first time . . . even though she slept well the first 2 nights on vacation would you still attribute her strange behavior to vacation? (Meeting lots of new people and sleeping in many new and different places). She has even been much harder to put down for naps here. . . usually needing to be settled 2-3 times before finally sleeping. Is this pretty normal vacation behavior?

Also, since "all bets are off on vacation" as Azucar put it, we decided to just make it through the week and therefore have not been consistent at all. We're headed home and about to make a fresh start with sleep training and I'm nervous all over again. Any advice? I guess I'm more nervous now because while we used her pacifier with our first attempt at sleep training, it didn't seem to impede her progress (she would wake in the night, but cry herself back to sleep in 5-10 minutes without comforting her or giving her a pacifier), it just seemed to help her settle at the beginning. Also, when I say we "rocked" her to sleep, we walked around with her until she closed her eyes, but she wasn't fully asleep (often without her paci)--she knew we were putting her down and would simply turn over and go to sleep. BUT on vacation, she seems to be different from even this routine. I walk with her until she's asleep, then put her down and she seems to be settled then 5 minutes later starts screaming until we give her the paci. So the reason why I'm so worried to start over is that I didn't really see the problems many of you described with pacifier use and rocking to sleep but I feel like post vacation she's gotten much more attached to her paci for sleeping and comfort so I'm really scared to sleep train and take those away from her. Do you think her new fondness for her pacifier comes from the vacation factor? Like, she needs more comfort overall? And when we start our new sleep training program should I cut out all pacifier use at bedtime? I feel bad enough having to go through sleep training again without making it that much harder for her. I guess I'm hoping that once she's home she'll go back to her "old ways" and the pacifier won't be such a problem. I'm definitely all for teaching her to fall asleep on her own and without a pacifier, but I'm just worried that it will be too much all at once . . . any thoughts?

Thanks again for all the comments above . . . I haven't really had time to respond to each one, but I really appreciate it.


  1. Anonymous12:03 PM

    I love using a pacifier in the crib. I put a couple in there at night in case they get "lost". This is how my little guy settles himself back to sleep. Works like a charm. Why don't you want to use a pacifier?

  2. What almost nobody tells you is that any disruption to the sleeping routines (vacation, illness, etc.,) will probably make you start all over again. The bad news, sometimes they just have to relearn and that means starting over. The good news is that it takes less time.

    At this point, Anon, I think Miggy’s baby is a little too young to find the pacifier herself; that means Miggy or B will have to go in and put it in for them. If they want to do that, it’s ok, it just means that baby doesn’t learn to go to sleep without it. If they don’t want to use the paci, this is the time that training works best because baby isn’t too set into habits. That’s bad because little things can upset the routine. It’s good because it’s easier at this point to change the routine.

    Miggy, I’d just make a decision about which course to choose. If you want to use a paci, that’s fine, if you don’t, that’s fine too. If you don’t, it’s better to remove it sooner rather than later.

    If you’re planning on traveling a lot, you could consider a transitional object. I always put Guille to sleep with one particular blanket. The blanket wasn’t to be carried around during the day and it never left the house. If we did take it out of the house, it was for vacation or travel. That made it so that Guille always had something familiar to sleep with no matter where we went. It could just as easily be a stuffed animal or other toy.

  3. Azucar is right, she's not old enough to maneuver it herself and I definitely don't want to be getting up to give it to her. However, when we sleep trained the first time she was still able to settle herself without it when she woke up in the middle of the night. . . but maybe that's why she was still waking up. . . so I'm just not sure. It's probably best if we don't give it to her, but it still makes me sad/nervous since it seems to comfort her so much right now. Also I want to give her a blanky that I've started to try and attach her to, but I'm still nervous about loose blankets in the crib and SIDS. However she is 6 months old.

    Also, I guess we're going to try just laying her down--follow a routine and everything--but put her down well before she's asleep. Like I said we've been sorta doing that anyway, but she seems to cry after like 5 minutes. . . so I guess we're just going to let her cry. Oh man, this stuff stresses me out.

    Finally, I think we're just going to focus on bed time right now and do naps later. Meaning, that I won't just let her CIO at the beginning of a nap, I'll still try to settle her and probably give her a paci when she sleeps.

  4. I found a "first" teddy bear that Sofia is OBSESSED with. I guess they call it first cause it is totally safe and she cant chew the eyes out. It comforts her when she goes to sleep sometimes. I also found this cute little soft blanket/elephant at Nordstroms that she sleeps with other times. Maybe she would like a little friend to keep her company and snuggle with :) I have some friends that take a blanket, rub it on them (like your chest) to get your sent on it and then put it in the crib for the baby to cuddle with or stroke.

    Oh and vacations? I hate taking them cause Sofia goes bonkers on them and we start all over again when we get home. It takes her anywhere from 2 days to a week to get back on schedule. It also happens if we have company come stay with us. Its crazy! I think it happens to all of us.

    Good luck when you come home!