This post was written in early December, and finally I pull it from the files for your entertainment and edification...
Baby Nigel started with me two weeks ago. Baby Nigel is a sleep champion. Baby Nigel is popped into his crib - he liked to be swaddled - and that's it. He sleeps for two or three hours. I can go into the room, he doesn't wake. I've even gone in, and partly unwrapped him before realizing that wasn't him I'd heard but the child in the next room (things like this happen sometimes at daycare...) - AND HE DIDN'T WAKE UP!!!
I love this child!
He didn't do this from day one. On day one, I popped him into his crib when he was drowsy, said "Sleep tight, baby boy!" and left. Nigel roared. And roared. And roared some more. Took him an hour that first day. On day two, it took twenty minutes. On day three, less than five. After that, any fussing has been seconds long, low-key and entirely for show. Like I said - the boy's a Sleep Champion.
Baby Nigel's parents have been asking, "Does he sleep a lot here?" I know what this means. They're having trouble with his evening or night sleeps. They want me to make accommodations to help them out. If it's necessary, I will, but an eleven-month old who sleeps 2 to 3 hours during the day is only within normal parameters, so I ask some diagnostic, fact-finding questions, to which I get these answers:
"He goes to sleep for the night between 9 and 10."
"He goes to sleep for the night between 11 and midnight."
"He's up at six."
"He's up at seven."
"He never naps in the evening."
"He naps a couple of evenings a week."
"He's a restless sleeper."
"He sleeps well once he's down except when he's ill."
"He goes to sleep on his own."
"One of us lays down with him several times a week."
All righty then. That clarifies a lot.
(I might explain that, generally, dad drops them off and mom picks them up. Which is a great situation for a caregiver who wants information from each parent unfiltered through the other parent's perceptions.)
It does clarify one thing for me: these two haven't a clue what they're talking about. Is this child getting six or ten hours of sleep a night? Who knows? Until they have a better handle on what they're doing at home, I will not be messing with what I'm doing here.
So, beginning after the upheaval of routine that the next three weeks will bring (explanation: Christmas), we will be creating a baseline. They will be charting for me their child's sleep and wake patterns. They will do this for three weeks. Only then will we have the information we need to determine how best to help him structure his sleep.
Oh, and just wait till they realize I sleep train...