Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Return of the lama

In a recent post, I describe the lama training technique. (The word "recent" is redundant as I don't have any non-recent post relative to this one.)

There is a reason for that: it inspired me to try a technique to put Dario to sleep. I tried it when he was six-days old. It worked beautifully.

Letting the kid cry (as in controlled crying) for a while before coming back is like allowing the lama to run away, withdrawing only after a while: a big no-no according to animal training theory, much slower than the recommended approach. For instance, using that approach, a student at the EATM was able to put a cotton swab in a koala's ear in less than a year.

Hence the translation of this technique to an infant: put in bed, give finger to suck for ten second, remove. Wait for about ten seconds, give finger again, remove. Wait a little longer, give finger just before your beloved starts wiggling, and so on. At some point, rubbing your finger against his lips doesn't trigger any reaction anymore. He closes his eyes. Success.

And with a bit of luck, each night, it will be a little longer delay between a finger suck and the return of fussiness.

As I wrote: it worked beautifully.

Further attempts in the days that followed showed that the correlation was serendipitous. The only thing that I achieved is: avoid the cries while Dario is falling asleep, but I do not control the timing.

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