Sleep – it’s the topic that dominated my blog for a couple of weeks and now? Now we don’t really even think about it. I nurse Matthew to sleep at bedtime and before each nap and then I put him down. Instead of worry about when he’ll wake up again, I move onto other things, fun things, MY things.
Sure, I always wonder when he’ll wake up, because he’s still not a 10-12 hour sleeper. But I don’t let it consume me like I used to. I used to sit up until midnight or 1:00 AM just KNOWING that he’d be up again soon (so why bother going to sleep?). I’m now going to bed around 11:00, and it’s wonderful!
We still have our struggles. Matthew used to get up any time between 6 and 7 (and that was perfect!), but now after a pretty rotten cold, he is getting up in the 5:00 hour and this morning, he was up at 4:20 (GASP!). I didn’t even try to get him to go back to sleep today – I just picked him up and brought him to our bed. Problem solved! I have hope and confidence that tomorrow will be back to normal – or close to it. In the old days, I’d be stressing about this ONE morning possibly wrecking everything. HA!
Naps are way better than they were. I’ve worked in story time before each nap and that seems to help. When he pushes the book away, I know he’s ready to settle in so that’s what we do. I’m transferring him to the crib after just 10-20 minutes now (if it’s up to 20 minutes, it’s because I’m reading blogs on my phone and am comfy with my baby) and he’ll usually sleep for at least another hour.
I just cannot believe that we went from the disaster we were living to this very predictable sleeping and napping schedule. We get two solid naps in each day and they’re usually 1-2 hours in length each. Matthew is also waking up from his naps so well. He woke up today and I didn’t even know it. I turned on the video monitor just to check on him because it had been almost 2 hours and there he was, sitting up in his crib, playing with his Boo and babbling to himself. No crying. No freak-out. He woke up happy and entertained himself. Now – if we could only get him to wake up in the mornings this way!
We are the furthest thing from being the poster children for the Ferber method or sleep training in general, but I’m pleased with what we’ve accomplished. I know that the crux of our problem was age and stage. We waited too long to start helping him sleep, and Matthew was able to stand up in the crib (but couldn’t get down) and protest for as long as his legs would hold him (and that was proven to be more than 70 minutes one night). Given the whole standing up issue – we should have helped him sleep earlier, or put it off until he could get himself back down. Oh, the lessons we learn!
The next baby will be introduced to sleep training starting at 4 months. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice? No – it isn’t going to happen!
The Many Ways That Matthew Gets His Sleep:
May 11, 2012 at 4:49 am
Those pictures are wonderful! I love the one of him sprawled out with you on the bed. What a cutie!
I know what you mean about the image that gives you so much peace. I wouldn’t change our months of room-sharing for anything, but now that Sofi is installed in her crib and in her room, I love seeing that monitor picture of a content, sleeping baby.
Next time, do you think you’ll try gentler methods at 4 months or will you go straight to Ferber? What does he say about age, anyway?
May 11, 2012 at 12:49 pm
We did BabyWise when he was 10 weeks old, and that was very gentle and worked wonders. I just didn’t stick to it. It took one bad nap, where the only way I could get him to sleep was by nursing him, and then I abandoned what I had been doing in the past. If I can take it back to one moment in time – when we got his sleeping all messed up – it was that moment. I would not be opposed, though, to doing Ferber at 4 months. From everything I’ve read, that’s the ideal time to do it. I think he says 4 months, as does the Sleep Lady, No Cry Sleep Solution (worst advice ever!), and BabyCenter. We will most definitely do some form of sleep training at 4 months, and it will likely be Ferber. I think we started messing around with all of this training at 5 months, and nothing worked until we did Ferber.
May 11, 2012 at 9:14 pm
This makes me nervous as the Mom of a 5 month old… who still has a baby who nurses to sleep and such. Hm… we’ll see. *sigh*
May 11, 2012 at 9:36 pm
Hey – if you can get her to nurse to sleep and sleep through the night, then that’s OK! That’s what we did – and it’s seeming to work. I think the training took longer because of the nursing – and I was OK with that because I wasn’t willing to give up the nursing. That time will come soon enough (1.5 months – so sad!). If you do try to work the nursing into the sleep equation if you decide to help her learn to sleep, just make sure you wake her up enough when you put her down, for her to realize that she’s alone in her crib. Once we started doing that – the nights got WAY better!
May 11, 2012 at 10:37 pm
We’ve just started trying that off and on…I need to get better about it. Thanks for the reminder. 🙂
May 17, 2012 at 10:23 pm
Why will you stop nursing in 1.5 months?
May 20, 2012 at 11:11 pm
We are starting up fertility treatments again in August for a sibling for Matthew. To do that, I can’t be nursing (due to the hormone levels during nursing) and need to have one period behind me… so I will stop nursing at the end of June so that I will have that first period by August so we can do a frozen transfer at that time.