April 20, 2008

Putting Baby to Sleep

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:13 pm by ogle3

[Random unrelated pictures]


Lauren hadn’t been sleeping well in our bed anymore, so I watched the mail every day, waiting for my copy of the book “The Moms on Call Guide to Basic Baby Care.”  I heard about it on the Family Life segment on the radio a few weeks ago; it’s written by two pediatric nurses/mothers who have been there and done that.  On the radio they talked about how to swaddle and they talked about getting baby to sleep through the night, plus the book discusses all other issues about how to deal with various common illnesses or other questions moms might have.

My book came in the mail on Friday, but I was too tired that evening to read it, so I spent a few minutes on Saturday memorizing the bedtime chapter, getting ready to put their plan into action.

The plan was much like what we did with Peyton at 9 months old when his life was interrupted.  When I went back to work, even though he’d been sleeping through the night for months, he suddenly decided he needed to wake up every two hours.  Yes, every two hours.  I indulged him – so he loved mommy helping him fall asleep as I trained him to expect it.  This went on for two or three exhausting weeks.  By then I had read a few different articles about getting a baby to sleep through the night, so I followed their advice and let him cry.  The first night was tough.  The second night, not so tough.  By the third night, he had re-trained himself to fall asleep on his own. 

We used the same plan with Peyton when he was 18 months and switched into a regular bed.  And again when he was 2 years old and uninterested in (but still needed) naptime.  Nanny 911 or the Supernanny also make use of this plan.

But can a 2 1/2 month old baby learn it, too?  A newborn can fall asleep on her own, but we train our kids to need us to put them to sleep.  It’s time to re-train Lauren.

We did.  Lauren didn’t like being put into bed awake…when the other option is Mommy or Daddy rocking you to sleep, who would?  But it’s not good for her to depend on us to put her to sleep when she is perfectly capable of doing that herself…especially since she loses sleep during the night from waking up so often (almost every two hours lately!).  Now that she’s on a pretty regular routine as far as bedtime goes, it’s time to teach her to fall asleep and stay asleep.  Also, she’s heavy enough that she should be able to sleep through the night, so we launched in with complete confidence in our little girl.

Even though Lauren didn’t like being put to bed awake, she quickly adapted to the change.  She cried at varying levels for probably 20 minutes, stopping as soon as I arrived to pat her back for a minute every five minutes or so.  After the third time I went in there and left, she put herself to sleep.  She woke up at 12:30 and 3:00, but the book recommended that we wait 5 minutes before going in to see if baby was really hungry or just wanting someone else to put them back to sleep.  Lauren wasn’t crying very loudly, so I let her be – she’d cry for a minute, then lie quietly for a minute, then cry again, for probably 10 minutes each time before she fell asleep again.  At 5:30 I figured she probably was hungry, so I took her in our bed; even though I didn’t fall back asleep after that, she did and I was able to take a shower in peace 🙂 

Tonight we followed the routine again (bath or wipe-down, eat, swaddle, lights out, white noise and bed) and she only cried at a whimper for 7 minutes – I didn’t even get a chance to go in there.  She’s a fast learner – hopefully during the night she’ll do the same. 

I’m so glad we started this – she was so happy today!  She’s typically pretty mellow, but she took fewer naps today, stayed awake for longer periods of time, and was still happy! 

And who’s going to be sleeping through the night soon?  Me!  I haven’t had a full night’s sleep in 11 months!  Lauren’s not the only one benefiting here!


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