Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Sleepess nights

So for some reason we didn't end up with the kind of baby that sleeps through the night all by himself. (I know, right? not fair) So my sister Alyssa sent me a book called Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems which she said has really helped her with her kids. Andrew is not a bad sleeper, he is actually quite good I think, but he is waking up in the middle of the night still (usually once but sometimes twice) and the only thing that puts him back to sleep is me feeding him. I know that he is old enough now that he doesn't need to eat at night and I don't want to start a bad habit that will be hard to stop later.
So, what the book recommends is that instead of just letting him cry all night you go in after 5 min. and sooth him but don't pick him up, then leave. And repeat as necessary with the waiting time increasing 5 min every time you go in. For example (assuming your baby continues to cry):

Day 1: Wait 5 mins, soothe for 2. Wait 10 mins, soothe for 2. Wait 15 mins, soothe 2. Continue every 15 mins.
Day 2: Wait 10 mins, soothe for 2. Wait 15 mins, soothe for 2. Wait 20 mins, soothe 2. Continue every 20 mins.

And you do this until your baby realizes that it is not worth crying for 20 min if he isn't going to be held or nursed. And eventually (usually within a week) he will be sleeping through the night every night.

Last night was the first night we tried this and it went pretty well except for the fact that Andrew woke up about every 1 1/2 hours, which is totally unlike him. I think he did this because he was confused about what was going on and it was out of the norm. Nick or I went in but just told him to go back to sleep and rubbed his belly a little and left. He is used to me going in and feeding him and then immediately falls back asleep. So, hopefully tonight will be better. I've already noticed an improvement in his naps today. I'll keep you posted on how he progresses.

6 comments:

Queen Bee said...

Just curious if the book defined "sleeping through the night." That usually means about a 5 hour stretch . . .

Shanna said...

This sleep thing is tricky! Kenna is one of those babies who fights off sleep and wants to be held EVERY time she falls asleep. I'm researching a few books to try to decide how I want to break her of the habit. I'm sure that once I figure it out, we're going to have a rough few days ahead of us trying to get her to sleep on her own. Good luck!

The Manwills said...

Some babies (a lot, actually) still need to eat at night and get as much as 25% (or more) of their daily intake at night. So, if you're getting the feeling that he's actually hungry--go with it! Eventually, he will sleep through the night without waking up. And when he does, you might miss those midnight feedings where you got to hold and cuddle him close! I guess what I'm trying to say is, don't stress about it unless it really is a problem for YOU.

Jamie Onken said...

I'm doing this because I am so exhausted and I feel like I can't be the best mom for Andrew when I'm like this. I've been really lucky to have Nick home so much but since he is going back to school I need to be rested so I can be a fun mom during the day. I've also been getting sick a couple times a month since he's been born and I can't help but think it is because I am so run down.
In the book it says that at 3 months that 10 hours is a typical sleep requirement for the night.

Elizabeth said...

Well, the cat's out of the bag! I've been secretly blog-stalking you since I randomly came across your blog a couple of months ago. ;) All I have to say is power to you! I've just started sleep training my 1 year old (FOR REAL NOW) and it's tough. I definitely suggest doing it earlier. Keep it up and get the rest you deserve! When Brayden was younger he was doing so well, but then I caved in one night and it's been history since! ON my second, I'd definitely do it by 6 months. Good luck! --Elizabeth Church Pratt

Sara LaClaire said...

i have a friend who did this exact approach and within a week their baby was sleeping thru the night. good luck guys!