We last left off with little one napping from 5:40 til 8pm Friday night and I was worried since 8pm was supposed to be his bedtime. I took my mom's advice and kept him up til 11pm. He was happy and playing independently, not cranky, so all was good. He went down at 11pm and only cried for about 2 minutes! Woohoooo!!
He slept straight from 11pm to 6:30am, half-waking and letting out little cries or whimpers, but never standing up or totally waking up. He finally stood up crying at 6:30am, but that wasn't enough sleep so I moved to the couch and let him cry, for an hour! He passed out around 7:30am and slept for another hour, after which he woke up and I took him out for breakfast and play time.
Saturday's day time naps were totally screwed up since we were out all day. Dana of the Sleep Sense Program would totally boo-boo me, cuz she says you have to be really strict the first few weeks of sleep training with a set routine and they have to fall asleep in their own crib by themselves at the same time every day and night. But, you know what, everybody's gotta make it work and fit their lives however best they can. Frankly, I cannot just give up my life for this, and hopefully my baby will still learn to sooth himself to sleep.
For the first nap of the day, he passed out in his stroller and slept for one hour, which is great for him as of lately. I'm fine with him passing out in the stroller, the main habit I'm trying to break is needing a booby to fall asleep!
But the second nap, ohhhhh boy. Clearly we waited too long and he was overtired. He was screaming in the stroller for a while, so I gave up and put him in the carrier. But that didn't work either, he was content and living it up in there. Time ticked on and finally it was 7pm by the time his eyelids were getting heavy and looking like sleep was near. But we were still out and I didn't want to run into the same issue as the previous day with a really late nap, that could turn into a habit! So I kept him up. Singing, talking excitedly, boop-boop-booping in his face! He wasn't upset, but he obviously wanted to sleep. I told him it was his punishment for not taking a nap earlier. #MomOfTheYear
We got home at 7:50, did our bed time routine which is same as usual except with the added key phrases of "night night" and "sleepy time". I put him in bed at 8:05pm and he cried for all of 10 seconds!!
HE SLEPT THROUGH THE NIGHT!!!!!
From 8pm til 6:30am - hooooooooorah!!!! I could hear him rustling about changing positions and such, but not a single cry or whimper! Is it possible he's learned to fall back asleep by himself already??? Or just a lucky night?
He hasn't done this or anything close to this in about 5 months. OH. MY. GOD!!
Now... if this can continue and I can just make myself go to bed earlier I will be one friggin' happy mama!!!
Boy oh boy, this kid is gonna be tough to break. Mommy just might break first!
Here's how the first night and the first day with nap training went...
8-8:45 PM - crying
Bedtime at 8pm, cried 45 minutes and then passed out in a kneeling position up against the crib. I laid him down and he slept for 4 hours. YAY!! GOOD START!!! I go to bed around 11am, regretting this delay...
8:45 PM - 1 AM - sleeping like an angel!!
1 - 2:40 AM - crying
Awake and crying for a while (I hid under the covers and he didn't realize I was in the room). After 20-30 minutes he would go silent, I would peak out of my covers and see him passed (kneeling leaning against the rail). I lay him down. He wakes up crying. Repeat the cycle about 4 times. Finally I decide to just leave him sleeping like that. At 2:40 he's finally sleeping. Ugh.
2:40 - 6 AM - sleeping
6 - 8 AM - crying
Wakes and cries for half an hour. I decide maybe he's hungry so I nurse him but make sure he doesn't fall asleep at the breast (this is the #1 sleep prop we're trying to break the habit of). Put him back in his crib at 6:40 awake. He cries for another hour and a half.
8-10 AM - sleeping
Glorious sleep for both of us!! He wakes up super happy and adorable, thank goodness he doesn't hate me... yet... mommy needs a coffee! after taking care of my exploding booby (the one that didn't see action at 6:30am)! haha!
But now I have a dilemma. The schedule I'm trying to get him on is 8pm-8am sleep, with naps at 10:45 AM and 3:15 PM. But he just woke up at 10 AM... hmmm... so we altered a bit...
12 - 1:10 PM and 1:30 - 2 PM - crying
At 1:10 he fell asleep, against the rail AGAIN but he was not getting good sleep as you can see in the video below, he kept sitting up and falling forward, in a twilight kinda sleep poor guy. But he woke when I tried to lay him down 20 minutes later. Sleep Sense says if baby wakes from a nap in less than 1 hour, try to get them to fall asleep again but if they won't after 25 minutes or so give up. Well, that's what I did at 2pm, just in time to make our 2:15pm co-op class! Somehow he was a good boy in class, there's always lots of fun distractions for him, it's only at home he's a cranky pants!
2-4 PM - awake & decent mood
4-5:40 PM - crying
I was sure he would go right down for a nap after our very energetic class! But, no such luck.
5:40 PM - 8 PM - great nap!!
Unfortunately, this SCREWS us for tonight... he's supposed to be going down for the night now. Instead he's waking up from an amazing nap. No idea what I'm supposed to do. This sleep training this is for the friggin birds. UGH!! I just woke him up at 8 and he was happy and hugged me super tight. I guess I'll just let him play til around 10:30pm??
In case you're new here, here's a recap of my baby's sleeping history:
I read "Babywise" at 7 weeks and my little guy quickly took to the eat-play-sleep schedule. By 2 months he was a great napper and slept through the night 6+ hours, by 3 months 9-11 hours straight. I put him down awake, he sucked his thumb and went to sleep quietly.
At 5 months all went to hell in a hand basket due to any combo of the following:
1) He cut his bottom teeth and promptly stopped sucking his thumb
2) We had a 1 week vacation to my parent's house
3) He developed object permanence
4) We stopped using his swaddle/sleep sack
Around 7 months my sister convinced me to do "Cry It Out" and we gave it a half arsed attempt but had 2 things in our way:
1) It was summer and we don't have AC, so he got way too hot while crying.
2) He gnawed at the crib when we left him in there crying (evidence below)
So, I got crib rail covers and waited for the summer heat to fade away. I found the Sleep Sense Program by Dana Obleman (more on that in another post) and decided to give it a go during my husband's next business trip (I don't want Kenzo's crying throughout the night to keep my hubby up, awwwww am I the best wife or what?? ha! Seriously though, he's such a wimp, always pulling baby into bed with us at the first sign of a whimper). In the meantime we've been co-sleeping for the past few months and he's been waking up about every 1-3 hours and cries until he gets a boobie. I whip it out and we both pass out within a couple of minutes. It's really not that bad, but it's not good (what would happen after I wean him??) and his napping has been getting worse and worse as well. We both need to get better sleep!
Tonight the sleep training finally commenced! Here's a video selfie just after I put Kenzo down in his crib. Whooooo that sucked...
The crying lasted 45 minutes, which funnily enough is the exact time Dana reported as the average time of first night crying on the hundreds of cases she's worked on as a baby sleep consultant. She gives the option of staying in the room with the little one throughout, or just going in to check on him and reassure him. I opted for the second method. I went in at 3 minutes, at 5 minutes, and then 10 minutes a few times. Then I felt like my going in was just working him up even more. So after the 30 minute mark I stopped going in and by the 45 minute mark he was silent. I waited a few minutes then went in to make sure he was ok and in a comfortable position. This is what I found and I almost burst out laughing!!!
He was out, kind of in a twilight sleep, and kept sitting up and falling forward over and over again. Really sad actually, but hilarious at the same time. Luckily he didn't wake up when I laid him down. I'm really not looking forward to him waking up in the middle of the night... I have a feeling it's going to be rough!! I blame myself - just giving him the boob to make him go back to sleep has just made him wake up more frequently and become so dependent on me. This might be a tough habit to break!
Preemptive strike against possible criticism: Sleep training with or without CIO, no sleep training, breast vs. bottle, SAHM vs working mom, whatever... #ISUPPORTYOU and hope you will support me too. We're all doing the best we can and doing what we feel is right for our families. I would love if you comment with your personal experience, advice, tips, etc. But there is no need for judgement or criticism.
Kenzo just hit 10 months, actually about 30 minutes ago! ^_^ I really can't believe how fast he's growing, it's kind of scary! Exciting, but scary. One by one his friends are all turning one year old and all the moms say what a hard day it is, full of sobbing and memory lane. I feel full of anxiety just thinking about that and it's still 2 months away!! Speaking of turning one, we just booked his birthday party - we're gonna have a joint one with 2 of his baby friends who were all born within a week of each other during the crazy week of Christmas and New Year. Of course all 3 of us moms have been sucked into Pinterest getting ideas for save the dates and invitations and decorations and food and.... Man, that thing is EVIL! haha!!
Anyway, back to my 10 month old little one... he's got 6 teeth now (4 top, 2 bottom), is taking solo steps, usually about 2 but up to 5 at a time! I introduced chicken and turkey so he's no longer a vegetarian! He is really into cuddling now which is uber uber cute, he is also a big fan of clapping, waving, and most recently throwing things. Ha! He's still a monster at night (since about 6 months) waking up multiple times and I've totally been enabling him as I just pull him into our bed and nurse him back to sleep cuz it's the fastest and easiest. He's dealing with his 3rd cold in about 6 weeks, but I swear as soon as he recovers we're conquering this sleep thing!! You're in for it little dude!!!
Also as one year approaches I'm having to think about the whole going back to work thing. I really really don't want to. I've got my hands in so many pies at the moment (blogging, Miny Moe, Mommy Nearest, Kidz Central Station, Eczema Company, and of course my Facebook groups Bay Ridge Baby Mamas and Bay Ridge Swappies) none of them raking in a ton of cash but together they take care of groceries, haha. But they keep me busy and my hope is that through them I'll develop the right skills and meet the right people so when/if it comes time for me to find a 9-5 again I'll have some good connections. And no one can ever say I was just twiddling my thumbs during maternity leave, that is FOR SURE!!
It's a vicious cycle that most new parents know well. Baby doesn't get a good night of sleep (for whatever reason be it teething or upset stomach or too excited developing a new skill or fill in the blank with just about any reason you can possibly think of), so baby is tired and cranky which leads him to not not go down for a nap or to take a super short one, which leads him to be more tired and more cranky which leads him to not go down or sleep well during the next nap, which leads to even more overtiredness and crankiness which leads to fighting bedtime and waking up throughout the night which leads to.... you see where I'm going here? AGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH F#$#@%#@$@&^!*@&#^$*&^!*@&#!!!!!!!
This has been going on for the past 3 nights/days. I am so so so tired. Like, reminiscent of the first few weeks of motherhood tired. To make matters worse I was so tired and cranky yesterday that I broke down and had a tall iced coffee from Starbucks at 4pm. Whoops. Of course I was tossing and turning not able to fall asleep til like 3am. That's what happens when you average one cup of coffee every 6 months for the past year and a half. It hits you hard!
For several days now (or weeks? i've lost track of time...), Kenzo will fall asleep while nursing, I'll transfer him to his crib, and he'll wake up crying about 20-30 minutes later. This happsn for most naps during the day, and also every bedtime. I always give it a few minutes because very very rarely he'll settle himself down. But usually it escalates to the point of hysterical screaming/crying and I go rescue him until I can go lie down to go to sleep together. Last night we were so frustrated we decided to try the "Cry It Out" method. We let him scream for 5 minutes (ok, I caved at 3 minutes) and I went in there to just reassure him that I'm here, quietly. That didn't do a damn thing to calm him down. He doesn't seem in pain, he's not tugging at his ears or curling his legs up or anything. But it is literally dinosaur blood curdling screaching. Like, I worry he's going to damage his vocal cords! No joke!! So finally I picked him up and like a light switch all the screaming and huffing and puffing stopped. Amazeballs. WTF dude!!! Is he faking? Manipulating? Experiencing honest to goodness traumatizing levels of separation anxiety??? Being haunted by some super evil poltergeist when I'm not in the room???!!! I put him back down, with a pacifier, and he started screaming immediately. I left the room, gave it 5 minutes, went back in. Same old same old. Finally gave up and went back to the old routine - all 3 of us just went to bed together. Hmph.
I think he finally passed out around midnight last night, and woke up twice in the night. This morning he woke up at like 6:30am flipping around, cooing, crying, kicking me in the boob. I laid there with him for almost an hour thinking he would fall back asleep. Instead he finally started crying, so we got up. I was holding him in my lap and he just passed out, drool and all! Poor guy is so tired!!! Mommy too....
The "cry it out" method is very controversial. Some people say "If it doesn't feel right, it probably isn't". And, you know, it really doesn't feel right, letting your child scream and cry and sound so terribly sad!! But what also doesn't feel right is knowing my 7 month old baby can't go to sleep or fall back asleep by himself. We're not going to be able to drop everything and go to sleep with him every damn time. If I knew this was a phase that would end organically in a month or two, I'd just deal with it, and try to enjoy the extra cuddle time. But I worry that as long as we let him call the shots it's going to be worse and worse and before we know it we're going to have a kindergartner who is still sleeping with us and is crying and having tantrums every day when we drop him off at school.
OMG TELL ME WHAT TO DO!!!! WAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!
What happened to my perfect little sleeper? He was "sleeping through the night" (6-ish hours) from about 8 weeks, and by 10 weeks he was sleeping 8-10 hours a night - straight - without waking up - without a peep - without even wetting his diaper! He went down for his naps awake and fell asleep quietly while sucking his thumb. Fast forward to 5.5 months when he started protesting naps with loud consolable hysterical screams until I would finally give up and forgo that nap. I started having to nurse him to sleep for every nap and nighttime sleep. Not a habit I wanted to get into, especially when he was so wonderfully self-soothing before! But alas, what was I to do? Now, at 6 months and some change, all of a sudden he is no longer sleeping through the night. For the past week he's been waking up every couple of hours. Seriously??? WTF DUDE!!!
This happened to one of my mama friends and turns out she was pregnant - something about the hormones and change in her breast milk effected her baby's sleep and hunger. But we've ruled this out (thank god!!), so then what is it? He's not in pain, he doesn't wake up screaming, but he wakes up sort of crying and I don't want hubby to be woken up and I don't want to fully wake up either, so for the past week we've pretty much resorted to the family bed. Kenzo wakes up and cries, he gets a boob, mommy and baby pass out within a few minutes. Repeat every couple of hours. Is this a short phase he's passing through? Some kind of "wonder week" or teething issue? Or has he mastered the skill of manipulation and has mom wrapped around his teeny tiny finger? Co-sleeping definitely lessens my quality of sleep to some degree because I can't flop about into any position - I keep him kinda close to me with my arm around him (protecting from hubby) and I feel like I'm not getting as deep a sleep as I should because I'm so aware of him being there. Hubby loves it though. Argh... the joys of parenthood continue!
Remember my baby's sleep strike? He's been screaming when being put down for a nap for about 2 weeks now, since we went to my parent's house in North Carolina. Sometimes he will just skip a nap altogether - being completely soothed and calm when I'm in the room and hysterically screaming the second I leave, eventually I give up and wait a couple of hours to try again. Sometimes he'd wake up several times a night, doing acrobatics in his crib, kicking the rail, etc. Was driving me crazy!! He was exhausted and cranky and I felt so bad for him, and myself! Everyone said, "Oh yes, he's teething!". But he doesn't show any kind of pain when he's awake. Sure he has his hands in his mouth 24/7 and leaves a trail of drool wherever he goes, but didn't really seem to be having any sort of discomfort. Just didn't want to go to sleep!
So, I started racking my brain... What happened around the time that we went to North Carolina???
The answer??? The weather turned warmer and we did away with his Halo Sleep Sack! Could that be it???
Let's see! It got cooler and I decided to put him down for his nap in the sleep sack (swaddled with arms out as we'd been doing since he was 4 months). You know what? It was lights out without a peep and he slept for a good hour and a half without moving an inch. WHAT?!?! This has to be a coincidence!! So, I used the sleep sack for the rest of his naps, and bed time, and the next day's naps and bedtime.... sweet sweet glorious calm baby is back.
Do we have sleep-crutch on our hands? Quite possibly. Do I care?? HELL NO!!! If this helps my little one get the sound sleep he so desperately (and I so desperately) needs, so be it!! Bring on the sleep sack!!!
If anyone recommends a light weight one that still swaddles but is a very thin breathable material - I'm all ears!! I don't think the one we're using will work when the sweltering heat comes back...
Since getting Kenzo on his schedule at around 7 weeks old, he's been sleeping longer and longer at night. Now he's up to 8-9 hours of consecutive sleep, and since I usually put him to bed just 30 minutes or so before I hit the hay myself, I'm ready to start my day when he wakes up to feed. It's soooooo nice to say goodbye to those middle of the night feeds. Let me tell you! Sure, I found ways to make them more bearable - at the beginning I would watch our Friends DVDs, then I switched to reading the "Babywise" sleep training book and "What to Expect the 1st Year" and oh yeah, "50 Shades of Grey" - that really made the time fly by haha! But still, waking up in the middle of the night you really feel like a zombie! And it's not like it's just stick your boob in there and your done. Oh no, it was wake up, pee, un-swaddle the little one, change him, feed him, burp him, swaddle him, bounce him back to sleep - the process took about an hour during the 1st month! As he got older he drank quicker and began holding his business in and didn't need a change, and sometimes didn't need help getting back to sleep. But now, to have that all behind us (hopefully) is really really awesome!!!
As he started sleeping 7+ hours a night, I would wake up to extremely engorged milk monsters (one time they soaked through the nursing pads, bra, shirt, and soaked the sheets! yikes!!). But it seems they've been getting adjusted to the longer nights just as Kenzo has been extending his. This morning I woke up after 8 hours of sleep and he wasn't up yet. So, I waited. I eventually woke him up when he got to 9 and a half hours. This sounds like a dream right? But there are 2 sides to everything... I'm a little nervous as to whether going so long will begin to have a negative impact on my milk supply. The "Babywise" book says not to go longer than 9 hours at this age (3 months) because of the effect on your supply. But what if Kenzo wants to sleep ten, eleven, or TWELVE (please!!!) hours? Perhaps it's time to finally break out the breast pump I got for free from my insurance company. I really didn't want to use it, but, I guess I should just suck it up and give it a whirl. Silver lining, hubby can get a chance to feed Kenzo and experience that special bond that only I've shared with the baby so far!
Before I get to the system we're currently using to schedule our little one's sleep, let me give a quick review of his sleeping patterns from the start.
For the first week of life, little Kenzo was zonked out big time! I got yelled at by the nurse our first and only night in the hospital for letting him go 5 hours without feeding. Whoops! I haven't slept in 50+ hours and just pushed an 8 pound baby out of my hoohah - sorry if I wasn't exactly watching the clock. And it seems he was just as tired as I was! The whole first week I had to wake him up to feed, every 2.5 hours (4 hours at night - had to set my alarm clock!) as advised by the nurses. This was hard to do cuz he was so darn sleepy. Tricks included stripping him down to his diapers and tickling his feet and ears, but he still managed to pass out mid feed almost every time. I was worried maybe he wasn't drinking enough and the doc at his 4 day checkup freaked us out because he had lost 10% of his body weight, which is NORMAL by the way, but had us come back 2 days later for a weigh... by which time he'd already gained back the 10%! He would continue on this dramatic weight gain trajectory for the next couple of months! I'm very thankful I didn't panic and start supplementing with formula, because that could have decreased my milk supply and led us down a slippery slope of losing my milk supply completely.
Anyway, back from that tangent - After the first week, he got adjusted to my 2.5 hour schedule and I no longer was the one waking him up but vice versa. Every 2.5 hours around the clock. And this is including feeding, burping, and bouncing (not rocking - we only have a birth/exercise ball, not a rocking chair) him back to sleep. So, by the time he's back in bed we only slept about 1-1.5 hours. This went on until about the 5th week. EXHAUSTING!!!
After we were done hosting both sets of grandparents, yes in our tiny one bedroom apartment!, he was almost 7 weeks old and I decided it was time to figure out a better schedule that we could both thrive on. At that time, I was just letting him pass out whenever, but it was usually in your arms or on your lap, and the second you tried to transfer him to the crib he would wake up crying. He was also quite fussy - looking back on it he was just overly tired, poor guy!! My sister had given me a book/theory that had worked well for her: "On Becoming Babywise" by Gary Ezzo and Robert Buckman. From what I've seen on the baby blogs and forums, this theory is a bit controversial, some say leading to dehydration and other issues, but I think those issues only arise when you are too strict with the schedule, whereas they repeatedly remind you that you need to be flexible as growth spurts and other times will require changes in the schedule.
The basic theory of Babywise is that the baby should be on a "eat, play, sleep" schedule, with that exact order being key. They recommend it from birth, so I wasn't sure how it would work starting from 7 weeks but they explain in the book how to adjust the schedule as the baby gets older so I just started with the suggested schedule for a 2 month old. It seemed counter intuitive to me since Kenzo is usually in a milk coma after feeding and seems the perfect time to put him down, but I decided to give it a go anyway. They do say you should put the baby down drowsy but not asleep, so they can learn how to self sooth and put themselves to sleep. I can't bare to start this part of the plan yet, I think he's too young for that. Maybe around 4 months we'll give the whole "cry it out" thing a go.
With this Babywise schedule, we basically give him a 12-hour day period and 12-hour night period. During the day time, we stick to a 3 hour cycle: 1.5 hours for eating and then playing, and 1.5 hour nap, and repeat. During the 12 hour night period, there is no "play" time. If he wakes up and seems hungry, I feed him. But quite often it's something else, like he needs a burp, needs spit-up wiped off his face, or just can't go back to sleep by himself, so I bounce him and put him back to bed.
He adjusted to the day time schedule pretty much immediately. I couldn't believe how his fussiness disappeared and he was just so much happier, as was I! I know he had been getting enough food all along, but definitely had been sleep deprived. His night time sleeping got better progressively from this point as well, though that could be a coincidence as he's getting older and more mature, but who knows. Right away he started having longer and longer periods of night time sleep. Now at 10 weeks he sleeps between 6-8 hours straight (technically "sleeping through the night", though for me 9-10 hours would be more like it!!), wakes up for a feed, and then from there doesn't do as well - only 1-3 hours at a time, with lots of grunts and groans, until the "day" period starts.
Here's our typical day:
10 AM - wake and feed
10:30 - 11:30 AM - awake time
11:30 AM - 1 PM - nap time
1 PM - wake and feed
1:30 - 3 PM - awake time
3 - 4:30 PM - nap time
4:30 PM - wake and feed
4:30 - 6 PM - awake time
6 - 7:30 PM - nap time
7:30 PM - wake and feed
7:30 - 9:45 PM - awake time (daddy time!)
9:45 PM - final feed
10 PM - bed time
5 AM - feed
7 AM - feed
8:30 AM - feed
All in all Kenzo gets about 8 feeds and 14-15 hours of sleep. His awake time is spent on the play mat, in the bouncy chair, tummy time, playing with mommy or daddy, listening to music or his Japanese books on CD, taking a bath, etc. When I need to run an errand or take a walk, I do that during his
So, Babywise really changed our lives! I get about 8-9 cumulative hours of sleep during his nighttime period, and no longer feel exhausted or have to nap during the day. Kenzo rarely fusses anymore, but I'm much more capable of realizing and solving the problem when there is one, whereas before the schedule I would have just shoved my boob at him guessing that he was hungry. #Momfail haha! Just so you know, I am not affiliated with the book or the authors, just found that it worked for me and it may be worth a try for some of you out there struggling with your little ones. I know there are TONS of books and different theories out there, and some will work better for you than others. So keep on reading and giving them a try til you find the right one for you and your family!! If you do want to give this one a try, it's super cheap on Amazon:
I'm a NYC metro area mom blogger living in NJ with my Japanese husband & our 3 kids (twins plus 1), focusing on fun and honest product and travel reviews, saving moms time finding the best for their families! Find what you need in the menu bar or search section above!