Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Sleep…

Is a wonderfully magical thing once you start having more of it – and its amazing how much you don’t realized you’ve missed it until you have it again!  Gracie is doing so well with the transition to her crib that I’ve put off writing this post for fear that I will jinx us… As I posted last week, we transitioned the babe to her crib on Friday January 4th.  The first night she did ok, sleeping in her crib until 2am, at which point she woke and we brought her back to bed with us.  The 3 days following were similar with her sleeping in her crib until around 2:00-3:00am before waking up and crying out for us.  During this process it dawned on me that we’ve been feeding her 6 ounces of formula before bed for months now and maybe she’s waking in the middle of the night because she feels hungry.  As it turns out, that’s exactly what was happening!  Once we increased Grace’s formula to 8 ounces, she had her first night of sleeping 11 hours straight!  Hallelujah!

I’m not a big fan of the term, “sleep training”, but I guess that’s essentially what we’ve been doing.  On day 5 Grace woke while G was putting her to bed (as opposed to waking in the middle of the night) and that was our first experience with letting her cry it out (CIO).  Her cry was more of a whine and within 10 minutes she laid down and fell asleep, which made us feel much better about letting her cry.  Had she gone any longer, we would have likely folded.  I think the fact that G laid her back down in the crib and immediately left the room as she was getting fussy helped to keep her from growing hysterical.  Every baby is different, but for Grace, the longer we stand next to her when she’s upset without picking her up – the more furious she becomes… 

We’ve been at this “sleep training” thing for 2 weeks now and what we’re doing seems to be working.  Neither I nor Georgia are “experts” by any means but I still wanted to share Gracie’s sleep update along with a few tips I felt would be helpful to any other parents out there, who like us, waited far too long to transition their baby to the crib (and are now suffering because of it)...

Here’s what helped:

- We purchased a “My Baby” sleep machine from Target that simulates the sound of a heartbeat along with several other sounds that are designed to sooth baby.  The heartbeat seems to work best for Grace.  Listening to it even makes me a bit sleepy, lol!

- Increase baby’s evening bottle by a few ounces to ensure she/he is full enough to make it through the night.

- maintain a routine and try to keep bedtime the same every single night.

- Plug in a soft nightlight so that if baby does wake in the middle of the night, they can see they are in a familiar place.

- If letting your baby CIO seems like it will be too hard on you, set a time limit.  Going into this both G and I agreed that we would not let Grace cry for more than 20 minutes.  So far we haven’t had to because she has self-soothed and fallen back asleep before reaching the 20 minute mark. 

Here are some things to keep in mind:

- try to avoid changing too much too soon.  In addition to moving Grace to her crib, we also tried to give her the last bottle of the night in her room instead of in our room as we usually did.  She couldn’t figure out why we were in her room to begin with, she wasn’t comfortable during her bottle and didn’t fall asleep as she normally does.  This made for a tough first night making the transition.  

- Do what feels right for your parenting style.  G and I love having our cuddly time with Grace when she has her last bottle of the night, so while some schools of thought argue that you "should" put your baby to bed while awake and let them fall asleep on their own, that wasn't right for us.  This may change in the coming months but for now we enjoy her falling asleep laying next to one of us before carrying her to bed.  

- Talk to your partner and make a plan that you both agree on 100% before going into this.  The last thing you want to do is disagree and get frustrated with each other when you have a sleepy, crying baby on your hands!

- Be patient and know that all babies are different.  Your little one may take longer than a week to STTN consistently (as ours did) and that’s ok.  Progress is progress, right?

- Celebrate the little things and don’t get frustrated if you regress in your progress.  Grace slept 11 to 12 hours for 4 days in a row and last night she woke up at 4am and cried for 15 minutes.  I slept through it but Georgia watched as she whimpered for a while and let her self-soothe.  I’m proud of you babe (you too, Gracie)!

11 comments:

  1. Right on sister!!! I love when babies/toddler/kids sleep. :) Means more sleep and fun for moms!!

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    1. Amen to that! I'm still waiting on the "fun" part (wink) but I'm just happy to be getting some good sleep right now! Thanks Stacy :)

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  2. Way to go Gracie and Moms!!! Good tips all around, I say this mainly because they closely follow our "sleep training" ideas and yes, I do not care for the term sleep training either. I am with Stacy, let the fun (wink wink) roll now :)

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    1. Yay! Thanks Amanda! I think we got caught up in all the "should" do, sleep training stuff the first couple of days, which only made things more stressful. Once we found what worked for us, things got much easier. We're not out of the woods yet, but so far so good!

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  3. Congratulations to all of you ladies, Gracie included! It's a great feeling to get more sleep! You are absolutely right that everyone needs to do what is right for their baby and their family. It sounds like your plan is working great.

    We learned last night that if Peyton doesn't get her 30 minutes of wind down "Mommy Time" in our bed before she goes to sleep, she doesn't sleep as well. We broke the routine once and it threw her out of whack.

    I think your suggestions are great! I am glad you are all getting more sleep too! It definitely makes for a happier and healthier mommies and baby!

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    1. Thanks Rachael! It's funny how similar the girls are (it must be because they share a birthday)! Grace really needs that end of night cuddle time so we're going to keep that going for now.

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    2. I think its awesome how similar they are! Peyton refuses to sleep in our bed, even if I wanted her to, but she does want to roll around and play in our bed before she goes into her own room. I don't really know when that started or why we started it, but its definitely become a regular part of her routine.

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  4. LOVE the bed head picture.
    Nice job moms on the sleep training. it sounds like it's working miracles.

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  5. Yay for sleeping all night! Love the picture! Great sleep training tips! I will have to give it a try with Noah... I'll let you know how it goes! : )

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    1. Amen to that! This picture was taken after her first 12 hour night of sleep! It was just too funny to not take a picture. Poor girl... She's going to kill me for these things one day, lol.

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Thanks so much for keeping up with our little family! We love reading your comments and will get back to you as soon as we can.

K+G+g+w ♥

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