Wednesday, July 22, 2009

the no-cry sleep solution


Around 9 weeks John started sleeping through the night. Usually from anywhere between 8pm and 9pm to 5am or 6am. It was an early morning, but it was so awesome to get so many consecutive hours of sleep. I loved it, but I didn't bank on it. Babies change sleeping habits 4 to 6 times in their first year, and I didn't think my baby would be the exception to that.
And I was right. Around 4 and ½ months it stopped. He started waking up once or twice to eat, which was fine. He ate quickly and was usually back to sleep before he even finished. But then around 5 and ½ months it started getting worse and worse. He would wake up to eat often—sometimes every two hours, and he wouldn't always go right back to sleep. And sometimes he was just waking up for no good reason at all. It got to the point that he was waking up 7 or so times a night, and was only getting 6 or 7 hours of sleep at night. It would be fine if I felt like that was all he needed, but he was waking up so tired. And it would be evident all day that he just wasn't getting enough sleep—especially since he wasn't napping more than 30 to 45 minutes at a time.
I wasn't sure how much longer that this could go on, but did (and do) know one thing for sure: I won't—I can't—let my baby cry it out. So, I was really excited when a friend recommend the no cry sleep solution, by Elizabeth Pantley. She is a co-sleeping mom (like me) and has great ideas for helping your baby to sleep both in your bed or in a crib without just letting your baby cry themselves to sleep. She has you start by doing a sleep log, implementing a 'sleep plan' for 10 days, and then do another log, readjust your plan if you need to, another 10 days, another log… you get the point. She says in her book that in her test group of moms 92% had babies sleeping through the night (the medical definition of 5 hours, ideally from midnight to 5am) after 2 months.
I've just completed the first 10 days:
First log
Second log
Difference
Asleep time:
9:40pm
8:00pm
1 hr 40 min
Awake time:
6:20am
6:20am
0 min
Number of awakenings:
7
3
4
Longest sleep span:
2 hr 15 min
3 hr
45 min
Total hours of sleep:
6 hr 50 min
10 hr 5min
3 hr 15 min

 

The funny thing is that John had a vaccination yesterday, which always messes with his sleeping. We've had several nights in the past 10 days that he only woke up once or twice. And several mornings where he slept past 7. And even one night that he slept 4.5 hours. But even if you ignore all that and just look at the difference between the night before we started and day 10 – it's awesome! Over 3 more hours of sleep!!! I'm so excited! He's even napping better—usually more than an hour at a time. That's not ideal, but it better than it was. I'm looking forward to tweaking things a bit and seeing even more progress in the next ten days!
Here's to hoping that in a month and a half I have a baby who sleeps a nice 5 hour stretch! J

Then I shall tackle the no-cry nap solution.

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