PLEASE Go to Sleep : Update

Two weeks ago we shared our sleep troubles. Avery hadn’t been sleeping through the night in over a month, and we were running out of ideas and thinking about trying a new ‘method’ or ‘tactic’… and soon, because the lack of sleep was really getting to me.  So, what progress have we made since then?  Well, right about the time we shared our troubles, Avery came down with a cold.  He was congested and having trouble sleeping because of it (only recently.  It wasn’t the ’cause’ of our month of sleepless nights).  We gave him a week and a half for it to subside before we tried our new strategy out.

Sleep Routine Changes:

1. Earlier bath time.  Now that Avery is older and can ‘play’ during his bath, it’s not really a soothing activity to do before bed.  So, on the nights he has a bath (every other night), he takes it right after dinner (6PMish), instead of right before bed.

2. Earlier quiet-down time.  Right before bedtime, Avery gets in his PJs, nursery lights are turned off, nursery music put on, and he has his bedtime bottle at 7:15PM, while he is rocked and softly talked to.

3. Limit sing/rock time.  After his bottle, he is sung to, and rocked, for a short period.

4. Put Avery down, AWAKE. Before he falls asleep, we put Avery down in his crib and say good-night. This way, he will learn to put himself to sleep… in hopes that he’ll soon learn to do that when he wakes in the middle of the night too.

5. Check on him.  If Avery cries, we wait 3-5 minutes (while we listen to make sure it’s a normal cry and not a ‘hurt’ cry) before we go in and check on him.  When we check on him, we readjust him (he rolls over or rotates in the crib), give him his pacifier, rub his head, don’t make eye contact (making eye contact gives him the impression that he’s missing something so he won’t want to go to sleep), and whisper ‘it’s nite-nite time’.  We don’t pick him up. We typically only need to do this one or two times before he falls asleep.

6. Middle of the night.  Avery will sleep for 4-5 hours before he wakes up in the middle of the night.  When he does, I don’t rush in anymore.  I wait 3-5 minutes before checking on him (repeat #5).  A couple nights now, he’s cried for a minute or two, then put himself back to sleep!  And he hasn’t needed to eat in the middle of the night for a while. Improvement!

7. Naps.  Avery typically has 2 naps during the day… 1 morning & 1 afternoon, that last 1-2 hours.  At daycare, they use the same method, so we are consistant.

8. Clutch-toy.  I have been searching high and low for this toy/blanket that would be perfect as a ‘clutch’ bedtime toy (we have one somewhere…just can’t find it!).  We’re supposed to have me sleep with it for a couple nights before giving it to Avery and that way it’ll have my ‘scent. ‘  Then if Avery wakes in the middle of the night, he can cuddle the toy and be comforted.

I hear that it takes a while, but after a bit, Avery will learn to fall asleep on his own when it’s bedtime and when he wakes in the middle of the night.  How did we decide on these changes?  Well, we used some great advice from friends and family, and implemented some of the tactics in the book ‘12 Hours Sleep by 12 Weeks.’  It preaches similar tactics as the Ferber Method and others I’ve read about.

Are we getting more sleep?  Right now, no.  I still wake when Avery cries, and lay awake listening to him cry, to make sure it’s not a ‘hurt’ cry and waiting the 3-5 minutes to go in. But hopefully this will pay off in the long run.  I know it’s very important to teach a baby to fall asleep on their own and not have to rely on rocking and singing for a long time every night.  So, we’re hopeful that we’re on the right track.  Baby steps.  Soon I’ll get more than 3 hours of uninterrupted sleep 🙂


11 thoughts on “PLEASE Go to Sleep : Update

  1. good luck! looks like you’re doing everything right. Though I read that when you go in, don’t say anything at all. But that might come down to a personal preference.

    I got (2) comfort silkie for Alyson since it’s small, has a cotton side and a silky side. She loves blankets so I thought that would be perfect. But so far, she hasn’t attached herself to anything yet. lol. I think it’ll happen when they encounters it. Like my niece, it was love at first sight when she met her cows 7 years ago!

    I learned with Alyson that whether or not I go help her when she wakes up at night, she still needs to do that little bit of crying, so I stopped doing anything and now it’s gone away. I think my kids likes to “talk” in their sleep and it just so happens that crying is their version of talking.

    But it will pass!

    • Thanks. Aren’t they so sweet – while they are sleeping! I should have my husband take a picture during those crazy nights where he’s thrashing about and I’m using all my might not to drop him while trying to settle him down for bed! THAT wouldn’t be as adorable, I’m sure!

      • Oh. That thrashing is the worst. Sometimes, when I have Mac in the wrap and he’s fighting a nap, he starts with the grabbing and squirming. It’s astounding how strong they really are. And I find it extremely annoying that the main target of the lurching about is my face. He is always trying to get his fingers wrapped around my bottom lip. “Look, I realize I never shut up and it’s likely annoying but that is wholly unrelated to whether or not you take a nap, kid!”

      • Haha! Avery does that too.. except it’s my nose he grabs for, and if I haven’t cut his nails recently, I get cuts all over!

  2. Meg, any updates on this? how is he doing? M used to wake up at least once a night for a while but i knew she wasnt hungry. I was so quick to run in and get her. Now we let her “cry it out” and it only took 2-3 nights of her soothing herself back to sleep and she will sleep from 7:30 to about 5-5:30 (this is very recent, like last week, so fingers crossed it stays this way!). Sometimes we hear her around 2 and she fusses for a few minutes and falls back asleep. My limit was 20 minutes and it seemed to work. Hope this is working better for you now!

    • Yes… much to update but I’m afraid I’ll jinx it the second I write about it! He goes down pretty well between 7-730 and sometimes fusses for 5-10 minutes but lately he hasn’t because we do 15-20 minutes of quiet reading time which calms him down nicely. He wakes 2-3 times a night and by 3-4am he needs a bottle, but then he keeps sleeping until he gets to daycare at 7am

  3. Pingback: Just Another Sleep Journey « Being Mummy

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