Friday, June 28, 2013

How I got my child to sleep through the night at 5 weeks.

I'm excited to write this one. Probably because I'm extra proud of coming up with something that worked so well for us and to share it with people who want to know :)

Let me start off by saying.. 5 weeks is young for a baby to sleep through the night. Usually they are still eating several times through the night at that point, but we got permission from our pediatrician because Abigail has been a really good eater. She is already well over 10lbs.. oink oink ;)

Also, 'through the night' does not mean the same thing for big people and little people. When I say 'through the night' it means that we put her down at 9:30pm and she sleeps until 4:30am. Good enough for me!

When we brought A-bomb home from the hospital, it was rough (post coming). I struggled with where to have her sleep, because the second night home she kicked herself out of her swaddle and turned herself over on her belly. No, no, double no! All I wanted to do was hold her while she slept to make sure she kept breathing and because I was an emotional disaster, sorry Billy! After the first couple of nights, sleeping on the couch in the living room and waking up every 2 hours to feed her, we decided it was time to move the family into our bedroom. We had the pack and play in there, but I still didn't want her to sleep in it because I thought I was going to find her face down again. So we brought her bouncer chair in and put it next to my side of the bed. Seemed ok, but none of us slept well. Getting her to sleep was such a struggle, we held her and rocked her and she would be sound asleep (drool style) and then we put her down and all we saw we were bright blue eyes. It was so frustrating.

Just before her 5 week mark, I decided to try something different. And it worked! So I am going to share with you our 'bedtime routine'. We started it that night and haven't looked back since!

Somewhere between 9pm and 9:15pm we give her a bath. We use lavender soap that is supposed to make babies sleepy. Does it actually work? Who knows, but my kid is sleeping so I'm not switching it ;)
Bath time leads straight to HER room where we change her, put her in PJ's, and swaddle her VERY tight.
Then, with the lights off, sound machine on (nursery songs, she doesn't like the white noise) and the fan on high, we feed her a bottle while sitting in her glider.
Sometimes she falls right to sleep when we feed her and sometimes she is still wide awake. But she knows now that it is bed time. When she is done with her bottle, we put her in her bouncer (still in HER room)(she isn't sleeping in her crib because she has reflux, the bouncer works great to help her), give her her pacifier and walk out of the room with the door closed.
From that point on, if she cries (usually just because she spits out her paci) we go back into her room and give it to her. We have found that its super important to NOT pick her back up after we put her down. If she cries, figure out a different way to soothe her. 9 times out of 10, the pacifier does the trick. However, we do not let her 'cry it out'. She doesn't cry herself to sleep. If she cries, we give her a minute and then go in her room and try things until she is calm again.

We put her in her own room VERY early. And it was scary. And some people might not agree with it. But it has really worked for us. None of us slept well being in the same room. She would wake up every time we moved and we would wake up every time she made any noise. We have a GREAT monitor and obsess over it after we put her down for the night. I literally look at it every 2 minutes.

She usually falls asleep between 9:30pm and 10pm and wakes up anywhere between 3:45am and 4:30am. When she wakes up, we give her a bottle (in her room, in the dark) and put her right back down and she goes right back to sleep until about 8am and then we start our day.

This might not work for everyone and some people might not want to try it. But I know that I have told several mama's or mama to be's that Abigail was sleeping well and they were curious how we did it, so I thought I would share.

And I'm going to leave you with a picture from a VERY impromptu photo session we did the other day. My aunt (the photographer) was staying with my parents and decided to take some pictures, which turned into a full shoot! More to come :)



 
UPDATE: I wrote this last night.. and as of this morning we have a new record! Down at 10:30pm and did not wake up until 6:30am!!! :)

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