Monday, July 23, 2012

Marriage & Motherhood Monday

...about the sleep schedule.
One of the first questions people ask us about Avery is: "How well is he sleeping?"  And we've been bright eyed and chipper in answering "very well!"  Yes, our 2 1/2 month old sleeps through the night.  And yes, we consider ourselves EXTREMELY blessed.  We did go about a strict sleeping regime which I'll share...but I'll also throw in a disclaimer that it may not work for all babies... or parents who have issues with letting a baby self-soothe.  But it worked for us after 3 weeks.  So, just sayin'... haha.

Week 1: (Out of the hospital)
What a blur.  We did everything we could to satisfy our son's needs.  When he cried, we feed him, burped him, changed him, and rocked him back to sleep.  It was exhausting and stressful.  His bassinet was set up in our room as well, which made it hard for us to sleep since I woke up every time he breathed irregularly (which infants are notorious for!)...and in turn I would wake up Matt in a frantic.  But still, we made it through the week of newborn bliss.

Week 2:
We need a schedule.  Matt was back at work and couldn't afford the sleepless nights.  We talked with our nurse who reassured us that as babies do eat every 2 hours, they have the capacity to go up to 4 hours.  Especially if the baby is as good an eater as ours. (aka...chunky monkey stored milk like a squirrel stores nuts).  So that night we went to bed with the intention of only feeding every 4 hours.  When he woke up after 2 hours, we let him cry himself to sleep.  As a mom, this was very difficult.  Matt had to put him in his own room, shut the door and set my alarm to wake up 2 hours later and go feed him.  He eventually fell back asleep and after the additional 2 hours I went in and woke him up to feed.  We continued this through the week. Each night he cried a little less.  (Note: Avery was in his crib now sleeping on his back, swaddled, using the boppy pillow)


Week 3-4:
Now we put our scheduling to the test.  During the day we did our best to keep Avery awake longer.  This meant stripping him down when he fed so he wouldn't fall back asleep, burping him more often, playing with him when he was done.  Then at night we would put him down and let him wake up when he was hungry.  The key was I would still set my 4-hour alarm...but if he was still asleep I would let him keep sleeping instead of waking him up.  The first couple nights were like week 2... but by the end of week 4 Avery was sleeping 6-7 hours!

Week 5 - 8: 
Avery's sleeping is more consistent.  We put him to bed late, 10-11pm after his bath and large bottle and he wakes up around 4am to eat (4 oz) and then goes straight back to sleep until I wake him at 8am for his morning bath.  During the day he's staying up a lot longer and enjoys playing on his back with his play gym. (Note: Avery is now sleeping on his belly.  It's what he prefers, and since he's holding his head up himself we feel safe letting him do so)  A couple times he slept for 8 hours!  Some mornings I'd bring him into our room to finish sleeping while I did morning chores.



Week 9: (Mommy goes back to work)
We needed to adjust his sleep schedule to accommodate us waking up earlier for work.  He still went to bed at 10pm, but now he wakes up between 4:30 and 5 depending on how much he ate just before going to bed.  Since he's going through a growth spurt and upping his amount of milk (about 6 oz), we have nights where he wakes up at 3am for a quick snack.  Otherwise we wake him up at 6 am sometimes to take his bath.


Currently
Little peanut is sleeping on average 7 hours. There are a couple days he wakes up earlier so we're in the process of upping his bottle amount to 8 oz.  He guzzles it down...so obviously he needed it. :)  On Saturday he'll wake up at 4am and then go back to bed and wake up around 9am if we let him.  So yes, we consider him sleeping in... love it!
Like I said before, this is what worked for us.  We did things a lot of "experts" would say are a no-no.  (Belly sleeping, boppy pillow...etc)  but Avery supports himself on his belly and the boppy pillow was a life saver. lol. Honestly, after going through it, we learned a lot about our baby.  And that's what it ends up being.  You know what they like. :)

Please feel free to share your experiences!

13 comments:

  1. I love looking at all his pictures! I look forward to Mondays. He's such a cutie.

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  2. Wow Kathy, this is what I call determination. I must say that I am a little jealous of your 2 month old sleeping through the night but I am copying this for my next baby. I'll try anything to get some sleep :).

    I love the pic of you and Avery making all the faces oh and the ones of Matt and him sleeping. Just too cute.

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  3. Kathy... you're totally giving me hope food when we have kids. Sleep is honestly one of the main reasons we haven't started... that, and having one year left of law school! I am seriously going ti keep this in mind for when we have babies! (And pray that it works for us too!)

    Love ya lady and so happy that you and the hubs have been blessed with such a beautiful, healthy, and good-sleeping baby! He is too precious for words!

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  4. That is what my mom did with my me and my sisters, that is exactly what my sister did and Zach always slept through the night. This is exactly what I intend to do. Baby will know how to sleep, haha.

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  5. Avery is just such a cutie! And you really are blessed. Thanks for sharing your tips. I will have to try them out because I do value my sleep and while I don't mind giving it up for a week here or there, I can't imagine going 3-months without getting enough sleep :-).

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  6. It's funny. When I was born, babies were placed on strict schedules before they left the hospital. Then, came the feed on demand phase. With my older daughter, I never got sleep. However, my younger daughter was easy. I fed her on demand, but she loved her sleep. She slept through the night at about a month old. Each baby is sooo different.

    And, the pictures of Avery are adorable.

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  7. He's sooo sweet!! I cannot get enough of his cute face!! I love monday's on your blog. As for the sleep, wow you're tough. I couldn't bear doing the whole cry it out thing. We're not even going to try. He's 6 weeks and slowly but surely as he grows and eats more before bed he sleeps longer at night. Rohan sleeps on his tummy too. Otherwise he'd never sleep. He startles and wakes himself up on his back lol.

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    1. Dani, Does Rohan flail his little arms around when he gets startled? I loved see Avery do that! :) He was the same way on his back.

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  8. Oh my goodness he is precious!!!

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  9. I love this tips. would be copying this idea when I have kids... I love my sleep.

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  10. I am SOOOOOO jealous. Sweet Avery can you teach my Abigail to sleep as well as you do?

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  11. I love all the pics. We are trying a similar routine but AOI wakes up one to twice a night for a feed and a change.

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