Friday, September 21, 2012

Sleep.

People have asked me over and over what we did/do for our girls to be such good sleepers.  Here it is:

Nothing.

For the amount that we put in, should not yield what we have.

But I will tell you what we did.

First, we swaddled.  Tight.  I mean TIGHT.  My girls looked like little burritos with heads sticking out.  I'm not kidding.

Paci's.  Some say do it some say don't.  We did for both girls.  AB loved her all the time.  EK used it for it's purpose and would spit it out.  We just got rid of them a few months ago.


Eat, wake, sleep.  We were given strong advice of the eat, wake, sleep routine from baby wise.  So I/we would feed them as soon as they woke up (think breakfast) we would have wake time with them (play, bath, change diaper) and then nap.  Repeat.

Bedtime routine.  When they were little (newborn, not sleeping through the night), we still did a bed time routine.  We decided that 8pm would be bedtime and 8am would be our wake time.   Before then, around 7 or so, we would do a feeding, give them a bath, read a story and have prayer time as a family.  So anytime that they would wake up between 8 and 8, we would do what baby wise calls a "dream feed".  It's a no non-sense feed.  No snuggling, no eye contact - just feeding and back to bed.  Some may say, you don't want to snuggle your baby?  You don't want to soak up this time?  No.  For me, there is 12 other hours in the day to do that.  In addition, I'm a monster when I'm sleep deprived.  I'm super emotional, short tempered and mean.  My other family members do not need to suffer.

Also, for 6 weeks, I would feed around the clock, working toward a 3 hour schedule.  Meaning, of course I'll feed my child when they are hungry, but trying to get them eating every 3 hours so that I can nap, play with the other child, take a nap myself, shower, sit and stare at the wall do other things.  After 6 weeks, they can sleep up to 6 hours at night without a feeding (literally their bodies can do it).  So when we put them down for bedtime at 8pm, I will do another dream feed at 10 or 11pm and then let them sleep until 4 or 5am.  Then at week 7, make it 7 hours.  Then 8 weeks, 8 hours.  And work our way to 12 hour routine.  We would also work out of doing the dream feed.  Both girls made it clear they were not interested in it anymore.  Now if they wake up during the night when I want them to be sleeping, I'll wait a few minutes to see if they will go back to sleep.  I made the mistake one time of going in when AB was crying.  She was not awake, but rather changing sleep cycles and was just fussy.  I woke up her and scared her out of her little mind.  Oops.  I for sure gave her extra snuggles that night :)  If they don't go back down, then I would go in and tuck them back in, maybe they came out of their swaddle or wanted the paci back in.  If they would continue to protest, then I would feed them and put them back to bed.

Grace.  Give yourself some grace.  They do not come out of the womb knowing the difference between day and night, you need to teach them.  Give yourself some grace. Your tired, hormonal, and need some coffee but if you are like me your so worried about your milk supply that you don't.  Have a cup and get over it.  At least you can have an attitude adjustment.

Patience.  It did take some time and a whole lot of patience.  But we got them sleeping.

Do they still wake up at night, yeah.  Do they still protest, sometimes.

But I hope that this helps someone.

1 comment:

Becky [Apples of Gold] said...

Good stuff! I've never looked into the Baby Wise theories but I guess I did some of their stuff without even knowing. The whole eat wake sleep thing is how I've done it, and it's worked for us. My girl has a paci and still uses it when she starts feeling tired. The swaddle thing is awesome! Babies definitely loved to be swaddled. Thanks for sharing your tips!

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