Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Zzzzzz

I have had quite a few people ask how we got Charlie to sleep through the night at 3 months and I have to admit I have no idea.  He just did.  At 6 months however, he stopped.  He started waking up 2, 3, 4 even 5 times a night.  What the french toast!  Around this same time he started teething so naturally that's what we thought the culprit was. Here is how it went..

Sometime between 8pm and 9pm we gave him a bottle to fall asleep.
We put him in his crib and he slept until around 1am.
We gave him another bottle to fall back asleep.
Tried to put him back in the crib-screamed bloody murder.
We let him cry- didn't work.
We walked around with him- he calmed down.
Tried to put him back in the crib-screamed bloody murder.
We rocked him- he calmed down.
Tried to put him back in the crib- screamed bloody murder.
We let him sleep in our bed.
Repeat 3x EVERY night for 3 months

You can imagine how bad I wanted his teeth to come through. I thought as soon as they were through he would be back to his normal sleeping patterns. Funny thing... They came through and nothing changed. Joke was on me.

I decided that I could not handle one more sleepless night. I called my pediatrician and also did some research on my own. I found out that every single thing we were doing from the time he went to bed to the time he woke up was all wrong. We were so deep into these bad habits that I thought it would be impossible to break them.

Here is what I learned...

Most babies by the time they are 6 months have the ability to sleep 11-12hrs at night.
In order to allow them to do so an ideal bedtime should be around 7pm.
The half hour to hour before bedtime should be chill and relaxed.
The way your child falls asleep i.e. nursing/bottle or rocking will be the way they want to fall asleep when they wake up in the middle of the night. I say "when they wake up" because they will. Everyone wakes up in the middle of the night the difference is whether they are able to fall back asleep on their own or with their "sleep crutch" i.e. bottle/ rocking etc.

Once we realized this, Ben and I tag teamed our new routine.  It took us 4 or 5 nights before we saw results but Charlie is once again sleeping a rock solid 11hrs and it feels GLORIOUS!  Here is our new schedule.

Around 6:30pm he has a bottle while we read books.  We do not let him fall asleep this way!
At 7pm we put him down in the crib
At 6am he wakes up!  Boom.

Again, it took us a few nights to get him to fall asleep on his own (sometimes he still fusses over it) but we stuck with it and the dude was a dude (as usual)!

P.S. Shout out to Ben!  Mission Accomplished!