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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

How We Did It: SLEEP!

As promised, a post to tell you how we went from this:

to THIS!!!

Now that I've gotten your attention I will take a moment to let you grab your pen and paper...go on...I'll wait.

No, I'm just kidding, I do not have all the tricks or claim to have all the answers, HOWEVER, there were some things that helped us so here is how we got B sleeping through the night unswaddled.

A week ago on the same day as B's 6 month appointment we were also having a heat wave. It was in the 80's for a couple days which made it just too hot to swaddle. At B's appointment he got his shots which is enough to wear him out plus he was already exhausted on top of that. When I brought him home he literally fell asleep the second he hit the crib (unswaddled). He napped for a good hour by rolling himself to his side.

That night we thought we might as well bite the bullet and go for all night sleeping unswaddled. At bedtime he again was exhausted from his Dr. appointment (I really do think that helped). At 8:30 when we laid him down we gave him a paci, and put a second one in the crib that he could find if he needed to. Also, we gave him his little blanket that is about an 8"x8" little blankie to hold for comfort. I was against giving him any sleep item to cling to but I thought about it again and if it will calm him down, and give him something to hold/play with, then why not? He was so tired he fell right to sleep still on his back.

About 15 minutes later he woke himself up with a jerk. Crying. We went up, gave him a paci and left. Still crying. Went in again, and picked him up, paci, calm, lay down. A few minutes later more crying. This time his crying was almost hysterical crying (my heart breaking) so I decided to nurse him again as that was the only thing to calm him down. I changed his diaper, nursed the second boob, burped him, and laid him back down. He was calm for a while, then fussed, then he rolled to his belly. He fussed for a while and we just let him go.

It is now approaching 10:30. I took stock of the situation; he is not hungry, he is not wet, he is not cold, he is not hot...he is just tired. At this point we let him cry it out. I know some people could never use this method. If you would have asked me 2 months ago I would have thought I could never use the cry it out method. But in all honesty, once they reach a certain age, and you know that they know they are fine, comfortable, loved and that they are just tired, it is a bit easier to let them cry it out. His fusses turned to cries and I was about to go back in. Thank goodness for hubs because he said, "Just wait, it sounds like he's tiring out." And he was. A minute later his head was down and he slept ALL.NIGHT.LONG.

Since that night, we have never looked back. B lays down in his crib like he knows exactly what to do. He grabs his blanket, rolls over, and goes to sleep. IT IS AMAZING.

It is amazing at how smart babies really are, and how easily they adapt. Of course I think timing had something to do with it. I really do think he was "ready" (whatever that means). But I also think it helps to stay consistent. He gets 2 paci's, a blanket, a kiss from mom and dad, and then bed. Letting him cry it out that one night was sooooooooooooooo hard, but sooooooooooo worth it.

Because of my boy's good sleep habits now he is down to only 2 naps a day. 2 long naps. I love it!



Littlest True Blue said...

Congrats ! Way to go baby B! Just wondering when he started rolling back to tummy? Alexandra is still not doing it at all and she is 5 months! I think babies like to sleep better on their tummies and if she knew how to get there it might make unswaddling easier!

Clementsville: Population of 4! said...

We did the same thing to our boys, about the same age. It is the hardest thing to do, but it will make your sleep routine SO much easier, forever I think!
Just started reading your blog, LOVE it!

Waiting Lisa said...

It drives me crazy when people brag about how they would never let their baby cry it out. Whtever. The truth is sometimes doing it is better for the baby. It means less crying and pain for them in the long run. Think of all the crying over all the nights if you didn't do it. This was one night of it and then a lifetime of good sleep. Sleep is healthy. Awesome job. So glad it worked for you.

Cherbear said...

great job Tiff!!

I am OK said...

Good Mommy.

We got Cooper at 9 months so he already slept through the night; but I got my Good Mommy badge in potty training - LOL

Such a cutie BTW.

FirstTimeMom said...

Awesome job Tiffany!! I'm praying Alex gets the hang of STTN unswaddled in his crib as easily as B did! Good for you for staying strong while he cried. I too agree that you have to take the cue from them. When they are ready it makes it SO much easier. :) Well, for them at least haha!

Mommy-In-Waiting said...

Yay! That's great news=)

♥Sarah♥ said...

Thats fantastic, Im scared to swaddle just because of all the nightmares ive read when its time to break the habit. But I guess when our little one gets here then we will decide what to do. Do you have a FB account? Our engagement pics are bigger on FB and I would be willing to friend you if you want?

My email addy is srw_juliet@hotmail.com

Anonymous said...

So glad he is sleeping through the night for you!