Monday, March 28, 2011

Sleeping Beauty

I am going to begin by praying that I do not jinx us by writing this post but...........


Can I get a hallelujah chorus???  Yes, she is in fact following in her big bros footsteps, and is officially (cross my fingers) sleep trained by 7 weeks!!!! This has been my goal all along, because as I have stated previously on this blog I am all about some sleep training.  I feel it is best for all parties involved to have a full nights sleep, so that we can all stay healthy and feel refreshed.  I am a firm believer in the idea of teaching babies the life lesson of self soothing, and not starting habits that I will one day have to break (aside from the life saver of the binky, but that is another post).  I am not writing this post to brag about my amazing children, or to rub the fact that my baby is sleeping through the night in other moms faces.  I am basically writing this post for my own memory, just incase I need the information again one day a long long time down the road. 

I am obsessed with the Babywise Method, because it WORKS. 

 There are many mixed reviews on this method, but a lot of the prejudice against it in my mind is due to a lack of understanding the true values of the method.  Basically, the method is a combination of Parent direction methods that help both you and your baby establish a schedule.  The CIO method is explained and recommended throughout the book but it is not the wholistic idea behind the method.  With Caleb and Mckinlee, I have taken the basic ideas from this book, and worked them into a schedule that works for our family.  

The beginning advice of babywise it to get your newborn on a consistent Eat, Wake, Sleep schedule.  The book breaks this down into various weeks of age, and it helps you have realistic expectations for your new baby.  When Mckinlee first came home from the hospital for about the first two weeks I fed her on demand in order to establish my milk suppy and then at age two weeks I started implementing the babywise method of spacing feedings out to 2 1/2-3 hour intervals.  The basic rule is as soon as baby wakes from a nap feed them, and try to not let them fall asleep at the breast.  This is in order to help them understand that they do not need your breast (or bottle) in order to fall asleep.  After they eat the method suggests a wake period (sometimes easier said than done with a newborn, but you do what you can).  About 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours before baby is due to eat again following the 2 1/2-3 hour eating schedule you lay them down for a nap.  (This can be where you implement the cio method if you so choose).  Mckinlee has actually been great in terms of laying down for a nap and bed.  She has cried two times for about 10 minutes total with me checking in every three minutes, and then she fell asleep on her own.  CIO works for us, and I do not feel as though I am damaging my child in any way, but to each their own. 

#1 rule in helping baby learn to sleep through the night is to establish a consistent morning feeding time every day.  This will help the babies body learn to wake at that time to eat.  We started with a 8 am established feeding time for the first 6 weeks.  Now that she is sleeping through the night our time is 6:30 am.  Always wake the baby at that time (give or take 30 minutes), in order to help establish their routine. 

Late night/middle of the night I basically took different ideas from babywise/my experience with Caleb to figure out what worked best for miss Mckinlee.  Between the hours of  7-bedtime lil miss is cranky and enjoys cluster feeding.  I personally do not want to sit for hours with her attached to me and snacking so this is what I did to help it. 
  • breastfeed her from both breasts before bath
  • After bath warm up 4 ounces of previously pumped milk and feed it to her in a bottle to make sure she has a full feeding.
  • Lay her down for bed, and allow her to self soothe. 
Early Week Middle of the Night feedings I fed from my breasts. As she started to get closer to the 6 week mark when I knew she would slowly stop needing a nighttime feeding I began feeding her from a bottle.  I started out with 3 ounces of previously pumped breast milk to feed her at her 3 am feeding.  Every three nights I would decrease the amount by 1/2 ounce in order to help her learn that she does not need a full feeding at this time.  I would then wake her at our established morning feeding time and breastfeed her.  Slowly but surely her need for the night feeding dwindled, and now if she grunts I just give her a binky and she is good to go until 6:30 am.  Baby, hubby, and I are all so much happier. 

So in conclusion
  • Try to establish a 2 1/2-3 hour feeding schedule during the day with your baby.
  • Feed as soon as they awake from a nap, and try to have some waketime, then lay them down for another nap.
  • If they sleep the full 3 hours wake them at that time to eat.
  • Provide full feeding at each feeding session to cut down on snacking.  lil miss loved to snack at first and that was a habit I had to break quickly. 
  • Provide full nighttime feeding before bed.
  • Lay them down drowsy but awake to learn to self soothe
  • Establish morning feeding time
  • Cut down nighttime feedings in order to teach them that they do not need food at this time.

I love a section of babywise that states...

"when your baby starts to sleep through the night, people will invariably say "you're just lucky", or "you;ve got a good baby".  Neither statement is true.  Your baby is sleeping through the night because you trained him or her to do so.  You can take the credit for your success." 



Mama Laughlin said...

YAY! I love me a sleeping baby!
I used Baby Wise too and T was sleeping through the night at 6 weeks!
I will DEFINITELY be using this method again!
So happy yall are in a routine!

Meant to be a mom said...

Good for you mama!!! I think you did a great job. I will definitely keep these tips in mind when our little miss comes. I know for a fact that lack of sleep and I don't mix so the faster I can get a good sleeping schedule established the better :)

Jocelyn said...

I agree with you 100%! I used babywise for all 3 of my kids and absolutely loved it. They all were sleeping through the night (8:30-8) by 2 - 2 1/2 months. Your little girl is adorable!!!