So after 8 weeks, I made some big changes in C’s schedule. I talked to a sleep consultant (I was feeling desperate after a couple of weeks of waking every hour or two at night), and I read a new book and just kind of went for it. I was nervous at first because this schedule is so different from what I did with Austin but it really has turned into the best choice for baby C, for me as a mom, and even for A as we all spend so much time together. C is so happy, smiley, and growing well.
Weeks 9 and 10:
We worked on stretching feedings to every 4 hours, and moved bedtime to 6:30pm. There was some resistance at first; I had to distract him a lot to get to such spaced out feedings but then he could do it on his own. He almost immediately started sleeping until 1:30am and we started doing just one middle of the night feeding, but it took him a while to fall back asleep after his middle of the night feeding, and same with bedtime – he would fuss from 6:30pm to 8 every night. I really thought I should abandon ship because this new schedule seemed kind of nuts, but knowing what to expect during the day and seeing him so happy made me feel like I should keep going.
One of the main things the sleep consultant taught me was to move forward during the night; if C slept until 1:30am and ate then, that was the new starting point. If he woke up at 12 the next night, I was to comfort him instead of feed him. When he slept until 2:30am one night, that became the new starting point. This was challenging for me because if he woke up at 12 for example, there were nights that I spent 2 hours comforting him and holding him off until the feeding time. It would have been much easier to just feed him whenever, and part of me felt mean for holding off the feedings. But I reminded myself that he was getting MORE than enough ounces in during the day, that he was capable of going these longer stretches, and that he would stop fussing at my presence which showed me he was not hungry at those times. There was a night where he was up from 8 to 10pm, 12 to 2am, 5-6am, etc. I was this close to throwing in the towel. He would wake up in the morning all smiles though, and is such a joy to be around!!!
Weeks 11 and 12:
Nights started to improve greatly. C’s middle of the night feeding got pushed slowly until 4:30am, and I started decreasing the ounces in his bottle as well. Some nights were crazy still with lots of wakings, but most nights he would sleep from 6:30pm clear until 2 or 3am and consistently was getting 8 to 9 hour stretches of sleep. I continued this each night; a half ounce less every few nights, and pushed the time forward based on however long C slept until. Before I knew it, he made it to 5:30am without a feeding, so I fed him at 6am that day and then we got to 6:30am the next and officially stopped night feedings. What a milestone! We did this all without any crying, aside from waiting a few minutes to give him a chance to settle and to make sure he was really awake. Some nights he will sleep until about 4am and need a re-swaddle or pacifier, other nights he is up a few more times. Bedtime is still a bit more difficult…he wakes a few times in the first hour before totally settling down. In the next couple of weeks, we will unswaddle and will work on falling asleep independently at bedtime and will use the progressive waiting approach with checks. I’m not even going to think about really getting going on crib naps until after that. C smiles all day long, drinks big bottles, loves to be talked to, held, and just be in the mix. He is the perfect addition to our family – we love him so 🙂
Anyway, here is our current 3 month schedule!
|6:30am||Wake, new diaper, 7 ounce bottle, dress, playtime|
|10:15/10:30am||7 ounce bottle, new diaper, playtime|
|2:15/2:30pm||7 ounce bottle, new diaper, playtime|
|3:30pm||Nap 3 – carseat nap|
|6:00 to 6:30pm||Bedtime routine – bath, lotion, night diaper, onesie, swaddle, snuggle and give 7 ounce bottle, sound machine on, lights off, kisses and crib|