Posts Tagged baby
*NOTE* I meant to publish this nearly a year ago (soon after J started sleeping through the night), but now that he’s almost two, I figured I’d better finally hit publish on this post. Below is what I wrote earlier this year (and finished today so I can’t remember the details as well now) and I hope it will possibly help some sleep-deprived parent out there.
After 13 and a half months, it finally happened–Jaylen slept through the night! We didn’t really do any kind of sleep training, but I did start following a “plan” in January (after Jaylen got better from having hand, foot, mouth disease) that I somehow found online. It’s from Dr. Jay Gordon, who supports attachment parenting.
Since Jaylen started drinking cow’s milk after his first birthday, I wanted to start weaning him from night nursing. We didn’t really like the “cry it out” method, so when I found Dr. Gordon’s article, I thought it sounded more do-able for us. He doesn’t advocate doing any kind of sleep training until your baby is older (like 12 months or older), which makes sense to me. I also continued to night nurse because I wasn’t pumping as much milk during the day when I was at work since Jaylen was at least 8 months old and knew he wasn’t taking in much milk while I was gone. Obviously he could go for 11-12 hours without drinking milk, but I was concerned he wasn’t getting the daily amount of milk he needed so I think he really needed to get those calories and nutrition at night. Even though it means I didn’t really sleep well for over a year, it’s worth the sacrifice. Plus now I sometimes miss those nights when I’d get to hold him in my arms because now he’s usually still sleeping when I leave for work (if I don’t need to drop him off at the babysitter’s) and that means I don’t see him for nearly 24 hours when I get home!
So for parents who want to try this more gentle version of sleep training, basically Dr. Gordon says you should choose a period of time when you want to get continuous sleep like 11 pm to 6 am. I also went with those hours because sometimes I’m still awake before 11 anyway. So after you put your baby to bed, if he wakes up any time before 11 pm (even at 10:58), you can go in and do whatever you usually would do to help him sleep (rock, nurse, etc.). Then between 11 pm to 6 am, you follow the following guidelines:
If your baby wakes, you can nurse, but do it for shorter periods of time. I would go in and only nurse him for one minute (it was also easier for me to keep track of this since I was counting the seconds in my head). Then you can hug him, rock him, etc. but make sure you put him down awake. That wasn’t a problem for us because even after nursing, Jaylen usually went down awake and would fall asleep on his own. He was typically waking 1-2 times a night at this point. For these first few days, you can only repeat this pattern after the baby has slept. This can be challenging if your baby fights this new way of sleeping (understandable though), but stick with it!
Again, stop nursing to sleep at 11 p.m. When your baby wakes, hug and cuddle him, but do not feed him, and put him down awake. Since I’m writing this part nearly a year after we did this sleep training, I can’t remember exactly how these few nights went, but eventually Jaylen did sleep without needing to eat. I think I also offered him water instead of breastmilk at night. When he realized he wasn’t getting milk, he decided to just sleep. It was hard staying in his room to comfort him when I’d rather be sleeping, but in the end it was worth it.
We didn’t even have to continue the plan (which has instructions for nights 7, 8, 9, and 10). At this point, Jaylen started sleeping 11-12 hours straight a night. Of course, I thought the first night was a miracle and tried not to expect it to happen again (from past experience), but it did! We do have our moments and weeks of not sleeping (like from sickness or random night wakings), but they are fewer and definitely nothing like those first 13 months of his life.
I recommend reading Dr. Gordon’s article since he gives better descriptions and instructions than I do here, but this method worked for us and if I have another future kid that’s not a great sleeper, I will definitely try this again after the baby turns a year old.
So if you are currently a sleep-deprived parent of an infant, don’t worry–you will sleep again someday. It definitely won’t be the same kind of sleep you got before you had kids, but it will be better than now. My only problem now to getting more sleep is getting myself to bed earlier!
We had quite the exciting Halloween here. For starters, we woke up with a light dusting of SNOW on the ground. It’s too early for snow in my mind. Anyway, this was Jaylen’s first Halloween and I was excited to dress him up even though he had no idea what was going on. I found a monkey costume for $5 at a consignment sale back in August, which was adorable on him. It was a little small on him because it was a 3-6 month size (he’s 10 months old), but it worked because he’s not very big for his age (takes after his mommy). The arms and legs were just a little too short. I also loved that the costume had a belly!
Since we didn’t plan on taking Jaylen trick-or-treating (he can’t eat candy–it’d be more for us–and it was too cold), I needed a place for him to show off his costume. So I brought him to Gerald’s school for part of his class’s Halloween party and the school’s Halloween parade. The students loved meeting Jaylen and several of them came over to play with him. Jaylen seemed to be enjoying them too.
By the time of the parade, it was snowing/mini-hailing outside so they had the parade in the gym instead. Jaylen and I sat to watch (though he was getting more squirmy at this point). A few times he was waving at some of the kids. We enjoyed seeing Daddy and his class as they went by too.
I didn’t dress up, but Gerald and the 5th grade team were the seven dwarfs from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. He’s Sleepy. I also have to show Chloe’s costume. I got her this race horse costume on sale from Target.
That one’s fitting for me since I used to ride. 🙂 I took her for a little walk as trick-or-treating started (and there was practically no one out there) but a few people saw her costume and they seemed to get a kick out of it. I think she’ll just wear this every year. Maybe next year we’ll actually go trick-or-treating with Jaylen and Chloe. We actually didn’t get too many trick-or-treaters this year, but our neighborhood is kind of tucked away by itself so I guess not many people would drive down to trick-or-treat there. Oh well…more candy for us!
It’s been a while since I posted on here, but life has been a little crazy in dealing with some really tough personal stuff, unexpected condo fires (not ours, but our neighbor) and by some exciting changes. I’m not going to go into the hard things now (maybe I will years down the road), but I’ll just say that I have not had to depend on God more for strength and grace. It’s not easy, but He is walking us through it and bringing us now into a new chapter of life. This brings me to our special Father’s Day announcement:
We’re excited that God is blessing us with this new life and it’s also a reminder to us that He can bring beauty from what is broken. I just went to the doctor this morning and everything looks good! Gerald finally got to go to an appointment with me and hear the baby’s heartbeat. He actually recorded the audio. 🙂 I thought I was at 14 weeks, but the doctor said I was at 15, so I guess we’ll go with that. The second trimester is underway!
I’ve been blessed to not have any morning sickness at all up to this point. My mom never had it either and her mom didn’t, so I hope I continue to take after my mom. Yes, I’ve still been trying to run during my pregnancy. It was easier in the beginning until I started getting really tired and had less energy. My pace has definitely slowed down (it was anyway during the winter) and whenever I run now I just try to take it easy and listen to my body. Lately I’ve been walking more, but hopefully after the baby is born I can go on more runs with the jogging stroller and get my running fitness back.
A few other updates–I retired from my role as a youth counselor at church. It’s bittersweet because I enjoyed spending time with the kids, but I was also getting a little burned out after doing youth ministry for six years and I knew I wouldn’t be able to do it anyway if I had a baby. Gerald and I also need more time together so my Friday nights are now designated as date nights or just for us to spend time with one another (especially important before and even after baby comes). While serving in youth group is great, focusing on my marriage is more of a priority. We hadn’t been seeing much of each other during the weeks and so this time is important for us.
Hopefully I’ll be updating more frequently from now on, but we’ll see how that goes!