Friday, August 12, 2011

Sleep Training - Day 1

A few weeks ago we tried letting Noah cry at the times of the night where we knew he was waking out of habit instead of hunger.  We knew it was habit because he was waking at the EXACT same time every night for multiple days and would go right back to sleep with his soother.  After one night, he dropped 1 of his 2 night feeds and slept till 4:30am.  He would then sleep till 7-8am.  We were ecstatic!  Unfortunately it was short lived and within a few days his sleep actually got worse!  He started waking at 145 and 245 EVERY night, and fed around 4am.  After 2 weeks of battling him without success, I threw in the towel and went back to 2 feeds.  But it didn't stop those first 2 wakeups!

2 nights ago was the worst, he was WIDE awake for those first 2 wakeups and refused to settle.  The feeds weren't helping and I was exhausted!  I had tried moving him to a 4 hour eating schedule during the day but I think it made him worse at night.  4 hours was too long between bottles and he was absolutely famished by feed time.  Plus it was a long time to keep him awake.

So yesterday morning I woke up and decided I was taking back the control.  We would go back to 3 hour feeds, and try bigger bottles at each feed.  For the last month we'd been alternating 4 and 6oz bottles during the day, so yesterday I offered 6oz at EVERY feed and he finished EVERY last drop!  He ate 38oz yesterday, and he's been trending at 32-34 for the past month, which tells me he needs bigger bottles more frequently.

So now we had the feeding part tackled, it was time to attack the unnecessary wakeups.  We decided to give Controlled Crying a go, because we've heard of its success from a number of friends.  I tried the Baby Whisperer Pick Up/Put Down approach, but all it did was tick him off more.

Noah is generally a good napper, and always sleeps 90 mins in the morning.  He USED to sleep 90 mins in the afternoon but the last few weeks that nap has been getting shorter, with him waking at 45-60 mins for his soother or just to get up.  So yesterday when he woke up at 45 minutes, I didn't go in.  Instead I waited 10 mins and THEN went in.  I stroked his head and cheek for 2 mins and when he didn't settle I left.  I waited another 10, and then went back in again.  He still didn't settle so I left.  And then miraculously he stopped crying on his own after a few minutes.  He let out one last whimper and then went back to sleep for another half hour.  Success!

We've been dream feeding him since week 3 and lately he's started waking early for that too.  Usually it's around 1045/1100, depending on when his last feed was.  Last night he was due at 11 but woke at 1015.  I used the same technique as nap time and after 2x10min sessions he settled and fell asleep.  I've noticed he can't settle with me in the room, I think because he can't understand why I'm not picking him up.  But as soon as I leave, he lets out one final shout, and then settles down.  So his dream feed was at the proper time, but he only at 3 of the 6oz I offered, which told me I had "loaded him up" adequately during the day.

I was optimistic but realistic about the night ahead.  Here's how it went:

120am - wakeup, let cry for 10 mins
130am - attempt to console for 2 mins
132am - let cry for another 10 mins
142am - attempt to console for 2 mins, leave and he let out a final "shout" and settled down
2:05 - wakeup, let cry for 10 mins
2:15 - attempt to console for 2 mins
2:17 - let cry...he settles after less than 10 on his own!

This went on until 2:40, and he continued to squeak and settle himself in shorter increments of time.  At 2:40 he fell asleep and stayed asleep till 430.

When he woke at 4:30 we decided to let him cry rather than feed, just to see what would happen.  He cried for 10 and hubby went in.  After 2 mins he left, Noah let out a final shout, and passed out till.....wait for it....8am!!

So he made it through the night without a feed.  He ate 8oz for breakfast but he woke up happy and squealing, so he wasn't damaged by the night's events.  My goal today is to get close to 38oz into him during the waking hours and dream feed, and continue what we started yesterday.  I will also leave him for 15 minutes today to see if he can self soothe.

While I'm utterly exhausted, I'm also excited about the prospect that my little guy COULD be sleeping through the night soon.  Fingers crossed!

1 comment:

  1. I think Owen did something like this and it was related to food. He would wake at 3:30am wanting to eat, then would go back to sleep. As he was 4m old and a chunky baby we decided to start him on cereal in the evenings. Then I noticed he didn't really eat as much at 3am, but was in the habit of waking. We were on vacation and traveling during all this so I wasn't able to troubleshoot till we got home and it took a couple of nights of hubby patting him (I didn't want him to smell me and my milk) and he began STTN again! Good Luck!