Monday, May 9, 2011

Sleep Training: Day 1

John just turned 7 weeks old yesterday. So far, he's been a relatively easy-to-care-for baby. During the night, he usually wakes up twice for a bottle between midnight and 6:00 AM. Luckily, he goes right back to sleep after a diaper change and a bottle and we've gotten the whole process down to about 20-30 minutes each time. But it still means one of us has to get up around 1:00 AM and again around 4:00 AM. And even though James and I generally take turns getting up, it's still completely exhausting. Once I start nursing school in June, there is NO way I will be able to sustain that schedule without school and my sanity suffering. So we've decided to try some sleep training with John. Since he's going to have many different care-givers over the next few months, I think it would be good for him to have a daily routine. That way he always has the same schedule, regardless of who is taking care of him on a given day.

I had bought Suzy Giordino's "Twelve Hours Sleep by Twelve Weeks Old" back in 2009. I would include references and page numbers now except that someone (I suspect Hamish, but possible Piper.. or both) totally shredded my copy of the book about a week or so ago. In any case, the premise is that you can teach your baby to sleep or rest quietly in the crib for 12 hours a night by the night he/she is 12 weeks old. Now I'm not 100% convinced that this will work, but we're going to give it a try. If we can at least eliminate one of the night feedings and get just eight hours of sleep, I'll be tickled pink!

Before we can start sleep training John, certainly developmental milestones needed to be met to make sure he was ready. Firstly he had to be at least six weeks old, he had to weight at least 9 pounds, and he had to be drinking at least 24 ounces of formula a day. Well John is seven weeks old, weighs 11 pounds 9 ounces (OMG!), and usually drinks about 30 ounces a day so I think we're ready now.

The first phase of sleep training is to get him on a four-hour feeding schedule. Today we started our day at 7:00 AM and did feedings at 7:00 AM, 11:00 AM, 3:00 PM, 7:00 PM, and 11:00 PM. I was worried that he wouldn't tolerate waiting four hours between each feeding. He'd done it before, but not for every feeding in the course of a day. Since we still did night feedings, I wasn't too worried about making sure he got enough formula. But we'll need to start gradually increasing the amount he drinks at each feeding so we can eliminate the 3:00 AM feeding.

But anyway... so far so good!

And may the peace of the Lord be always with you.

1 comment:

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.