Well, I have not updated anything concerning our sleeping situation. Mainly because she has been sleeping.
It seems the book is so powerful that simply owning it intimidates your child into sleeping properly again!
Actually, I think it was one of two things. Either it really was the starting of solid foods that upset her system and therefore her sleep pattern and now we have adjusted so we are back on track, actually even a bit better than before. Or the few suggestions from the book (The No Cry Sleep Solution) really made that much of a difference.
So just for the sake of argument… and in case I have to come back to it (because it could get bad again, who knows) I’m going to tell you what the book suggests and what we did.
The first step is to document your childs sleeping patterns, including naps. She also suggested writing down bedtime routine so you can see a pattern, or a lack thereof.
So while we were having problems I started:
11:45 am mostly to sleep while nursing, moved to crib while drowsy (as book suggested)
1 fell asleep in car
1:30 awake- 30 minute nap
5 fell asleep nursing
5:45 awake – 45 minute nap
7 eat dinner
7:30 bath and change into pj’s
8:30 cuddle to sleep
10 up, nurse 7 minutes
10:30 up, nurse to sleep 10 minutes
2- up, nurse 10 minutes to sleep
5:45 up- nurse to sleep 10 minutes
Gets in bed with mommy
awake at 9
Now this was actually a day when she was already improving
Here is yesterdays:
11:45 noticed signs of tiredness, nursed, checked diaper, read story and laid in crib… fell asleep on own
1- up, 1 hour 15 minute nap
4:30 signs of tiredness, checked diaper and nursed, grandma read story and laid in crib,…. fell asleep on own
5:15 up- 45 minute nap
9- nursed to sleep
12:30 up – nursed to sleep 10 minutes
6:30 up, nursed to sleep in bed with mommy
10 am awake
SO MUCH BETTER!
I think it is a combination of her system adjusting to the solids… and the changes we’ve made while I was reading.
Change 1- We have always tried naps and done the best we can, but she’s an erratic napper. One day it’s 45 minutes, the next it’s 3 hours! The book stresses that daytime sleep drastically affects night time sleep. So I’m trying to improve our naptimes. I took the books advice and at the very first sign of tiredness I begin a routine. Our naptime routine is to check diaper, nurse, read story and lie down. Previously I would have noted the first sign of tiredness and waited a bit more…. then nursed her in preparation for nap. Sometimes she’d fall asleep nursing, sometimes not. This way works better. And there is the added bonus of her putting herself to sleep with music going.
The problem we still have is that she usually only sleeps 45 minutes. Occasionally I squeek a bit more from her but that seems to be her cap. According to the book this is when her cycle comes back to light sleep and I should try to help get her back into deep sleep without her becoming fully awake. Theoretically she’ll learn to do this on her own. The idea is that around her usual wake up time, in our case 45 minutes in, I hover nearby. When she starts to stir I do whatever works to soothe her back to sleep. In our case, this would probably be to slide the binky back into her mouth where it has fallen out during deep sleep.
I have tried this… I always seem to miss my window of opportunity. The one day I hovered from 30 minutes in to an hour she woke up 5 minutes after I left the room again! So we’ll keep working on this one.
Change 2- Starting a bedtime routine. This one is hard for us because our evenings are rarely the same. Steve gets home at different times. He likes to try to do things with her like feed her etc. We’re trying to make a routine. I’m trying to be consistent about getting into PJ’s, a little massage with lotion, a story or two, a lullaby and then getting in bed to nurse to sleep.
Change 3- Introducing a lovey. She suggests getting a little blanket animal that complies with safety and introducing it as a lovey. Kind of choosing one for her until she’s old enough to choose her own. The book said to sleep with it for a few nights so it smells like mommy. Then we nursed with it between us so she associated it with nursing and smelled like milk. Then it would become something to cuddle with when Mommy wasn’t there. Well, this had mixed results. One nap I came in to find her clutching it and I thought “Yay! She loves it!” But pretty much the rest of the time she ignores it. So I’m not sure if I should try a different lovey or sleep/nurse with it more.
Honestly those are as far as I got suggestion wise. Right now the book is just sitting off to the side. I need to keep reading because I’m sure something like teething or a growth spurt will set us back again. But right now I’m happy 🙂
PS I wrote this last Thursday and forgot to hit post…. will have to update again lol