Hi Sweet Friends! Feeling like a NEW woman after a couple of nights of real, solid SLEEP! I had lots of questions when I posted the Mister Update on instagram so I thought I would get it down on the blog so you can refer back, or bookmark this page for when you need it!
William is sleeping just about 12 hours at night now. So if we put him down at 8p, he sleeps until about 8a, or 7p to 7a. Brian and Grace both did this right at 12 weeks and it’s crazy that literally on his 12-week birthday William did it, too. I tend to start getting REAL sick of waking up through the night at around 8-9 weeks and usually buckle down with the sleep training at that time. When I say “sleep training”, it’s not crying it out. I tried that with Brian because he was my first and I thought that was what I was supposed to do but to be honest it was a disaster and left both of us feeling horrible, poor guy 😭 Sleep training in our case is more like Day Training, and once those days fall into place, the nights start to happen.
Someone told me about the book 12 Hours Sleep by 12 Weeks back with Brian, and we have used this method with all three kids. It works.
We started BBC (baby boot camp) with William around 10/11 weeks. Essentially, the book has you get them on a feeding schedule throughout the day so that they are consuming all their calories from breast milk/formula during the day. You are to divide the 24-hour day into 2 separate, 12 hour blocks, and you basically train the baby to get all their ounces during the day. You simultaneously start reducing what they take at night so that slowly but surely their bodies don’t rely on those night feedings. This works with both breast and bottle feeding, although I will say with the bottle it is a little easier to track the ounces. William usually takes total between breast and bottle, 5-6 ounces per feeding. I will also randomly nurse him throughout the day to help him fall asleep or if he is cranky. The goal is to get him to take 24 or more ounces in a day.
A couple of things in addition to following the book that I want to note:
I wasn’t SO STRICT. William is the third child and we have two older ones to get out and do things with. He kind of comes around wherever we go so I’m not so tied down to a nap schedule during the day. When we’re home, he takes a nap in the AM and a longer nap in the PM, and maybe some additional cat naps. When we’re on the go, he naps on the go. This hasn’t seemed to really sabotage the nights, but I will say he is MUCH crankier when he doesn’t get those nice, solid naps at home. The crankiness starts in the evenings because is overstimulated and overtired. It is what it is and it doesn’t happen all the time so I don’t get too upset about it.
Also, if he is hungry outside one of his feeding windows, I feed him a snack, 1-2 ounces. I rarely have to do this, and use it as a last resort, but if he didn’t finish his bottle from the prior feeding for whatever reason, I don’t hold him off. Following this gentle approach makes the training much less painful, and also much more realistic to fit into our lifestyle.
We moved him out of our room and out of the Snoo at the 12 week mark, and that is the first night we actually slept. Our rental is tiny so we can hear him from his nursery but we aren’t waking up with every little grunt and noise. THIS is huge. I was hesitant to move him out of room because I like him in there with us, but we need sleep and it seems to have worked well for both of us! I also felt like he was getting too big for the Snoo and I wanted him in a crib. I didn’t do the weaning or anything and clearly it wasn’t a problem!! He also didn’t take many of his naps in the Snoo, so I don’t think he ever really got reliant on it for sleep.
He wears the Owlette sock and that thing gives me major peace of mind. I love that it monitors his oxygen levels and heart rate and alerts us if there is an abnormal reading (it hasn’t happened yet).
He wore the Magic Merlin suit night one, and the Halo swaddle night two. Both nights were good but night one we went in several times to put his pacifier in (we also recently discovered he likes the flat pacifiers). I’m happy about this because it seems he isn’t tied to a night “uniform” and can adjust. He’s been in the Halo swaddle for two nights and we haven’t heard a peep.
I diffuse essential oils in his room, Gentle Baby + Sleepyize. I have been diffusing these in our bedroom since the beginning so I think it helps trigger “sleep time”. I highly recommend this step because I believe so much in the connection of smell and the limbic system. The limbic system of the brain houses emotion, behavior, motivation, long-term memory. It’s a real thing, and helps so much, hence why I’m always talking about essential oils! The smell triggers William, it’s sleep time!
We also use a breathable mattress, the Newton Crib Mattress. It’s 100% breathable, enough said.
I also moved up his bottle nipples to the level 2. He was taking a really long time to finish a bottle and I was wracking my brain trying to understand why it was taking up to an hour to finish 5 ounces. Welp, we switched the nipple and now it’s 15 minutes!! Poor guy was working so hard, mom brain fail 🤪
WHAT OUR NIGHTS LOOK LIKE
William goes down around 7:30 or 8, and wakes up around 7. When I hear him stirring I go in to scoop him up and bring him back into our bed. He usually nurses a bit and then falls back to sleep until 8-ish. I love this time, when I said above I was flexible and not so strict, this is what I mean. When he wakes up at 7, instead of giving him a full feeding and keeping him up for the “EAT, PLAY, SLEEP”, routine, I like to bring him back with me for that quiet time. It’s my favorite part of the day. It’s also summer and #covidlife so there is no schedule to keep up with. He’ll take his first bottle around 8 or 9, and then it’s usually 12, 3/4, 7/8p.
SOOO that’s what it looks like right now, and MY GOODNESS ME am I happy!! In short, the main thing is getting them scheduled during the day, making sure they are getting all their ounces in during that first “block”.
Get the book, and don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s great to be on a schedule, but don’t let it be so all consuming and rigid that you forget to enjoy your baby!
Let me know if you have any questions!