Sleep Schedule

I know it has been a shamefully long time since I have posted and I apologize. The real reason is that I felt I should do a travel log of our trip to San Francisco, but sometimes travel logs become so tedious! So anyway. It's mostly written. I just need an extra push to get back to it and publish it sometime soon. But I should not let that deter me from my regular posting duties!

Like today. Today I'd like to post about Gulliver's sleep schedule. I know that it's finally time to actually implement it for good. We need to stop being lazy, wussy parents, and I need to start getting a good night's sleep. When we were in SF, Gulliver basically slept in the bed with us. By the time we got back home, he was too developed for the bassinet beside our bed because he could pull himself up to sitting and could potentially launch himself from the bassinet to the floor. And his rolling, while before was easily thwarted by a pillow, was now unstoppable! I know, because he rolled off of the bed and into the bassinet (or baby trough) two times. And the sleeping in the bed with us was not great because I'd wake up every morning with all manner of soreness from the contorted positions I was sleeping in to avoid rolling over my first born.

My mom was staying with us, in Gulliver's room, for the week after we got back. So he was sleeping in a pack and play (i.e. the pack and play for 1 hour and our bed for the rest of the night). And in the following week, I've just been lazy.

So. Today is the day. I have read 2.5 books about babies and sleep and I feel well equipped. And Jenny, you're never going to get your sleep bible back. Okay, maybe you will when I buy my own copy. So this is what we've done:

Last night I just followed Gulliver's normal sleep schedule, which meant he went down to bed at around 10:30 or 11 (which is normal, but early for him). I nursed him to sleep and then successfully set him in the crib where he stayed asleep.

He woke up and was crying around 2:00 a.m. I went into his room and nursed and rocked him for about 10 minutes.

I put him back in his crib where he stayed asleep.

He woke up at about 4 or 5 or 6 or maybe all of the above, and he cried a little bit, but not real crying, and like a loving mother I kept myself awake to listen to it all, but he just went back to sleep without me having to go into the room.

I woke him up at 7:00, according to my book's instructions.

I fed him and played with him in a well lit room until 9:00. I did not take him outside where the Utah smoke air would pollute his baby lungs, but I will do that in the future when there is no smoke air.

I put him down in his crib awake at 9:00. Okay, so this is revolutionary for me. I went into my bedroom (for a much needed nap of my own) and listened to him crying for only ten minutes. It was never very hard or earnest crying, and he easily calmed down and went to sleep on his own. Whoa. I know.

Now it is 11:00 and he still is not awake from the morning nap. I think I'm supposed to just let him wake up naturally... but how long will he sleep? He should go down for the second nap around 1:00. If he sleeps a while, maybe we'll have to make it 2 or so. And then maybe he'll do another nap in the later evening, but maybe not.

And then, we're supposed to put him in his crib at 7:30 (totally unprecedented) and let him cry it out forever. I'm very very nervous. But I will be strong and carry on* and eventually we'll have a baby who knows how to soothe himself to sleep. Right? Right??

So then, to my understanding, we need to basically be home at 7:30 every night for the rest of our lives. Is that correct? So now, either we have to find a babysitter to come to our house, or we have to go to matinees, right? I'd love advice, feedback, personal narratives here.

I went shopping with petit elefant to get Gulliver out of the house for a bit and came back home and put him down for nap #2 successfully!! Hooray! I am going to have a sleep-successful baby!

*A few days ago, Murray and I were talking about how much we love being parents, and how much we love Gulliver, and how our lives would just end if something ever happened to him, and then Murray told me that Tears in Heaven by Eric Clapton was written for his 4-year-old son who died, and then Murray and I totally started crying because we were both thinking through the lyrics of the song. I don't know that I will ever be able to just lightly listen to that song again.


Annie said...

i'd like to bear my testimony of sleep training! :) i put it off forever with our daughter because it was just so nice to have her around and just so hard to listen to her cry in her bed. but it seriously only took one night of crying it out (for maybe an hour or so), and she's slept 12-13 hours straight every night since then....except when she's sick. and the whole family is happier and more rested. good luck ignoring the biological requirement that you run to his aid at the first wail! :)

jcaroline said...

Okay, I may have to follow suit and get 3-mo-old Henry to sleep better. He do go from 12:00 to 5:30 last night which is the first 5-1/2 hour stretch EVER. Let me know how it goes and then come work with my child.

FoxyJ said...

We've put both our kids to bed early since they were very little and it has worked out well. Our daughter just started first grade, and she has to be up and ready for school every morning by 8:00. I'm glad I transitioned to being a morning person several years ago or else it would suck. She has also never,ever slept in and so if we don't get her to bed by 7:30 she is a monster the next day. It has also worked for us because we're poor and boring and like to just sit around our house in the evenings reading books.

I'm a bit of a wuss and took a while to really 'train' our kids to sleep, but by about 1 year old they went to bed in their own beds by themselves, at about 7:00, and then slept for 12 hours. I know whose 4-year old still won't sleep without her and I could never do that. He's either cranky because he stays up until she can put him to bed, or she has to go to bed early with him. I love my hours of kid-free time in the evenings.

hannah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
hannah said...

Good luck! I remember sitting outside Emma's room crying as she cried herself to sleep that first night. It is really hard! is so worth it.

--r said...

we've let sam cry it out a few times, but he normally falls asleep before we're done with our usual bedtime routine (bath, nursing, storytime starting at 8 o'clock) and sleeps until i have to get him up at 6:30 for daycare (or keep him in that routine on the days i'm home). lately though, we're having some pre-crawling regression, and the softie in me can't help but go in and try to comfort him.

Jenny said...

I was young when my Dad told me about the Eric Clapton song, so I've basically been crying about it for 20 years now. Also, did you know he quit performing it a few years ago because he finally got over it and now can't do the song with the right feeling. Or Something...I'm sure I'm misquoting.

Happy Sleeping, or lying awake while you wait for your little one to sleep. Lying them down awake is the hard one for me, especially if they are pacifier children who KEEP SPITTING IT OUT AND CAN'T GET IT BACK IN! grrr....

Also, I'm pretty sure you can get that book on the cheap from Amazon.

Kristeee said...

Our 20 month old daughter has been a pro at sleeping since she was about 3 months old. Her bedtime has been 10 pm for almost a year, which has its pros and cons.

* She sleeps late so we can sleep in on the weekends.
* We can stay out late and have what feels like real dates.
* Her dad works until 7 or 8, so it lets them have time together.
* We can do activities with family or whomever that go past 7-8pm.

* She sleeps really late right now. She's currently waking up at 2 pm, then also naps from 6-7:30 or so. This locks me at home a lot.
* It's difficult to find a babysitter - the younger YW don't stay out all that late, and other parents don't want to trade with us because they go to bed early with their kids.
* Trying to get places in the morning is a pain.

If I could choose, I'd want her up at 9-10am.

AzĂșcar said...

You don't have to do the 7:30 bedtime all at once if you don't want to. We gradually went to bed a half hour earlier and earlier until we got between 7 and 8.

And yes, sorry, but it's babysitters or matinees from here on out--why do you think I'm always a little late to cooking club?

AzĂșcar said...

Oh, and jcaroline, 3 months is a little early to follow the same kind of sleep training that Cicada is doing. Cicada's plan works best on babies that are more than 6 months old. 3 month olds do not have the neural capacity to handle Cicada's plan.

noelle said...

i'm a big believer in the 7ish bedtime for a 7ish wakeup, but I also think once in a while exceptions are OK (not ideal, but OK), as long as the sleep can be caught up the following day.
like one of your previous posters, we also love our evenings. and having time to ourselves in the evening means I am more attentive during the days because I know I'll have time later to get things done. anyways, good luck!

Red said...

7:00 bedtime is GREAT. And if you haven't noticed by now, kids are pretty resilient so if once in a while, like while Ootsie's over for a visit, bedtime goes by the wayside Gulliver will be fine. Little Miss isn't usually worse for wear after a late night unless it drags on for a few days.

We've also tried things like the drive-in for movies - ideally kiddo falls asleep in the car on the way and then you can watch the movie uninterrupted!! SOMETIMES it works, but she DID stay up and watch "Star Trek" with her eyes absolutely GLUED to the screen a few months back. ;)

You guys'll figure it out.

Hillary said...

I also agree with some of the other comments. Having to be home by bedtime is hard but getting good sleep and having a baby on a good schedule is worth it! He is will learn. Just be consistent. I'm still giving in with Cameron waking up once at night to nurse, but he sleeps 12 hours. So I don't mind getting him back to sleep. Keep it up! It will get better.