Good morning! Today I’ve got another installment of the Sleep Chronicles for you, from Lindsay. I hope you are enjoying reading these as much as I am – everyone’s experience is so different and it’s important to remember and document that. Enjoy!
Hi, I’m Lindsay from Wedding Rings to Teething Rings! I have been enjoying Jess’s Sleep Chronicles Series and thought it would be nice to document our sleep journey with our now one year old, Luke. I’m a part-time Orthoptist and full-time new mama. I blog about my delayed-onset nesting, family-friendly recipes, DIY for around the house and all things baby/big-boy!
My pregnancy with Luke was fairly uneventful until I was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes. This was a blessing and a curse. A curse because it required so much time, energy, and insulin to keep both of us safe. But also a blessing…because I didn’t have the time or energy to obsessively read books and the internet. I didn’t have any preconceived ideas about Luke or how “things would be.” I was even disappointed in how little effort I put into his nursery. I never had a “nesting” drive. I just needed to get him out safely and would cross the next bridge when we got there.
Fast forward to January 2013 and Luke was born. The nurses cleaned us all up and brought us to the recovery room. My parents left, my doctor left, and I told my husband to go home because there was no sense in having us both exhausted! The nurse handed me a sleeping Luke and said goodnight.
“Wait…” I vividly remember asking. “What do I do if he wakes up?”
I had babysat for over 10 years for three children at a time. I helped raise my younger brother who was born when I was seven. But sitting there in my hospital bed with a new little angel next to me…I was clueless. The nurse kindly explained that I should comfort him, and attempt to get him to latch for breastfeeding.
We didn’t find much of a pattern in the first few weeks. In fact, they are such a blur because of the lack of sleep and shell-shock of it all. We did decide that we would start with Luke sleeping in his crib, we never co-slept.
Here is my attempt at documenting our sleep stages thus far:
Stage 1: Little pattern. Barely a memory due to lack of sleep. Close to nocturnal some days. Waking up Luke every 3 hours for a feeding. Lots of sleeping in my arms, some sleeping in his swing. Night sleeping in his crib only.
Stage 2: Letting Luke wake me up for feedings (that went from a few times per night to one time per night. Eventually, we were told his stomach was big enough to make it through the night, but Luke continued to want one feeding in the middle of the night. That is until my friend NK suggested giving him his pacifier. We tried that night and he went right back to sleep, which I consider sleeping through the night!
Stage 3: Getting Luke to sleep for naps or bedtime required us holding him and “bouncing” him to sleep. Trying the 90-Minute Sleep Program that I posted about here.
Stage 4: Luke got too heavy for “bouncing” so we would “bounce” him in the Bjorn carrier and then transfer him into the crib.
Stage 5: Luke would get so upset with the transfer that it would get dangerous to be in his crib. He was so sloppy with his movements and could pull to a stand and would fall and hit his head. At this stage, we used the Pack ‘N Play so that the falls would be less dangerous.
Stage 6: Luke finally liked being rocked to sleep. He was less sloppy and was able to return to crib sleeping.
Stage 7: We currently place him in the crib and use the “wait it out” method in which we lay next to the crib and hold his hand through the bars. He knows the routine and falls asleep pretty quickly. We only do “cry it out” if we have tried all other options and he is just tremendously overtired and beyond exhaustion. One time we were “crying it out” and he ended up having a dirty diaper which obviously broke my heart. I think that it is an option for certain children at certain times but we have not found it to be a successful method with Luke.
Stage 8: When we were laying next to Luke’s crib, he started throwing his “binky” at us. We realized he had learned to soothe himself to sleep and didn’t need us there anymore. Great! Most of the time, we are able to do some wind-down time, get him comfortable, and let him go to sleep on his own with barely a whimper!
And that is how we accidentally got Luke to learn how to soothe himself to sleep!
It’s interesting to me to see a real example of the ‘wait it out’ method working. I remember reading about that – laying next to them to hold their hand – and thinking it sounded crazy and would never work for our son. Glad it had success with you!