Tuesday, March 5, 2013

TIPS FOR MOMS #4

CREATE RITUALS FOR SLEEPING. A few of you asked me how I got Phoebe to sleep through the night and how we transitioned her to her crib. Thanks to several amazing friends and a few notasfun nights, we've established a routine. For us, routine has always been key. Matilda is a great sleeper and somehow over the four years between the girls, I forgot a few things. Now I'm practicing the same things that worked for her and now for Phoebe. Note: It's really hard to get a new baby on a schedule. They need to eat more often, so be easy on yourself and baby by going with the flow for a while. For both girls a routine really started around three months.
1. Eat, play, sleep. This is sort of the golden formula for setting a routine. In the morning as soon as Phoebe wakes up I change her diaper, feed her and then we play. Right now Phoebe really loves this wooden IKEA activity gym that our friends let us borrow. I lie her down on the floor and let her explore. I also like to let her hang in her mamaroo (love!) or I just sit and talk with her. She loves patty cake and pop goes the weasel. After we play for a while and before she gets too fussy (look for rubbing eyes, yawn, mild fuss) I swaddle her, turn on white noise, and then put her in the crib. Leave the room. If she fusses after 30 min or so I wait a few minutes and sometimes she goes back to sleep. It's just part of a baby's sleep cycle to wake and then fall back asleep. After she's slept a significant amount, I change her and start the cycle over again.
2. Evening ritual 1: Bath. Babies thrive on routine but you have to put in some effort to establish one. This is where rituals become important. Around 7, after I've put Matilda to bed, it's bath time. I use lavender scented soap and lotion (known to relax) and we have a really calming bath time. It's quiet and soothing. One of my favorite brands is California Baby. Love this scent. We've been really loving this cleanwater collection tub, too. I love that it stays warm and that water is constantly flowing through so baby stays clean. There is also a built-in thermometer for a perfect temperature and I love the newborn sponge. Our old sling required one hand on Phoebe at all times and made me really nervous.
3. Evening Ritual 2: Bedtime. I try and put Phoebe down the same time every night. This way she comes to expect that after bath comes bedtime. You could read a little story or whatever you want to do here. I typically put B in pjs, swaddle her, feed her, and then it's bedtime. I feed her in the dark with white noise. I set the stage again for sleep. The first night she cried until she fell asleep. It's not fun to listen to her cry. I hate it, but it wasn't a cry of distress and it only lasted about 10 minutes. I know people love to disagree on this topic but for us she cried the first night and hasn't cried since.
4. Dream feed. Right before I go to bed I feed Phoebe one more time. This feeding will eventually not be necessary. I don't try and wake her, I feed her in the dark without any stimulus. She usually sleeps right through the feed and then I put her right back in the crib. If she wakes up during the night we give it a second and then if she doesn't stop fussing we reswaddle her. This has worked every time. She'll go back to sleep. I remember reading in Bringing up Bebe (great book!) to try not to feed your baby from 12-5, do everything else first to soothe them, that way you don't accidentally create a "middle of the night" feeding routine.
Phoebe is now sleeping from around 7:30-7. This morning I woke her up because I needed to nurse!
If youknowwhatimean.

Sweet dreams to you all!

tub gifted by 4moms, all opinions are my own.

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24 comments:

  1. Yay!!!! So glad you got her to sleep, now momma can be happy and well rested!

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  2. Lesley! This is so helpful :) We put Josephine in her crib for the first time last night and she slept a bit longer than her usual 2-3 hours. It wasn't 'sleeping through the night' but it's a start! We also do the nightly bath routine and dream feed. Now we just really need to break the habit of rocking her to sleep. The thought of her crying herself to sleep is so hard, but I think we are getting to the point where it just has to happen. For everyone's sake!

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    1. you can do it mama! the earlier the better (just my opinion). i had friends trying to break that habit at age 2. phew!

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  3. What are her day time naps like? Chloe sleeps from 830-7 but her naps during the day are short cat naps. Do you have any tricks?

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    1. hey becca! right now she takes about 2 two hour naps and then 1 cat nap around dinner time. every day is different though as i figure things out. preschool has made naps a wee bit tricky for us. no tricks here just consistency. :)

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  4. Thanks for the great tips! I am having my second child in May, but its been 5 years since my son was born, and I feel like I have forgotten so much! I will try your tips for sure when the time comes!

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  5. Helpful post! Two questions: 1) Do you bathe her every night? and 2)At how many weeks did you let her cry herself to sleep? My son is just six weeks and am not sure if it is too early (if there is a "too early") to try this. Right now I am getting up twice in the night to nurse him, but I'm wondering if he even really needs to eat since he only stays latched on for maybe 10 minutes for each of those. Any input is appreciated!

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    1. hi randee! i bathe her almost every night but if i don't i just skip to the next ritual so that i'm consistent. we just let her cry for the first time at 12 weeks and it wasn't a real cry, know what i mean? just a fussy squabble until she fell asleep. for us, six weeks would have been a bit early but it's good to go ahead and start implementing these tips just maybe don't expect them to work right away since your son is still needing to nurse at night. i am no sleep coach, this is just from my experience! ha. good luck and congrats!

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    2. Hi Randee! We started letting our daughter fuss herself to sleep at 8 weeks. We had asked our pediatrician about it and were told that as long as your baby is healthily gaining weight it would be a good time to try it. That being said - I agree with Leslie that just because 8 weeks was right for us, and 12 was right for the Graham clan, doesn't mean that they're right for you.

      And oh man I wish I knew about the dream feed a year ago! I'll save that little tip for a maybe next baby.

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  6. GREAT tips!!! Love that bathtub and also loved the mamaroo in the store. 4Moms has some amazing products...that stroller looks amazing.

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    1. thanks girl and yes, they are totally brilliant!

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  7. Thanks! This is very similar to my approach with my son too (with some bumps along the way of course). Just passed on your post to some of my mommy-to-be friends, in hopes that it will make life easier for them. :)

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    1. thanks so much patricia! hope it's helpful!

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  8. You make it sound so easy! I thought Iwas doing great, but it's going in the opposite direction, from 1 feeding per night (at 5) to two or three. And I know it's my fault, but I'm just too tired to try all these other things and I don't want to wake the other kids. But I should, thanks for reminding me that is really is the best thing I could do, for everyone in the house. Thanks for sharing! X

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  9. At what age do you think the not feeding between 12-5 would work? I'm assuming you wait until they are out of the newborn stage?

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    1. hi tiah! i would think somewhere between 8-12 weeks but it really depends on their weight, etc. this is just in my experience. :)

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  10. Lesley, Thanks for the great post. My husband and I are expecting our first little one in June. We are reading up on the eat, play, sleep cycle. My sister and her husband did this with their kids and it worked amazing for them. Her kids are now 9 and 7 and still have "quite time" in their rooms for an hour a day (and most of the time they sleep!).

    My question is what did Phoebe's day look like before you started the cycle training? Did you feed on demand? How often was she getting up in the middle of the night? We're hoping to start the cycle early...any tips to help prepare little one for the transition?

    I really enjoy your blog!

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    1. hi tiffany! thanks so much for reading. it was basically a free for all until i tried these things. it's ok though. glad she is so accommodating. :) congrats on your little one!

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  11. phoebe sounds like a dream!!!! parker is... oh... JUST NOW sleeping through the night. i mean, i haven't done anything to get him there, but man! at 3 months! i would've been celebrating... go you guys!

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  12. Thank you for this post! My son is almost 10 weeks and we are trying to get him transitioned into his crib. Over the last few days I've actually gotten him to nap in his crib, which had been impossible before! He even took a 2 hour nap there yesterday, then went down around 6:30 pm and slept there until 2:45 am! YES! I have to say, after that waking, the sleep was really touch and go. He woke again at 4:45 am which isn't typical for him, but I guess it's a start. My questions is this...I did a dream feed at 11 pm and he went back down. But, he then woke at 2:45 am with a dirty diaper and then I fed him again. I feel the diapers wake him up at night. Is this common? Will he outgrow that? If he doens't have a dirty diaper, he won't wake. I also wanted to know how long is Phoebe awake between her naps during the day? Thanks SO much!! :)

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    1. hmmm. i would try not feeding him if you can from 12-5. if the diaper bothers him i would change it and then put him back down. every little one is different though. my babies have never been bothered by dirty diapers but i do think it is common. you may not want to do the dream feed if that causes him to go to the bathroom? as far as naps go... we are still getting in a groove there. every day is pretty different! we're all in this together. :)

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    2. I might skip the late feeding to see if that helps...honestly, just glad I'm even getting him to sleep in his crib! BTW, I'm obsessed with that tree blanket...where did you get that?

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    3. thanks! it's from fine little day.

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