I've been blogging about our sleep training experience. We read the book "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child," by Dr. Marc Weissbluth because our son started waking up eleven times in seven hours. Within two days, he was sleeping at night and getting two naps in during the day.
Today is Atticus' six month birthday, and we are two months into sleep training. We also just returned from a beach trip on Monday.
It's going great. Atticus has been going to bed each night around 7:00-7:30 (bath, lotion, boob, book, bed). Occasionally, he will sleep all the way to 8:00 the next day, but he usually wakes between 5:00 and 6:30 am to eat. It's a quick meal on the boob, and he goes back to sleep pretty much as soon as I put him back in his crib. He gets up for the day between 7:45 and 8:30.
His morning nap starts around 9, if not sooner. I swear, I never would have guessed that babies need a nap so shortly after waking for the day, but his temperament is so much better if he gets this nap. He sleeps until about 10:30 or 11:00.
His afternoon nap starts between 12:30 and 1:30 - whenever he is starting to show signs of tiredness. Occasionally, he'll fuss for a minute or two, but he typically goes right to sleep. He wakes between 3:00 and 3:30.
People are always commenting that he's such a happy baby. I 100% attribute his attitude to the fact that he's getting enough sleep. He really only fusses when he's tired.
For Labor Day weekend, we went to the beach. We stayed in a house with my parents, and Atticus slept in a pack and play in our bedroom. Oh. My. Gosh. I didn't sleep at all. Well, I did sleep, but I woke up every time Atticus would stir. Most nights it was 3-4 times, and he'd wake up for the day at 6 instead of around 8. I truly don't understand how people can co-sleep or co-room. Neither of us slept well because we were in the same room. He was not getting his regular naps during the day, either. He was forced to nap in the car or in the Ergo, but according to Dr. Weissbluth, babies can overcome and adapt to a change in their schedule if happens occasionally. His mood didn't suffer, but his (and my) sleep sure did.
The ride home on Monday (Labor Day) took 12 hours instead of 8, and Atticus had to nap and go to sleep for the night in his car seat. I felt terrible about it, but well, he has to ride in his car seat. :( He is a 100% belly sleeper, so it took him a few minutes (and a little bit of fussing) to fall asleep in a reclining position.
We arrived home around 9 pm, and I took Atticus from his car seat and placed him in his bed. He woke up, but went right back to sleep. Jackpot. I went to bed, but Michael woke me up at 11. Our area had gotten over 8" of rain that day, and trees were falling because of the super soggy ground. A tree had fallen outside of Atticus' room, and there was another one was leaning and about to fall on our house. He wanted us to go sleep on the boat for the rest of the night.
I was supposed to interrupt Atticus' sleep again? Ugh. I did. Obviously. I didn't want him to wake up under a tree. (Or worse....) I put him in his car seat, drove the .9 of a mile to the boat, and waited on Michael to unload the pack and play from his car and set it up on the boat. When he came walking back up the dock, I got Atticus out of the car seat and took him to the boat. He went right back to sleep, so I grabbed the voice activated walkie talkie we use for walking the club's premises, and Michael and I went to check out the damage. I was convinced that since we had interrupted his sleep so many times that the night's sleep would be terrible. He didn't wake up until 6 am. He ate, went back to sleep, and woke up at 7:30 when I got him up to come home and check on the house. (No trees)!
His naps yesterday were regular time and length. He went to bed at 7:45 and slept straight until 6:30 this morning. I fed him, and he went back to sleep until 9. At 9:30, he went down for his nap, and he's still sleeping.
Dr. Weissbluth was right. Babies are pretty adaptable. If you help them get regular sleep most of the time, they'll be fine when they don't get it. When they're returned to their normal environment, they make up for lost sleep and act like nothing has changed.