Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Our "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" Experience, Part 6 - Two Months Later/After Vacation

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.


  1. What times do you feed Atticus throughout the day? Is it the same each day?

  2. It's roughly the same each day, but I don't follow a timed schedule. He is fed on-demand, so if he's fussy and a diaper change or change of environment don't cure it, I offer the boob. I feed him when he wakes up, when he wakes from his first nap, usually before and after his second nap, around 5- 6, and before he goes to bed. I'd say 75% of the time, he eats early in the morning before getting up for the day, so that's 6-7 times a day. He is always done in less than 10 minutes, and I don't let him use me as a pacifier. :)

  3. Thanks :) I am struggling having Luke on the same routine everyday. HSHHC seems like it is more of a flexible routine; not based entirely on the clock. The problem for me is that if Luke wakes up at like 6:30am then there is no way he can make it till 9... he is ready for a nap at 7:30; this makes it impossible to only have two naps. I am trying to work from home as well, so I am going nuts. I am not doing cry it out, but am trying fuss it out; he is waking up like three times a night. I. am. tired. Love all your posts!

  4. Have you tried putting Luke back in the bed at 6:30? Atticus woke at 6:30 today and after eating, he went right back to sleep.

  5. I could try that but then he is eating three times... Which, makes me think he is comfort nursing.... He gets stuck on his tummy too (he cant roll back over) and will cry so I flip him... Ugh. I don't know. Thanks for the tip.

  6. I'm really enjoying your blog. I just started last Monday w/ my almost 9 month old who was waking about every 1-2 hours. We are making progress, the last 3 nights we have had no crying at bedtime which is nice. She is still up 3x a night and I'm having a hard time not going in to her as we have a common wall and I feel for my neighbors letting her CIO in the middle of the night. It's her afternoon nap that we cannot get down...she gets up for the day at 6:30ish which is fine because she goes to grammies for daycare. Down but 8 or 8:30 for about 2 hours then she won't go back down till has been trying at 1 but he is just not having it (cries for the full hour) so she tries again later and when she finally does go down it's only for 30-45 minutes and then down for the night by 6 PM. I'm at a loss as to what to do about the ~1pm nap. Any suggestions?