Got to admit… in a house full of boys. I am very rarely bored :) – Just had to put that out there ;-) for those who may be bored today hehe.
Ive had a lot of people email me curious about Reed’s sleeping schedule, I thought Id post the “few” tips I have found successful.
I got some of these tips through a client and friend Paula. Who is the schedule queen. Her youngest Lucy was sleeping 10 hour stretches very early on! I was in awe.
I think the key thing to try and established, that she really pushed, was a wake time. It sets the tone for the entire day.
Reed up until that point had no wake time. He basically got up when he wanted… and I being so sleep deprived let him sleep for as long as he wanted in the morning… so that I could have some down time.
Once I started establishing his wake time though, things just really fell into place and it was much easier to get him on a working routine.
SO! Here are the key things to try with your little one:
1. Set your wake time. For me I set it to be 8:30am – but most mornings it ends up around 8am… which is fine. Give or take 30 minutes it works :) -Even if Reed woke up at 7am to eat and went back down, I would still wake him up at 8:30.
2. Once I would feed Reed, I would then keep him up for 45 minutes – 1 hour… or until he showed signs of being tired. The key was to not let him get over tired… because if he did, he was way harder to get down. I also tried to always lay him down awake. Some times this went easier than others… and in all honestly, letting him fuss for a few minutes, sometimes happens. It is just how it goes and I can’t sit around and rock him all day with 3 other kids to tend to alone. Typically if he has to fuss himself to sleep it only takes 5 minutes or so… then hes out. I was told by Paula just to try not to pick him up once he is down until it is actually time for him to wake. I could soothe him by patting him on the back, giving him his pacifier or thumb… and so on… but not pick him up.
3. Try to only feed every 3 hrs… but if your baby is like Reed that may not happen. He is forever hungry during the day… and most days can only go 2 hr stretches between meals. Which is fine… it just means shorter naps.
4. Establish a final “dream feed” – aka the last time you feed him before “going to bed.” For me it started around 10pm… then slowly as the weeks have passed its gone down. He now goes to bed around 9 but starts his dream feed at 8pm or so. Varies by 30 minutes depending on our day… but its typically between 8 and 9.
Now here is something that many disagree with…. but honestly I have found is working for him. For those who are nursing you probably can’t do this :) – but for those who can’t nurse like myself… this is an option for you. I put cereal in his bottle. Crucify me now lol… and if I was really honest, Id go ahead and admit I have given cereal to ALL 3 of my boys… and… all 3 have no allergies… all 3 are very healthy…. all 3 are far from obese! So, all the “attachments” to doing this have not shown true in our family. So, we do what works. I held off doing it with Reed because he was on the smaller side… but he is proving to be exactly like his oldest brother Caleb… and that is, he is VERY HUNGRY… and formula alone just doesnt satisfy him well.
So at bed time 8pm – he gets a 4 ounce bottle of formula with 2 tsp. of rice cereal.
He then sleeps until 3:30am and sometimes later. Last night almost 4am. So that is a 6 1/2 – 7 hour stretch. PRAISE GOD!!!
At 3 or 4am he will drink another 4 ounce cereal bottle. I also change him at this point… and after he finishes (takes him about 15 minutes), he then goes back down and lately has been sleeping until his established wake time of 8am-ish.
All of this being said.
I AM NO DOCTOR.
You honestly have to do what you feel comfortable doing and some may not be ok with cereal in the bottle… or waking their baby… or even more so, Reed is a 100% tummy sleeper. That is a 1st for me btw… my other boys were not. So, to ditch swaddling and lay my baby on his stomach all night long, was hard at first… but after realizing he did not like his back… I had to find what would keep him comfortable and his mother sane.
Its a hot topic because they link SIDS to tummy sleeping… but again if I am honest, I would say SIDS is more related to neurological abnormalities and vaccines. BUT, that would have to be an entirely separate post to get into all that.
I am using an Angel Care Monitor that my friend Shannon loaned me. It has given me some peace at mind with the tummy sleeping.
Any who! Thats about it.
So yes, Reed is sleeping great lately! Not 100% but it sure beats every 2-3 hours at night. I feel much more together now that I am getting some decent sleep.
& Reed seems happy about it too :)