Getting some zzzzzs...

*I know this picture is completely not sleep related but it was from one of our many park trips we do in the early evening to avoid the pre-bed meltdowns.

Since I mentioned Declan sleeping 8pm-8am, I've gotten several emails and comments that want to know our routine. It's nothing special and it's been a process to get where we are. At 4 months, 1 week old we decided that Declan was stuck at a 3:30am bottle. How'd we know he was stuck? He was eating less and less at that feeding and was waking at nearly the exact same time.

So, for 3 days we let him cry at 3:30am. Don't send me critical emails...letting your baby "cry it out" is controversial but this is my blog about my son. He didn't cry long and was right back asleep. That next day, he increased all of his feedings by 2 ounces. The crying was brief each morning only lasted 3 days. After that, he's been sleeping 8-8 and never cried except for when he wanted his pacifier or if he got a limb stuck (we were bumperless). Some of the adjustments we've made over time are:

*Added a bumper. Declan's very mobile and I'm not nervous about SIDS anymore.
*Added multiple pacifiers (thanks to my sister-in-law and bloggy friend Dori for suggesting).
*Put a brown flannel sheet over the window. Too much light was coming in and he didn't adjust well this last daylight savings time. Once the sheet went up, he's done great (and better at naps).
*If it's a chilly night, we run the space heater for 45 minutes or so before putting him down and then shut it off. We haven't done this for awhile.
*His room is pitch black at night with a fan on high. A small lamp is on during naps to distinguish that it's not bedtime.

Now, our not-so-exciting-but-it-works-for-us routine:

*Declan starts melting down (yes, my smiley little man can get really sassy) at about 7:00-7:15. As I blogged before, we bathe him every night usually around 7:30. If he's really crabby, we do it earlier. If he's having fun splashing and playing, he stays in there longer, if he's whining, it's a quick wash.
*After his bath, I rub him down with Baby.Magic Lavender (smells SOOO good). I would hardly call it a massage because he doesn't love it. At this point he's getting REALLY tired.
*He gets a bottle no matter the last time he ate. Since we're on a loose schedule, his last meal was at 5pm or 5:30 or sometimes even 6pm. He normally eats every 3 hours so he's never due for a bottle but we make one up and let him eat until he falls asleep or when he's just done drinking. We burp him well (to avoid him waking up an hour later with a bubble) and then lay him down -almost always- awake. He gets his comfort blankey and a paci (one of 4 or so in the crib) and we turn on his crib toy and that's it! He very rarely makes a peep.

Now in full disclosure, I feel I need to say that he's been up around 7:15-7:30 these last few mornings. I'm pretty convinced it's because his top teeth are trying so hard to bust through. He'll play with his crib toy for a bit but then he's ready for a bottle. I'm hoping this before 8am "early streak" is over soon.

Oh, and I totally know every baby is different. I also know we're way blessed that he sleeps so well. And, before you email me, YES- he does nap still. He takes a cat nap in the morning and a longer 2+ hour nap in the afternoon. Hope this covers it!


Stefan, Sarah and Lukka said...

I like your "this is my blog about my son" comment--people need to hear this when they don't like something someone ELSE does with their own kids. I know that feeling well enough! My motto is this: It's my kid and I have to live with him/her, not you!
Lukka also sleeps really well from 7-7 (we're early birds!) and we generally lay him down around 6:45 and leave him in his crib until 7:30 in the morning. He plays quietly, he knows how to put himself to sleep, and he's been trained that way.
You are a great mom, Ashley! I can tell that he is so loved in your household!

Simply Complex said...

We do so many things similarly, and our babe sleeps well too. We were even thinking about adding our bumpers back, but then he stopped getting stuck- so we haven't done that yet. Our babe still doesn't have teeth, but he has been waking up early for about a week too. Weird.

Tracey said...

We didn't have trouble cutting out a feeding...after we started the rice cereal in the formula he slept through....glad it's working out for you though.

wmhmedic30 said...

I have a consistent bedtime routine that is similar to yours. However, William will not give up the 3:30am feeding. He still eats 4-6 ounces at that feeding though so I think I have a little while longer with him. I have tried just giving him a paci and cuddling him but that just makes him outraged. He is 4 months old and I am so looking forward to sleeping through the night in the first time in ages!

M/J Granata said...

Ashley... sounds like you know exactly what you are doing! Great to hear about your routine.

BrandiH2007 said...

Thanks for the great info. I've heard the bath and bottle routine works well for lots of babies.

Melba said...

And when is your parenting book going to be out again?? :) J/K, but I do love some of the tidbits you have here...I heard about the multiple paci thing from a friend, and definitely have that idea tucked away in the back of my head for when it's needed. :)

I think so much of this too is about knowing your child and knowing what he/she needs to thrive. IMO, it's not so much luck that makes your boy sleep so well, it's all the hard work and effort you've put in, and knowing what works and what doesn't for him. :)


jesshustad said...

love the new blog header! so cute!

Tracey said...

I just piggy backed on your post about sleeping...I also linked to you. Check out my experience.

LL said...

I also love your-this is my child comment-

I get so many comments from friends/family about having to force a schedule on my 1 month old, and I won't do it. She is a baby. Maybe when she is 3-4 months old and she can sel soothe on her own I will. At one month I will not let her CIO but at 3-4 perhaps I will.
thanks for the little tidbits I will certainly use some of them in the future!

TXMom2B said...

Your schedule sounds very similar to Andrew's, and it works well for us, too. He, too, sleeps from 8-8, well, more like from 9-9, but basically the same. We are still feeding him at midnight, but we're weaning the amount down since he's stopped finishing his breakfast bottle again. Anyway, it's nice having a baby sleep through the night:-)