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!