My husband and I went away for a few days a couple of weeks ago. We left the LM with my in-laws as we always do when we travel and he has the best time with them. When he was back at home we tried to go on with our normal routine but the LM wasn’t acting like himself. He was crankier then usual and he was not sleeping his regular 12-13 hours. He was waking up during the night screaming his face off and was not going back to sleep without someone coming in to console him. This is not our normal routine. We never go into his room during the night. If he wakes up we give him a few minutes to cry it out and then he always falls back asleep. Well this madness went on for two weeks before I emailed my pediatrician and asked what was going on?! He told me that the LM must be having separation anxiety and I should not have gone in to his room during the night. I “broke my contract” with the LM. I was pretty distraught to hear this as I worked very hard to get LM sleeping through the night when he was a baby and have not had any issues to date. So I followed the doc’s orders and let him cry the next night when he woke up. Then the following night he didn’t make a peep…followed by an evening of him waking up 5 times in one night but again, I did not go in.
Then the inevitable happened…two nights ago he awoke at about 1am. I still have a baby monitor so I turned it on to see what was happening because he had been crying for 45 minutes straight. After a lot of screaming and a face full of tears he threw his foo foo onto the floor. I thought this is it. He’s not going back to sleep for the night. Well boy was I in for it…as I watched him on the monitor he held onto the rail of the crib, climbed up with his little Spiderman legs and did a summersault OUT of the crib onto the hard wood floor. I made a mad dash into his room to make sure he was ok and then had my husband put him back to bed as I was too shaken up. I called good ol’ Doc G the next day and he told me since I’d gone a few nights without going into his room LM figured he better go and find me. He then told me, its time for a big boy bed. Um, my child is not even two yet! Is this normal? From what I read online…totally. I had asked Doc G if I should use the net that they sell to put onto of the crib so that children can’t get out and he said “if you want to put your child in prison”. I said, no. No I do not want my child to be in prison. I’d like him to live a normal life! Then I said we have a room with twin beds but it’s on the main floor of the house. Is that OK? And should I baby proof the door handle so he can’t get out? Yes that’s absolutely ok and why don’t you just hand cuff your child to the bed? He said. Oh Doc G. His point: train your child to understand the bedtime routine as a normal person would go about it. If he gets up and walks around and doesn’t sleep, so be it. Eventually he’s going to be so tired he’s going to go back to bed but you need to let him figure it out. He also explained we need to make it a fun and exciting experience for the LM by using sheets with a favorite character, stuffed animals that he’s attached to, reading stories and creating a fun room for his “big boy bed”.
To start we put the LM down in the twin bed on the main floor for a nap. We brought in his stuffed frog animal and tucked them in together. We read a few books and had a chat about sleeping in a special big boy bed. He slept for two hours and did not get up or out once. At night we put a mattress on the floor in LM’s room and cozied it up with his frog, sleep sheep pillow and a very yummy blanket. It took LM about 20 minutes to fall asleep while I waited by his side and then we didn’t hear from again until 5am….at which point he screamed so loud I thought he would be without a voice in the morning. We stuck to our guns and did not enter his room once. We believe he fell asleep on the floor around 5:45am and later woke up for good at 6:30. Not too shabby for his first night where there was such a major change to his routine.
I’ll tell you this…it’s going to take a little while to make this adjustment along with a boat load of patience…feels like he’s a baby all over again, but he’s not…he’s growing up and becoming a big boy. Oy!
My dear friend recently asked me about cribs. Which one do I have? Did I see it before buying it? Do I like it? Would I recommend it? So I figured, why not post the response I gave her since I’m so pleased with what I got for my LM to sleep in.
I got a crib from Target. And no, I did not see it before making the purchase, I just trusted it looked as good as it did online. Cribs are a fortune these days and I did not want to spend a thousand bucks on one. The crib I ended up with is this guy: DwellStudio® for Target®Silver Lake Convertible Crib 2nd Edition
I got this in the espresso wood/white color and then loved it so much got the same one for the house in the natural color as photoed and in the link above. By the way it looks yellow in that link…but it’s not. It’s just a natural wood color.
I love the drawers on the bottom and I love how it looks like the expensive cribs but was a fraction of the price. It was a GREAT value and easy to put together. I’ve now had this crib for 1.5 years and it’s proven to remain in perfect condition (minus the teeth marks made by my animal of a son).
Ss for the mattress I opted for the Serta Nightstar Extra Firm Mattress which was the mattress that Target recommended go with the crib and the reviews were great. LM has been sleeping through the nights since 3 months old…so I can’t complain with my choices!
For bedding – I LOVE Giggle’s bedding. The sheets are SO soft and wash so well. They also stay fitted around the mattress. Other sheets I’ve bought have shrunk and end up in a ball when LM wakes up in the morning and I’m not really interested in making his bed every day!
Regarding crib skirts – I needed one when LM was born and the mattress was raised to the highest position (this is what you can do when they are babies so they are easy to reach and get in and out of the crib when feeding through the night). Once he grew out of this and we had to put the mattress all the way down – I didn’t need the skirt anymore. It was short lived but totally worth it because the crib looks ugly without one when the mattress is raised. I chose a fun monkey pattern since I’m obsessed with the lil creatures…
Back when I was about 8 months pregnant, my husband and I started the pediatrician interview process. The first doctor that we met with sat down and told me point blank: “all of my babies sleep through the night”. You had me at sleep doc – you’re HIRED! Of course we continued to listen to what his thoughts on everything else medically related to having a newborn baby which is what we were most concerned with and although he is a bit cooky we thought, this is the guy for us. So without further ado…we dove into the crazy world of sleep training.
Most would say the methods that our ped used were not suitable for a child under the age of 3 months. He disagrees and I do as well. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m no expert but in the outline below I will tell you that I followed my ped’s orders as directed. Take it for what it’s worth, this was NOT easy at all. At some points I thought I would just rather jump off the balcony. Here’s how my LM, hubby and I got to our full night sleeps…within 12 weeks —The secret behind my ped’s methods really revolved around eating. To start, we never swaddled LM. When we got home from the hospital he just ate and slept and never needed it so it never was a concern. Our ped didn’t want us to swaddle him because he said it would slow down muscle development. Makes sense if the baby is restricted from moving! Anyway, I didn’t have a bassinet in our room, I wanted LM sleeping in his crib from day 1. So for the first couple of weeks I just slept in his room on the pull out couch that I put in there. At this point our ped had me feeding him every 3 hours for the first 2 weeks.
At 2 weeks he wanted me to feed LM every 3-4 hours during the day and every 4-6 hours at night. Well I didn’t follow his rule here…I was breastfeeding him on demand. His little whimpering cry was so heartbreaking that every time he opened his mouth I put him on the boob or my husband would give him a bottle. When our ped came back at 4 weeks and I told him what I was doing he told me I was now 4 weeks behind on my development and LM will rule me for the rest of my life. He further explained that LM was not hungry every time he cried, he just wanted to suck. Um, obviously that was ridiculous because LM was only 4 weeks old…and I don’t think a baby eating meant he’d grow up to rule me!
Me and my husband wanted to avoid giving him a paci for a million different reasons so the doc said we just need to console him when he cries and eventually he will learn that you don’t get to eat every time you cry.
After the doc reinforced his regiment on us I laughed and then cried it off. At this point we started to follow our ped’s rules and cut out the demand feeding. He put us on a feeding schedule and told me I have to stick to it so that LM can learn how to become hungry so when it is time to eat he eats more and more each time which allows his stomach to expand which will help him go to the next feeding without crying and have a full belly for the night to sleep. We got on a 5 x a day feeding schedule and fed him 7am, 11am, 3pm, 7pm and 11pm….then he wouldn’t eat again until 7am….YIKES! Once we started this schedule I was quick to find out that it was pure torcher. He would wake up like a bat out of hell every night between 2 and 4am. It would sometimes take me 2 hours to get him to stop crying. Some nights LM would sleep 5 hour stretches and there were a couple of nights where he went 6 hours….but the nights that he as crying like crazy just didn’t make sense to me. So papa had to call the doc and said I was losing my mind and asked if we were doing the right thing. He explained that LM has shown us he can go a 5-6 hour stretch without eating and he’s only going to develop further with his sleep if we stick to it. So we did. We toughed it out by waking up with him at night and consoling him, even often letting him fall asleep on my chest on the couch.
By 6 weeks – LM started sleeping 6-7 hour stretches. It was very cool. The hard work paid off. When the doc came to see us at 8 weeks, he asked how we were doing. I explained that we’re doing ok and LM wakes up during the night so I console him back to sleep. Issue #2.. NO more consoling! The doc explained that LM has to learn how to console himself or he’ll never sleep through the night. So he told me I couldn’t pick him up at night anymore.
“Well what do I then?” I asked! He told me for the next few nights I could go in and put my hand on his belly to let him know I’m there…then go back to my room and turn off my monitor….AHHH!!!
What the heck? My poor baby! Ok, well I did just this for the next few nights…and LM would wake up in the morning happy as a clam…so clearly he was OK he just wanted the attention! At 9 weeks LM was sleeping through from 12am-7am without any issues. At 8 weeks our ped also wanted me to cut out his 11pm feeding. I said – ok Doc I’m not sure about that…we were going to Toronto to visit my family over Christmas so I said I’d like to wait till we get home. He said ok no problem! Let me know how it goes. LM actually started cutting out the 11pm feeding himself…I couldn’t believe it! When we got back from Toronto we said ok let’s just put him down after the 7pm feeding…and he slept through! He woke up and got a bit cranky a couple nights in around 5am….but I didn’t even get up to check on him. I just looked on the monitor and knew he was OK so I went back to sleep and by 7am he was totally fine!
We were now 3 weeks solid of 8pm (sometimes 9pm) through 7am sleeping. He no longer even cries when he gets up in the morning. He just hangs out in the crib (usually with his cute little thumb in his mouth) and waits for me to get him.
I’m not sure if I’m just lucky OR if my wacky Doctor’s routines worked. I think it’s a little bit of both :)Oh – and regarding feeding, I have been breastfeeding since day 1. When Gavin was born he had jaundice pretty bad and the Doc wanted me to give him formula because he dropped to 5 pounds 1 oz in the hospital so I did. BF was really hard for me…my milk came in VERY slow so I supplemented with formula for the first couple months but always BF first and then topped him off with a bottle. Starting around 7 weeks he was BF only and has been well fed ever since as he is putting on weight and growing.
Finally, I ONLY have LM on a feeding schedule. We don’t have a nap schedule and I find that he sleeps very little during the day which is fine with me since we do so much together. When I take him out with me he usually falls asleep in the Ergo or stroller and when we are home if he’s up and I need to cook or clean or whatever I just put him in the moby wrap, his swing or on the play mat and he’s usually pretty happy. He loves music so I often have Raffi or my tunes on the ipod and we dance a lot. Happy sleeping!