Sleep Training my 5 Month Old: Our Steps

Sleeping babyThe week of June 18th, I made the conscious effort to start the sleep training process with my son. We were co-sleeping exclusively, and to be honest, I have no idea how we got there. It was never my intention to do it, but it was so convenient, we just ended up sticking to it. My son is six months old, and although I love sleeping side by side, my husband and I need our bed back. I don't want to end up with us having to kick him out of the bed when he's three, or five, or ten, or any of the other stories people tell me! There are a lot of battles we have to get through, including:

  1. Getting him to sleep in his crib (which he hated)
  2. Getting him to stop nursing on and off all night
  3. Getting him to sleep through the night

To prepare for the new ordeal, I read that routine is key. So we got it down (more or less) to this:

  • Bath (Lasts about 10 minutes. Even if I don't wash him, I let him soak and play in the water)
  • Soft music while getting pajamas on
  • Read a book or two
  • White noise while nursing and/or bottle feeding
  • Put him down while he's still awake

For the longest time, I was convinced that the bed was too stiff for his liking. To start off, we did the rolled towel under the crib sheet "trick". It was meant to make him feel like he is cuddled. I also laid a flat blanket under the crib sheet to make it a little softer. I decided to (sort of) use the Ferber sleep method, where you lay the baby down while he's still awake, and let him cry it out in increments of time. I messed up by putting him to sleep sometimes. Oops. The goal of Ferber's method is to let the baby self soothe, which he should end up doing in the middle of the night when he wakes up too.

Here's how the seven days went:

Day 1

Put him down at 8:10 Checked on him at 8:15 He was asleep at 8:26 I walked in at 8:30 to get my phone, woke him up 8:39, back to sleep Awake at 10:35 Bottle Down at 10:46 Up at 12:48 Down at 12:52 Up 1:05 Down 1:14 Up 2:28 Down 2:36 Up 4:42 In bed with me--up at 6:50

Day 2 Put him down at 8:35 Thought I smelled poop. Picked him up. No poop. Oops. 8:44 Put him down at 8:48 Asleep at 9:01 Awake 11:15 Bottle at 11:32 Asleep at 11:45 Awake at 2:09 Breastfed, back down at 2:21 Awake 3:40 Asleep (almost) 3:45 Awake 4:20 (Nursed) In bed with me, up at 8:30

Day 3 In bed, 9:10 (already asleep) Awake at 9:56 Asleep at 10:00 (on his own) Moved him at 11:42, breastfed and fell asleep at 11:49 Picked up at midnight and slept with me

Day 4 In bed at 8:57 Breastfed at 9:09 Went to sleep at 9:14 Woke up around 2:30

Day 5 In bed at 8:24 Asleep at 8:29 Awake 8:32 (Teething--cry doesn't sound tired) Rocked and fell asleep at 8:47 Awake at 10:58 Gave bottle, asleep at 11:04 Awake 11:51 Asleep 11:56 Awake 4:29 Breastfed and back down at 4:42 Awake 6:55

Major milestone: First night entirely in his own bed!

Day 6 Down at 8:04 Up 10:44 Breastfed and down 10:47 12:44 breastfed Down at 1:03

Day 7 Down at 8:37 Asleep at 8:42 Awake at 6:13!!!!

Major milestone: Holy crap he slept the entire night!!!!!! (I didn't, because I got up to check on him basically every hour)

And then what did I do? We had a fun weekend and got home late every night, omitted routine....and now we have to start all over again. Uuuuuuuuuugggggggggghhhhhhh. What was I thinking? Ever since we started this, however, I can say that I see his sleep pattern more clearly. He's usually down by 8pm. He wakes up at either 12:30 or 2:30am. From then, I'm usually so tired that I bring him from his crib into our bed. Then I nurse him throughout the night as he wakes us, usually at 4:30ish and 5:30ish. These methods don't work well when the baby's sick, has had vaccines, or is away from home. Of course, he gets his shots next week, and we go on vacation a few weeks after that. We'll keep you posted on round two, which I'll try aggressively when we return from vacation in mid August.

20 Awesome Things I Want to Do This Year

photo-1422405153578-4bd676b19036 We're already in the second quarter of the year. Can you freakin' believe that? I sure can't. My life has changed SO MUCH over the last year, and while I like what's happened, I have to set some goals for myself. So here we go. 20 awesome things that I'd like to accomplish this year.

  1. Make a pizza from scratch
  2. Make a scrapbooking mini album to showcase an occasion (Vacay in Puerto Rico? Cooking through the Summer?)
  3. Bake a naked cake
  4. Make and hang an abstract painting
  5. Plant an herb garden, and perhaps potatoes, garlic or something else to eat
  6. Get my garden together (Roses are a wreck, add a new hydrangea, also peonies)
  7. Hang a photo that I shoot in my home
  8. Create a capsule wordrobe
  9. Hire a maid to deep clean
  10. Find the perfect house plants
  11. Complete one of the many expensive online classes that I paid for
  12. Relaunch my business
  13. Get my nails and toes done (basic to some, big to me)
  14. Create at least 25 recipes from Barefoot Contessa
  15. Take the first steps to starting a new career
  16. Create a signature cocktail
  17. Purge 80% of my makeup
  18. Give my bedroom a makeover
  19. Start a new Youtube channel (or repurpose my old one)
  20. Rebrand my blog

 

DIY Changing Table + Feeding Station

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #allfreeclear #CollectiveBias UNIVERSITY PRESSYou know how they say everything changes when you have a baby? Well, it's true. Your sleeping patterns change, your diet and emotions can change, the way you drive changes, and your routine definitely changes. We knew that the baby's clothes needed to be washed using products for sensitive skin, so my mom told me to make the switch for the entire family. She suggested all® free clear detergent. In fact, it's the #1 Recommended brand by Dermatologists, Allergists, and Pediatricians, so I know we're getting a great, simple product. We began using it, and haven't stopped since. I was pleasantly surprised to see the detergent in Sam's Club! We're there every few weeks, so it's great to be able to buy this in a large size that will last for a few months. 

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Early on, we were warned that the baby would be sensitive to the ingredients and scents of other detergents. There are no dyes or perfumes in all® free clear detergent, so that was wonderful news. Although it's more gentle and is scent-free, our clothes receive a powerful, thorough clean. There were a few times where we could smell the detergent we used to use coming from our clothes, and we knew it would be too harsh for baby. Plus, instead of waiting for his hamper to fill up with itty bitty baby items, we can through his clothes in the wash with our stuff too. Simple!

Night after night, when my baby would wake up screaming, there would be a long process to get him back to sleep. I'd go down to the kitchen to make him a bottle, or I'd go into the fridge and grab a pre-made one. I'd turn on the tv, change his diaper, feed him and hope he went to bed in an hour or so. But I happened to engage in small talk with a co-worker one day, and she said those late night wake up sessions last her ten minutes or so. She kept everything she needed handy in the baby's room. And then I made the switch!

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In the beginning, our dresser was more of a catch all for all of his stuff. There was no rhyme or reason for anything there.

 

 

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But then I made the switch, turning his dresser into a useful, strategic area!

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Here's how I created this setup.

  1. Start with an empty dresser top.
  2. Add the changing pad first, just to make sure you've got enough space for everything else.
  3. Make sure there's an outlet nearby, and add an extension cord with plenty of extra plugs.
  4. Add the changing table accessories: diapers, diaper rash cream, wipes, etc.
  5. Add the feeding accessories: formula, bottle pre-filled with water (or a water bottle so you can make on demand), bottle warmer
  6. Fill in extra space with other handy items: tissues, saline solution, boogie syringe, etc.

Viola! Your baby's dresser has been transformed into a one stop shop for all naptime/late night happenings! How did you make your baby's nighttime routine more simple? Leave a comment and let me know!

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