Now that we have been sleep training, we have a new schedule that we are getting used to… we’ll call it the “new normal.” A few weeks ago I shared what our schedule was like during the week. The problem with it was that it was very unpredictable–we never really knew when Julia would wake up, when she would want to nurse, when she would go to sleep, etc. Part of sleep training involves keeping babies on a predictable schedule so they know what to expect and approximately when they should expect it to happen, and so you, as parents, have a better idea of what to expect as well. It give you some grown-up time in the evenings, to eat dinner together, watch a movie, just spend time together as a couple. It’s also really nice for us since we can start making plans in the evening–say we want to meet some friends for dinner, we know approximately what time Julia will go to sleep and approximately how long she will sleep for and we can start to have babysitters come over after she’s gone to sleep. This will give us some much-needed occasional time to ourselves.
So here’s our “new normal”:
Between 6 & 7: Julia wakes up (or if necessary we wake her up) and nurses
7:30: drop her off at daycare
At daycare, she has a 4-oz. bottle of milk at 8:30, 10:30, 12:30 and 2:30 (approx.) and she also has rice cereal after her 1st bottle and some vegetable or fruit puree after her 3rd bottle. Depending on the day she usually has 2 or 3 naps during the day.
3:30: pick her up from daycare and head home
4 PM: generally when I get home with her, we go on a walk around the neighborhood to get some exercise and get some fresh air
5 PM: Play Time & Dinner (vegetable or fruit puree)
5:30 PM: Bath Time (when needed)
6 PM: Nurse until Julia is drowsy but not sleepy
6:30-7: Put her in her crib awake and make sure she has her loveys with her. Last night it took her 12 minutes of crying to fall asleep. She’s getting better at it every night.
Then after we put her to bed, we can make dinner and eat dinner together, watch a movie, read, get stuff done around the house, etc.
Nights are still not 100% predictable but they are becoming more so as we continue to do this sleep training. Last night was pretty rough though… I’ll say again though, that my goal in sleep training, was not to get Julia to stop nursing at night. If she’s hungry at night, I’m happy to feed her. Eventually she won’t need to nurse at night, but from everything I’ve read about breastfed babies, it’s totally normal for them to wake up at least once to nurse at night up until the age of 1 or even 18 months, sometimes! If she’s getting 10-12 hours of sleep total, each night, I’d still call that “sleeping through the night” even if she does need to wake up to nurse. Last night she had about 7 and a half hours of sleep, woke up to nurse, and then another 2 and a half hours, so a total of about 10 hours of sleep. Not bad, if you ask me! She’s also been a much happier baby during the day now that she’s getting some much-needed rest!
And now… some photos!
First, from Tuesday night at dinner–we went out for sushi with our friends Evan & Jade to celebrate the end of Passover, and Julia decided that there must be milk in my hand and she was determined to get it out by nursing on my hand. She never did find the secret milk in there, but she’s pretty determined to get to it!