Saturday, March 19, 2011

A Big Change

Eli is on night 3 of sleeping in his crib! This might seem strange to some people... aren't babies supposed to sleep in their cribs after all? Haha. I guess they are, but ours didn't.

Eli has been sleeping in bed with Daniel and I since he turned 2 months old. At 2 months he decided that he wouldn't sleep unless he was on his tummy. Well, me being paranoid about SIDS/suffocating didn't feel comfortable with this unless he was right next to me. This is how he ended up in bed with us!

Daniel and I decided that after Eli turned 6 months we would transition him to his crib. We decided on the age of 6 months because I wanted to be sure he had object permanence and that he KNEW I was in the other room; that I just didn't disappear and was never coming back. I have been dreading and dreading this transition. I just HATE hearing Eli cry and I was SURE that he would hate me forever (lol).

For the past 6 months Eli would go to bed when we went to bed (around 12) and wake up for the day around 11-12pm. He would wake up 3-4 times at night, roll over to nurse for 5 minutes, and then roll back over asleep. Although our nights weren't terrible, I know it COULD be better. Daniel and I have been cramped in bed while we've been attempting not to squish our child at night. Also, for me, NOT getting consecutive hours of sleep has been taking it's toll.

Two nights ago we started putting Eli in his crib to fall asleep. We also put in place a strict bed time routine, so he would know that it was time to fall asleep. We decided to follow Eli's cues and start his bed time routine when he showed signs of being tired (rubbing eyes, yawning), which for him was 8:00pm. This is the routine: Daniel and I read him bed time stories in his room, then I nurse him, we say goodnight and lay him in his crib on his back, sing Jesus Loves Me, say a prayer, play his musical elephant and leave him in there to fall asleep on his own. This takes 15-20 minutes.

We've been following the Ferber method. So Daniel goes in to pat him (but does NOT pick him up) after 1 minute of crying, then after 2 minutes, then 3, 4, 5....
On the first night, Eli put himself to sleep after the 20 minutes of crying/moaning.
Last night, Eli put himself to sleep after 15 minutes.
Tonight, he was out after 10 minutes and he hardly cried.

I am just in total awe!
The first night he woke up twice in the middle of the night, so we did the Ferber method during those times as well. Last night he only woke up once. I am anxious to see how he does tonight!

Overall, I feel like we have had such a huge success with Eli's sleep habits! He is now in bed from 8pm to 8am without being held, rocked, fed, or soothed. He soothes himself and sleeps so much better! Although I miss snuggling him in my bed at night, I make sure to get extra cuddles in the morning!

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