See this sweet girl? She is a baby who SLEEPS!!!
You may or may not remember (I sure do!), Arabelle and Bo weren't the greatest sleepers as young infants. By 6 mo. or so, they were okay, but as 2 mo. olds? No way.
Sometime along the way, I found Emily's blog, The Journey of Parenthood. She has 2 kids and is very pro-Babywise. Babywise is basically a plan that helps babies synchronize their feeding, waketime, and sleeping cycles. I had heard about Babywise, but always thought it was a super strict plan that involves leaving the baby to cry a lot. Then I saw Emily putting Babywise into practice with her daughter, and it was not what I thought it was AND her baby slept!
She has had such great results and feels so strongly about Babywise, that she sent me the Babywise book when I was pregnant with Mae. I read and learned a long the way and started the plan when Mae came a long. It's pretty basic, especially with a new baby. Baby eats, plays (awake time), then sleeps.
In the early weeks, I just focused on Mae getting full feeds (no snacking and sleeping at the breast), swaddling, and putting her down for naps. She wouldn't always sleep put down in the beginning, so I was sure that she got the sleep she needed, no matter how it happened (swing, baby carrier, arms).
As the weeks went by, we stuck to the schedule, for the most part. She was still fussy in the evenings, so we did what we had to do to get through the evening. Some days, I wanted to quit Babywise....it was hard work!
A few days before she was 10 weeks, I knew it was time to let her cry it out (CIO) some. It was taking awhile to get her down for a nap and she'd wake at the 40 minute mark EVERY SINGLE TIME. She had to learn to self soothe because I couldn't spend the whole day helping her to sleep. That wasn't fair to Arabelle and Bo and it was exhausting me!
Much to my surprise, she cried less than 15 minutes that first day for each of her naps. Naps were still short (40 minutes), but she was putting herself to sleep! I'd help her back to sleep for the rest of the nap and feed when the next feeding time came along (3-3.5 hours apart right now).
At 11 weeks old, Mae has learned to suck her thumb to self soothe, so now she may cry a minute or two, then goes to sleep. She does still stir at the 40 minute mark, but nearly every time, she will go back to sleep without a peep....I only know she wakes from looking at her on the monitor. :)
She has also slept through the night (STTN) almost every night since we started the CIO method. She goes to sleep around 8, usually with no crying at all (sometimes she will cry a few minutes), and sleeps between 7 and 11 hours, nurses, and goes back to her crib for the rest of the night if it's not already morning.
I NEVER would have thought one of my babies could sleep so well day and night! She wakes up SO happy and I'm so ready to get in there and see her smiling face.
I am so thankful to have learned about Babywise through Emily's blog and for the help she's given me along the way.
I'm sure we'll have some rough times when teething begins or when she's learning new tricks, but I'm so happy that I know she can self soothe and get the rest that she needs to be a happy, healthy, growing girl!
Here's a video of a happy, well rested Mae and she's showing off her new skill...rolling! :)