Alice Park Photography » Blog

On Sleeping through the Night…

I’m a mom with a heavy heart for my boy’s cry.  Kyu says Lyon’s going to grow up a momma’s boy; I say he’ll grow up feeling loved, protected and confident that his parents will be there for him always.

Now that Lyon is approaching 3 months old, many (including our pediatrician) has asked if he’s sleeping through the night yet.  He definitely has his nights where he’ll sleep soundly from 9pm until 7am.  Those are great nights, but it’s not consistent.  And lately, Lyon’s naps during the day have been getting shorter & shorter, making for very irritable & fussy evenings and very difficult for mom to get work done.

During one of my recent sessions with a favorite client, Elle’s mom asked me:  “So, is Lyon a good sleeper?”  My reply: “He seems to be for now…”

“Just wait until he grows out of that newborn phase, and it gets harder and harder for him to fall asleep on his own.”

Oh lovely.  The time has come.

At the end of our session that day, Elle’s mom told me to email her when Lyon begins that phase… and so last night I did.

Her response:

Hey Alice,

So great to hear from you! All is well here- and Elle is doing great! I must say, I think that 4/5 months is just a great age- they are sleeping and smiling, yet not moving all over the place!

On the sleeping front- it is so tough, and honestly, it takes having a thick skin and letting him cry it out (it is miserable for a few days- but so, so worth it at the end- and I just kept tell myself that Elle needed her sleep!).

Elle is a great sleeper at this point- she goes down for 2 to 3 naps at this point (usually up about 1.5 to 2 hours at a time) and then we put her down around 6:30 or 7 at night, give her the dream feed at 10:30/11ish and she sleeps to 6:30.

Here is my detailed report on what we did:

So I read the Healthy Sleep Habits and Baby Wise….I think that both gave me good food for thought, but what I really used was my friend’s instruction that she got from a sleep consultant. Here is what she said:

– the perfect weeks to do sleep training is somewhere between 12 to 16 (although I did it last week and Elle was 11 weeks and it worked!)

– the method she liked was not extinction, but the one where you go in after certain amounts of time (although after two nights, I moved more towards extinction as I knew that Elle had the ability to sooth herself)

– here is the way she said it goes (and you do this for nap and night)

– feed, wake, sleep (except at night – when she goes down for her 7 pm and then the “dream feed” at 10 or 11 then you can feed to sleep)

– you look for sleepy signs- yawns, rubbing eyes, sucking fingers….I realized that Elle’s sign that she is tired is she just starts to get fussy/noisy

– don’t wait when you see these signs, start you routine at that moment

– have a routine- but is doesn’t have to be anything long and drawn out before nap (at night I do bath, feed/book- actually at the same time, then rock her for just about 2 mins, and have her in the sleep sack and have her sound machine on, and have it dark in the room….but for naps, I put her in her sleep sack, make it dark and turn on the sound machine and that is it)

-put him in bed awake

– start to time it- so time the crying when you leave the room- first time for 10 mins, then go in, calm him down (just for a min or two- even if he starts to cry immediately when you put him back down you just need to walk out), then time the crying for 15 mins, then go in calm him down, and walk out, then time it for 20 mins etc (increase by 5 mins each time). The first day I did it we went though this and got all the way to her next feeding…when that happens then you feed, wake and try sleep again. The first night we did this we got to the 25 mins and then she fell asleep. BUT if at anytime he calms himself/falls asleep, even for just a few mins then you reset the clock on whatever timing you are on at that point. Again, the idea is that they learn to sooth themselves.

– I actually realized a few things about Elle- her fingers help sooth her and I had her swaddled- so I stopped swaddling her and put her in a sleep sack where she has her hands out. Also, we had been giving her a pacifier but it would fall out of her mouth and wake her- so I decided I really wanted her to use her hands (since I saw that calmed her) so I stopped the pacifier and that actually really helped!

– it took about 3 days but now is a dream! I find that Elle will always start to cry a bit when I put her down (I think she is just working through her tiredness….helps her get down) and then after about 5 mins she is out….except last night when we moved her to her crib for the first time (I can’t believe how big she is getting-growing out of her bassinet!) and she cried pretty hard for quite a while (I did the 10, 15, 20 thing again) and then she was out.

It has given us a life again at night- we just feed her a bottle at 7, put her down and have the evening, then feed her a bottle at 10 or 11 (we wake her…or don’t totally wake her, just feed her while she is still sleepy- keeping the lights out) and then put her down- no more rocking her for hours to get her down.

All this said, those three days are HARD- I HATE to hear her cry so hard- but remind yourself it is best for Lyon and for y’all!

Let me know if you have any questions!!! Personally, I think you can start at anytime that you think little Lyon is ready!

OK, keep me posted!!!! GOOD LUCK!

xoxo… Jen

Wow!  Thank you, Jen…

I love that as a new mother, I can reach out to my clients in a way I never could before.  There is an unspoken connection that we all share now, and it makes what I do every day so incredibly meaningful.

I’m not quite ready to let Lyon cry it out through the night yet, but I know when I am – there will be Jen and several other moms who have been there already and know exactly what I’m going through.

That is a good feeling to have…

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *