Thursday, March 22, 2012

Into his own room...

I swore my baby would sleep in our room, right next to our bed in his cradle until about 6 months.  But at 14 weeks, we decided to make the switch.  I caved for a few of reasons.

1).  Liam was not on any kind of schedule and we were having a hard time implementing one with him going to sleep in our room.  We didn't have the monitor set up in there, so I didn't want him out of my site.  He'd usually begin the night sleeping in a pack n' play we have up in our living room (or in my arms), and then we transfer him to the cradle after a late night feeding.

Everything I read hammers home the importance of getting your baby use to a night time routine early and especially at the 3-4 month mark. It's important to be consistent and get them use to their room.

2). He has never been a good night sleeper.  He sleeps in 2-3 hour chucks all day long - loves the nap length of sleep.  So, I figured we needed to change something.  Maybe being in his own room would help.  Maybe we were keeping him up/waking him up?

3). The boy was keeping me up!  While I was actually lulled to sleep by the sounds of his breathing and snoring, he is an active sleeper and moves around. I was constantly thinking he needed something, when really he was just moving in his sleep.  I would wake up to what sounded like calisthenics coming from his cradle.  He lifts his legs up in the air and then flops them down... this boy will have strong abs.

4). He was starting to outgrow his cradle.  While it's bigger than a bassinet, with his wild night time movements, he'd hit the solid wood walls waking us all (him included) up.

So I started having him take naps in his crib to get him use to his new bed...

Then we made the switch a few nights ago with a bedtime routine in his own room and all!  This way he wouldn't feel banished to his room just to sleep.  Our typical routine (as of now)...

1). Once he starts to get sleepy (I can usually tell by him rubbing his eyes or starting to get cranky), usually between 8 and 9:30pm depending on his naps that day, we start the routine.

2). We go change him into his pjs in his room and get him a fresh diaper.  If it's bath night (2x a week) we'll do that first.

3). Then we sit in his big comfy rocking-recliner chair, and read some books until his eyes start getting really sleepy.

4). Then I give him a bottle.  He usually falls asleep eating, but when I burp him, it kind of wakes him back up.

5). So then we read some more, or I talk to him or sing (but I'm not sure that's pleasing to the ear so we're working on a lullaby play list).  I've started asking him what the best and worst part of his day was (the peaks and pits), but he hasn't answered me yet, so I just tell him mine.

6). Then when he is almost asleep I transfer him from my arms to his crib.  He usually kind of wake up again (I swear he'd sleep 12 hours straight in my arms if he could) - so I put on his Sleep Sheep sound machine, rub his belly and head and tell him I love him and good night with a few Shhhs (he likes that sound).

Then the hardest part.

7). I walk away and out of his room.  I quickly grab the video monitor and watch him the rest of the night...

Sometimes he'll start fussing a bit and it'll take a few trips of me going in to rub his belly and Shhh him, put his pacifier back in or turn back on the Sleep Sheep (which is on a timer) before he's really asleep for the long haul. The main thing is, I am trying to be consistent.  I know it'll take a little time till he gets use to it, but so far I think his sleeping is already a little better!

And I'm getting use to it, too.  The good news is - our house isn't that big and his room is right across from ours.  At night, when all is quiet, I can even hear him without the monitor, though I have that right by my head any ways.

What is your bedtime routine?  When did you move baby to the crib/own room?

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  1. This is a great post. I'm an expecting mommy so I've been really thinking about routine routine routine. Thanks for the tips!

    Vonae Deyshawn

  2. Sweetest. My little guy LOVED the swaddle...we used it until almost 6 months. I think that is part of the reason he was a great sleeper right away. If you haven't read Happiest Baby on the Block, I recommend.

  3. I love the part about asking him the best and worst parts of his day...and you telling him yours. So freaking adorable.....

  4. We moved Eli into his own room at about eight weeks - sooner than I'd planned too, but the kid is not a quiet sleeper! He snores, snorts, farts, huffs and puffs, etc. Funny for the first hour or two...not so much when it's all night long!

    Eli goes to be around 7:00 every night and we started his bedtime routine around three months - he gets a bath while listening to his Rockabye Baby CD, then a little massage with bedtime lotion, and finally fed. I usually put him down when he's not quite asleep but almost passed out. Lately he's been getting up sometime around midnight to eat and then will sleep until 5:30 or 6:00 to eat again, then goes back to bed until about 8:00 when he's up for the day. We use the Sleep Sheep too.

  5. We actually did it MUCH earlier than I expected--I thought we'd do it around 3 months, but we started at just over 2 weeks. It was totally obvious that having him next to us was keeping all of us awake. He's always been a light sleeper, and he'd wake up every time I got up to pee, or when The Doc woke up in the morning, or when the dogs jumped on or off the bed. And with my PPD and anxiety, I literally could not sleep at all for watching him--every little breath and grunt made my eyelids fly open. So, we put him in his room--magically, he went from waking up and wanting to breastfeed every hour, to going 3 hours between feedings. He was calmer during the day, it helped his reflux (probably because he wasn't overeating), I got some precious healing sleep, and we started a nighttime routine that we've kept until this day.

    Now that he's 2, our night routine is like clockwork--bathtime, massage with lotion, "happy thoughts" for the day, 2 books, milk, and lights out. One of my favorite times of day!

    Kudos to you for getting a routine started early! Every baby is different, and it sounds like you listened to exactly what your little man needed.

  6. Audrey is only 9 weeks, so we haven't made that transition yet, but it will happen sometime between the 12-16 week mark. I imagine that I'll struggle with it emotionally as well.

    Two nights ago, we did transition her from the Rock n Play to the Pack n Play at night (the nap-time transition to a flat surface happened several weeks prior). The fact that we did this switch the day she got vaccinated probably wasn't the best idea (her longest sleep stretch was 30 minutes). But last night she was back to normal with 6 hours of sleep.

    Audrey's fussy time between sometime between 8:30 and midnight, so it's really hard to set a bedtime routine. During that time, we do cluster feedings, turn the lights down low and walk around with her a lot. Sometimes I'll also put the bedtime lotion on her chest (but that really depends on her mood). Sometimes I'll put on some soothing classical music for her as well. The thing with her fussy time is that what calms her down isn't consistent, so it's just a lot of trial and error.

    That's great that you were able to start a bedtime routine though! Hopefully, he'll soon figure out he's supposed to sleep longer stretches at night.


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