I’ve been putting off writing this post, since I didn’t want to ‘jinx’ anything…but last Wednesday we took the plunge and moved Sam into the nursery. The first night was far better than expected, the second was very unsettled but, fingers crossed, since then Sam has been sleeping much better.
After the rolling incident in our room, we decided it was time to move Sam to the safety (and space) of his cot bed. When we initially put him in there, we thought he would struggle, having probably grown accustomed to taking up much of our double, but he adapted pretty quickly. In fact, he now seems to prefer curling up into the side. It hasn’t stopped him getting onto his front (and obviously getting stuck there), but it’s definitely less frequent – or maybe the novelty has worn off for him. I notice that he does sometimes sleep on his front for a couple of hours, but he often remains on his side.
From waking increasingly regularly in our room, he now (touch wood) will sleep up to SIX HOURS. This was unheard of and a dream I never believed would happen. Night before last he slept 7-11 and then 11.10-5.15, at which point I brought him in with us. My rule is that if he wakes any time after 5, I bring him in for the final quick feed and nap. He wakes between 6 and 7 anyway, so this maximises the amount of sleep I get before he is ready for the day!
On Friday, a small miracle happened…I managed to get him to NAP in his cot! Right now, he is fast asleep in his cot enjoying his first nap of the day. He will generally sleep 20-40 minutes, 3 times a day. It’s very helpful knowing roughly how long I have and being better able to predict when. The first is usually 90 minutes after waking, the second 90 minutes after waking from that nap. The third and final is around 3pm, or 3 hours after waking from the second nap. This means he then has a 3 hour stretch to bed.
Sussing out naps is entirely thanks to the book I found (The 90 Minute Baby Sleep Program) which focuses on baby awake cycles, rather than sleep. I bought a used copy off Amazon for a couple of pounds. It struck a chord for me since Sam often got tired after an hour or so. This works on the premise that baby’s awake cycles are in multiples of 90 minutes. It’s a fascinating read and also one of the few books that doesn’t recommend teaching your baby to self settle before they’re able. It advocates rocking or soothing them (by any means except feeding) until they’re 6-8 months old, or ready to learn to go to sleep on their own.
If they cry hysterically, they aren’t ready.
So, it seems we may finally be making some real steps forward. It’s wonderful having our own space back, along with our evenings since he now goes to bed between 6 and 7. It’s a shock to my system getting up at 6-6.30 most days, but it means we have breakfast as a family and Sam has a nap by 8, giving me time to shower and get ready for the day.
If you’re struggling with sleep and nothing seems to be working, keep reading or listening to your instincts. I already ‘knew’ that Sam needed naps after these short intervals, but it took me reading the book to reinforce that I was right. Taking the plunge and moving him out of our room is helping all of us sleep better.
Do whatever works for you – if your baby needs to feed every hour, then keep them in with you. If your baby needs rocking to sleep, then do it – I don’t for one minute believe we’ll still be rocking Sam when he’s 18! If your baby keeps you all awake and needs more space, try moving them out.
You’ll figure it out and find what works best for your family.