I’m totally a believer now

Even before baby was born, people would tell us how great it was to get her on a sleep schedule. It seemed like everyone – parenting magazines, other mommies, the pediatrician – talked about why I shouldn’t rock/nurse baby to sleep. But I figured What’s the big deal? Babies have been rocked to sleep for thousands of years.

And so I let baby girl nurse herself to sleep. If she woke up after eating, I gave her a pacifier and rocked her until she fell asleep again. Then I would put her in her crib.

It worked well enough. Baby slept at least 4 hours each stretch, and I never felt completely sleep deprived. We were happy, and I loved my night time rocking sessions with my baby girl. 

Well, about a month ago I was spending the evening with another mommy friend whose son is on a sleep schedule. Every night the routine is the same: bath, massage, book, bottle and then bed. The baby was so happy, and my friend swore by the sleep routine. So figured we could give it a try, too.

The next night I followed my friend’s routine.

We gave baby girl a bath, which she loved. Then I tried to give her a massage. She wasn’t so keen on that part, so we quickly put her diaper and jammies on. Then we read a book. After the book, baby girl nursed for a bit. When she was finished, I sang the song my mom always sang to me at bed time and put her in her crib.

I thought things were going so well until I left baby’s room.

She cried. And she cried. And she cried. She cried for 10 minutes before she fell asleep. For most mommies, 10 minutes probably doesn’t seem like a particularly long time, but my little girl had never cried for more than a couple of minutes, and I had always gone to her in the past if she was unhappy.

That night was probably harder on me than it was on baby. The next night was much the same. We followed our routine, baby cried for a few minutes, and then she fell asleep.

But the third night was wonderful. We did the bath, book, bottle and song, and then I put her in her crib. She babbled a tiny bit and then fell asleep. And she slept for 8 solid hours.

Since then, as long as we keep her on her routine, she sleeps nearly the entire night. Last night, she went to bed at 7:30 in the evening. She didn’t wake up until 5 in the morning. It was wonderful! I’ve got to say, the experience definitely made me a believer in sleep routines.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Just Ramblin' Pier
    Mar 11, 2011 @ 20:41:21

    Those days are tough days but also the most memorable and rewarding. Cherish them. : )


  2. Harriet
    Mar 13, 2011 @ 18:22:16

    Cute post. I’m glad to hear Lynn adjusted so well to the sleep routine & so fast. : )


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