Here we are at month 4 — 1/3 of the way through Baby J’s first year already! This was a big month. Baby J trained me to let him sleep!
You may recall last week that I posted about reaching my sleep deprivation limit and that I was going to start “sleep training” Baby J. Turns out, I was the one who needed the training!
That night, I went home anticipating a rough weekend of bedtimes, having to deal with fussing, crying, consoling, etc. I couldn’t have been more surprised! What I had to do to get Baby J putting himself to sleep can hardly be called “sleep training.” That first night, I put him down in his bed, sleepy but awake, patted his tummy and left the room. He started sucking on his hand and complaining, but not crying, for maybe 5 minutes. Then I noticed that the monitor was quiet, and when I checked, he was sound asleep! That night he woke up twice to nurse, and each time I put him back down in his bed drowsy but awake, and didn’t hear a peep out of him before he fell asleep. The second night and after, there wasn’t even any complaining when I put him to bed. That night he cut out one of the night feedings, so now we’re back down to one, around 2am, and absolutely no fussing or crying when I put him back in his bed after feeding him.
As soon as I stopped trying to rock or nurse him to sleep, it’s almost like he breathed a big sigh of relief, “Oh, thank goodness, she’s finally going to leave me alone and let me sleep!” He’s been sleeping like a champ this last week, going to bed easily around 7pm and sleeping until sometime between 7 and 8am.
He still consistently wakes up for one feeding at night, but since I can feed him and put him down in about 15 minutes and then have a solid 5 hours of sleep after that (not to mention the 3-4 hours of solid sleep before), I’m not complaining about that. If he hasn’t cut out this last night feed on his own in a couple of months, I’ll work on actively eliminating it.
I only wish that Baby J’s daytime sleep was as good. He just isn’t a good napper. We’re not entirely sure how to deal with that since Little Man and Lil Sis were both champion nappers at this age. By 4 months, they were both on a great nap schedule and easily slept 4-5 hours during the day in 2-3 naps.
Not so with Baby J. He is a cat napper. He sleeps 30-45 minutes at a time in 3-4 naps throughout the day. He does sleep a lot more at night than LM or LS did (they both slept about 10 hours at night, from 8pm until 6am, and Baby J sleeps a good 12 hours at night), so I don’t expect him to take the long naps that they did. Still, an hour or hour and a half at one of those naps would be nice.
I’ve read that cat napping is pretty common until about 6 months, and then naps should start to lengthen out. So, I’ll give him another couple of months before we start really concentrating on his nap schedule. I certainly hope that “nap training” isn’t in our future :/
Baby J’s stats at four months (Jan. 3, 2014):
Weight: 15lb 1.6oz (50%)
Length: 25.25in (50%)
Head Circumference: 17.5in (>97%, as usual)
Sleep: Good. A week ago that was not the case. But I reached my limit and decided to do some sleep training with him so we could both get some sleep. Turns out I was the problem, not him! My efforts to help him get to sleep we’re actually keeping him up and once I started just leaving him alone, all was good! Just goes to show that even little babies don’t always need our help with everything.
Developments: He’s so aware now! He smiles and “talks” to anyone who pays attention to him long enough and loves to take in the action around the house. He has also “found” his thumb, which aids his self-soothing efforts. He’s working on rolling over, too. We just need to be better about making sure he gets tummy time to practice — downfalls of being the third child :/