Apparently “sleeping through the night” actually means sleeping for 5-6 hours at a time. At night. At this age. According to the sleep “experts”.
Well, Max has been sleeping for about 5 hours at a time….but not exactly at NIGHT. More like, in the early evening/late night. For instance, he might take a full bottle at 8 pm, go down at 9 pm, and then wake up around 2 or 3 am. Which is wonderful, right? I mean, he finally has a night time routine, he’s great at going down anywhere around 6-8 each night….and in his OWN room, in his crib. Don’t get me wrong….we were thrilled that he would go for a full 5+ hours. But it meant that Sean and I would end up going to bed around 11, and then we’d be up at 2, and then again around 5:30….get the picture? We did briefly consider changing our schedule to fit Max’s, and going to bed at 9. But really….we’re grown ups. And as much fun as we have with Max during the day, there is SO much to get done when he is finally asleep for the night. There’s laundry, there’s dishes, there’s dinner. There’s having a grown-up conversation and catching up on our day. There’s vegging out in front of some shows on Tivo (Is ‘Glee’ not the most fantastic show EVER?!). And for all of you faithful readers….there’s blogging! In other words, Max needed to help us find a compromise!
SO….when we were at the doctor’s office yesterday, she casually mentioned that “If you want him to sleep through the night, there’s a few things you can try. Now that he’s finally big enough. And old enough”. She threw it out there like it was NOTHING. And then followed it up with “I mean, if you’re fine waking up at night with him, then no big deal…but…”. Seriously Doc??!! You’re just gonna throw that carrot out there and then move on to discussing reflux meds?
So we stopped her. And she said that we should try waking Max up between 10 and 11, and giving him a bottle. You mean before he wakes up screaming for food?? You mean when he’s all snuggly in his cute BabyGap jammies with the feet in them?
In Doc’s defense, I have read about this little game. It’s called a “Dream Feed”. And (if it works) it’s supposed to reset baby’s little clock so that they fill up their tummies again right before Mom and Dad go to bed, so that they can have enough fuel to last them through the night (well, the “6 hour night”).
And then she mentioned the book “BabyWise”. Yes, I’ve read it. And while some swear by it, I felt that the best route for us would be to take bits and pieces of each methodology, and do what felt right for us. But BabyWise stresses the importance of parents calling the shots, and making sure that baby is on Mom and Dad’s schedule. It’s a tough transition to make. Especially when you spend the first 0-3 months of your life with your newborn trying to stretch out their nap times and their feeding times.
But we’ll try anything once.
Max’s night started out a little out of the ordinary. It’s super hot here, so we wanted to keep him downstairs with us for a little longer while the upstairs cooled down. Around 7:30 pm, he fell asleep in my arms while I rocked him, and we cozied up on the couch together. At 10:30 pm, we woke him up. Poor little guy. How is it that when we want him to sleep, he goes from passed out to wide awake the minute he hears us open the dishwasher? Or the minute I set him down on his blanket? Yet when we want to wake him up, no amount of noise/cuddles/commotion will wake him up?!
And Max took a full 4 ounce bottle.
He played with Daddy for a while and contemplated how one bottle could make his belly look so big. Max’s belly. Not Daddy’s. And then Max went back to sleep.
Until 5:30 am.
Now this also means that in order to make this amazing feat happen more than once, we need to make sure that he gets his full 25-28 ounces during the day. Which means that Mommy has to be in charge of when he eats, as opposed to Max being in charge. Which is why the BabyWise guru has probably made so much money. What this means is that I needed to feed him before he gets to the point where he’s starving. Well, not starving. But hungry enough to let us know that it’s time for him to eat NOW. In other words, I know that he can go for three-ish hours between feedings. So I would offer him a bottle at 2.5 hours. Granted, sometimes he took a full bottle, and sometimes he took 2 ounces. But by the end of the day, he had his fill.
That second night, we did the same thing as the night before. But this time, Max had our number. He slept through his meal of an entire 4 ounce bottle, still sucking away until it was completely empty.