Sunday, March 31, 2013

Sleep Update

When I made my post about the babies sleep habits, they were waking every hour or two to nurse all night. We started working on extending time between nursings and were up to three hours between nursings. Then we all got the stomach flu, and all our progress was shot. Once I was sure we were all past the flu, we started working on stretching night nursings and sleep.

About a week after we were working on sleep again we had the night from hell. Neither baby was willing to be rocked, patted, shushed or snuggled. There was so much screaming going on. They would both quietly nurse, but wouldn't even nurse to sleep. I could tell they were overtired but were having a hard time getting back to sleep. I was getting frustrated and needed a few minutes to regain my composure, so I set them in their cribs and left the room.

Harrison was asleep within minutes, Brooke wasn't as quick to go to sleep, but I could tell she was going to get there on her own. They only slept for an hour or so in their cribs before I brought them back to bed. After that night I knew it was time to make the transition.

The next morning we all woke up happy but tired. I knew there would be no more naps in the family bed or all night cosleeping. We went about our day as usual and when it was time for a nap they nursed to sleep and as soon as I moved them to their cribs they woke up. I left the room and they played in their cribs for 45 minutes before finally going to sleep. Their afternoon nap went the same way.

When it was bedtime we followed the same routine as usual: stories, bath, nursing, sleep. They were not happy about being moved to their cribs at night. They fussed and cried for about 5 minutes, but then they both went to sleep. There were a few wakings throughout the night, but each time they were back to sleep within a couple minutes. Around 5:30 when someone woke I finally pulled them into bed so we could nurse and snuggle the rest of the night. They slept till almost 8. Night 1 was a success.

They have been in their cribs for over a week now and things are still going well. Night sleep has definitely improved. This morning they slept until 6:40. Now we're snuggling in bed while they get their last hour of sleep, Naps are still occasionally a bit of a struggle for Harrison. They always have been. Some days he'll go to sleep easily and nap for an hour and a half. Other days he won't sleep longer than 30 minutes and then he's a grouchy butt for the rest of the day.

I'm not sure if it was the timing or my determination that it would work this time, but the transition to cribs was much easier than I expected. There was very minimal crying involved. Much less than what we were experiencing when they were in bed with us. Rob and I are still sleeping in the guest room and they are in the master. I'm hoping we'll all be able to share a room. If they start waking once we move back to our bed, they'll be moving to their room. I like having them in our room, so hopefully we won't have to move them.

I was starting to wonder if we would ever get to this point. It has made a huge difference in my life. I no longer feel like I'm running on fumes, and I know we're all getting enough sleep at night. There were two books that really helped me. The No Cry Sleep Solution and Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. I didn't follow either one exactly, but they both had valuable information that helped me understand sleep and formulate a plan that worked for us.

It's almost 8 am which means my well rested kids will be waking up soon. Happy Easter everyone!

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