Ah, such a touchy subject. When other mums discuss how many times they get up in the night, I keep my mouth shut. When other mums despair over the few hours of sleep they get, I change the topic. When they comment that I look well-rested, I smile and thank them.
I’m not saying I’m a genius or anything… it’s probably just genetics… maybe my kids just sleep well.
But, we did it once, and we’ve done it again. We have another good sleeper.
So, why am I writing this down? No, I don’t want to get punched in the nose. But yes, people do ask me what we did. I’ve been asked at least three times to give a detailed description. And I think I should share. Especially for when someone asks 5 years down the track and I just can’t remember. Plus, I’m proud – I think we did a good job. And I don’t think I should feel guilty.
It’s not easy. And you need patience. And strength. And a like of bouncing. Well, at least a tolerance of bouncing.
First, we threw the ‘feeding on demand’ idea out the window, which is a bit controversial. My first night at the hospital by myself was hell and decided that I just didn’t want to do it this way. Someone had mentioned four-hourly feeds to us (the old-fashioned way, I think) and we thought we’d give it a try. And we were told that sleep training started at four months. We didn’t want to wait that long. So I have no idea whether this would work later on since we only did it from birth.
This is where the patience comes in. You have to push bubs to wait until a four hourly interval before you feed. This means someone, ideally not the one with boobs, has to hold a screaming baby for about half an hour or so.
But it only takes a few days. Literally.
And, suddenly, I started getting a few hours of sleep in between feeds. And both children very quickly dropped one of their night feeds (shown in brackets below), so they were doing one eight-hour stretch. Baby 1 by five weeks, and baby 2 by eight weeks. Also, the final feed before the long stretch is a looong feed. But it’s totally worth it. We also slowly moved this one back to lengthen the overnight sleep. We chose the times based on my job for the first, and on around the nap schedule of the first, for baby two.
Baby 1: 6am, 10am, 2pm, 6pm, 10pm, (2am)
Baby 2: 8am, 12pm, 4pm, 8pm, (12am), 4am
If either of them woke early during the night, hubby would cuddle and bounce (this is where a fit ball really comes in handy) until they either dozed off or it got to feeding time. However, if they slept past their feeding time, we didn’t wake them, we just waited until they woke. Never wake a sleeping baby, right?
So, feel free to punch me in the nose if you really need to (preferably a cyber-punch), but I hope this information helps new parents out there who may be despairing.
However, neither of my children have been good bottle feeders… instead of throwing a punch, maybe throw me some awesome tips!