Saturday, April 9, 2011

Self-Taught Sleep Training?

I hate to jinx myself, but I think my baby has sleep trained himself. Yeah, he's just that cool.

When Larkin was born, I heard chants of "Put him on a schedule!". Then I was lectured not to put a breastfed baby on an eating schedule (especially at first) because breast milk was digested so easily, plus it's impossible to tell exactly how much they actually consume. The scheduling concept quickly went by the wayside. Jonathan and I don't follow any semblance of a schedule, so it seemed silly to try to enforce one on Larkin (and thereby, ourselves).

We adapted to watching for his signals - chewing his fingers and rooting when he was hungry, rubbing his eyes and pulling his ear when he was sleepy - and accommodated his needs. It's just what has worked for us. If I were working outside of the home, or if either of us preferred to go to bed early, or if we had older kiddos, we might have needed to work out a more precise schedule. But as it is, Larkin had a approximate schedule of his own - up around 9 am, down for a nap around two hours later, a few small naps through the afternoon and a longer nap in the early evening (no matter what I did, I couldn't get him to cut out that late nap). Then he'd be ready to party until 10:30 or 11 pm.

Yes, that's LATE. But it wasn't a huge problem for us, since we're such night owls. But it was hard to get anything done or any time to relax, since we went to bed shortly after he did.

Then, about three weeks ago, he started taking his longer nap earlier in the afternoon. Bed time was pushed up to 10, then 9. Then last night - 8.

And - the holy grail of parenthood - the kid slept through the night.

Seriously. From 8 pm to 8 am. He woke up once at midnight for a quick snack, then went right back to sleep. I got in bed then, and slept for EIGHT UNINTERRUPTED HOURS. I haven't done that since my second trimester. And it. was. AMAZING.

And tonight? Tonight, Larkin was asleep by 7:00. He stirred a few times over the next couple of hours, but since he was in our bed, I just crawled next to him and comforted him right back to sleep. I kept waiting for him to wake up and decide he'd had a nice nap and could play all night, but it's midnight now and he's still sound asleep.

This may not last, but I'm sure going to enjoy it while it does.

Man, my kid is AWESOME!

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