Thursday, October 30, 2008

Eat, Wake, Sleep...

I'm a firm believer in the Baby Wise "Eat-Wake-Sleep" method of teaching babies how to be good sleepers. It worked like a charm with Ivie, so we're at it again with Macie.

For those of you unfamiliar with this technique, the name says it all. The general idea is that after a baby eats during the day, he/she should stay awake for a period of time. There's no set amount of time required; just the idea that if the baby learns to be awake after eating during the day, then when you put him/her to bed immediately after eating at bedtime and during late-night feedings, he/she becomes accustomed to sleeping for a longer stretches of time. And ultimately through the night. Makes sense, huh?

So each day I set out on a quest to perfect eat-wake-sleep with Macie. Some days it works better than others. Yesterday, for example, Macie was a sleepyhead. For example, she ate at 11:45a, and it was all I could do to keep her awake during the feeding itself! She immediately went back to sleep afterward, and nothing I tried could rouse her. So I finally gave in and let her sleep. She didn't wake up until 3:45p! 4 HOURS after she started eating. This was doubly bad, since another part of the philosophy is that you shouldn't let a baby her age go more than 3.5 hours at the most without eating during the day (lest you not get in enough feedings before bed).

At bedtime, then, Macie was wide awake when I put her in the crib. It's funny, because I was just telling a friend the other day that Macie was GREAT about going to sleep at night. Most of the time she's awake, but dosing off, and will lie quietly in bed until she falls asleep. Without uttering so much as a whimper.

She must not have liked me bragging... Last night, for the first time, I had to practice tough love. She cried herself to sleep. Thankfully, it was more of an every-10-seconds-or-so squeal, as opposed to an all-out-turn-her-face-red-and-stop-breathing cry. So it was fairly easy for me to keep myself out of her room. And, even better, it didn't wake Ivie up next door. I'll take it.

So after a day like this, I told Dale as we hit the bed that it probably was going to be a rough night for the Mac-ster. Either that, I said, or she's going to have a record-setting night. Because you know those come when you least expect it...

Well, you guessed it. After eating at 7:02p, Macie didn't wake up hungry until 2:08a (can you tell that I keep detailed records of feeding times?)! We officially hit the 7-hour mark at 7 weeks of age. SWEET! After eating, she went back to sleep until 6:40a, when she and I got up for the day. So we were only up once during the night - another record.

That's the good news. The bad news, for Macie that is, is that now Mommy EXPECTS to get 7 hours (or more!) out of her each night. It's when I start having these expectations that the frustration starts to creep in when we have an "off" night. So I need to be careful to temper my excitement a bit...

I'll sign off with a couple of pics... One of Macie's newly-learned smile, and another of her lounging in her bouncy seat. I cannot confirm or deny that I was the one that dressed her before putting her in the bouncy. Ha! Actually, truth be told, I put her in there after feeding her. So her pants are still unsnapped (per the process of having them hitched up around her neck in fear of a blow-out), and her sock fell off in the transition. But isn't she still just so cute?!?

1 comment:

Marcia said...

Can you come to our house for a bit??? I managed a first effort of letting Kale scream (not cry, not whimper, but full on yell) at me for 3-4 minutes the other night before I went in and got him. Mind you, during that 3-4 minutes, my mom rolled out of her bed and nearly tackled me in the hallway while asking "WHAT are you doing ot him???". Ep wasn't home. I have tried twice this week to get Ep to just leave Kale in his crib to experience what we are up against. Ep put him in the crib and didn't even leave the room before he caved. Oh my oh my, the task before me!

On a different note...I don't think Macie could get any cuter!!!