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Sleeping Baby in Real Life

December 1, 2009

We’ve hit the six month mark. Six months, one week and four days exactly.This time period usually marks a significant change in the sleep pattern of infants. Babies usually begin to sleep through the night if they aren’t doing so already, and start taking longer naps.

Evangeline has been a champion sleeper from birth and was sleeping through the night at around 3 months. Note: sleeping through the night is 6 hours of sleep without waking, not 12. She was a good sleeper…until last week.

The cursed holiday season has turned my angelic little sleeper into a nightmare of a wakeful zombie. Blearing cries at all hours, wide awake at 4am for no good reason. I know, I’m spoiled. I got used to going at least 7 or 8 hours without having to feed her.

But seriously, when you go from this pleasant dream world where your baby sleeps peacefully, to this…it’s a little jarring.

I THINK I’ve found a good solution.

Our current system for putting Evangeline to sleep is bath, books, nurse, swaddle, suckie, and rock with singing to sleep for 5 or 10 minutes, put down in crib. She usually stays asleep and wakes or fusses when she hasn’t had quite enough cuddling or has to burp. During this time we were definitely more in the no-cry-sleep solution category. This system WAS working so well for us and was usually not at all time-consuming.

Now, we rock and cuddle for 10 minutes, put in crib and let cry for 10-15 minutes, go back in and rock and cuddle for another few minutes, then put her on her tummy to go to sleep. This is weirdly working. I know I know, there are those that are reading this thinking I’m going to kill my baby. But really, she’s 6 months, can roll over and move around her crib by herself. I think she’s fine. And she’s sleeping. I’m not one to complain about the sleeping thing, no matter what you might have to do to get there.

I was reading one of my favorite sleep blogs last night, Pick Nick’s Brain and it talked about this very phenomenon. Many babies need a change in pattern every few months to get them to sleep. What once worked every time without fail may suddenly not work and it’s time to randomly select a new pattern to try out. We have never really been into cry-it-out (it feels so against my instincts to let my baby cry), but after many sleepless nights, it’s seemed that Evangeline just needed to fuss and cry a bit to get to a really tired place.

We’ll see…it’s only two nights now that this has actually worked. Tomorrow (or later tonight) may be a different beast.

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