Thursday, February 2, 2012

Sleep Training

When I took Primo to his 4 month check up the doctor asked me if Primo was sleeping through the night?  He was no where close to sleeping through the night as he was still up 3 times a night and wanting a bottle every time.

Doctor explained to me that Primo was old enough to sleep through the night and that he should be able to sleep from 8 PM through 6 AM without a bottle.  He instructed me to let Primo cry at night, while going to his room and saying "it's bedtime" every 15 minutes that he continued to cry.  If he didn't stop crying after an hour I could pick him up for a minute and settle him back in the crib.  Hmm...

Do you know what the medical definition of an infant "sleeping through the night" is?

Sleeping for 5 hours straight without waking.

Now, call me crazy but I don't think that is anywhere near the time that most people would consider a good nights sleep for themselves or their baby.  Although at the time I would have been thrilled if Primo could have slept for 5 hours straight instead of getting up every 3 hours.

At the beginning of January Mike and I decided to put Doctor's plan in motion, or at least our version of Doctor's plan.  We were more responsive to Primo's cries, we did not wait a whole 15 minutes to go into his room.  We did not say "it's bedtime" and walk out.  We checked to make sure he didn't need a diaper change, we made sure he was warm enough and rubbed his head.

We were up quite a bit the first night, but we did only use one bottle.  Some progress.

After a few tough nights things did settle down to include a midnight feeding and getting up once around 2 or 3 AM to help Primo settle back down to sleep.

Because of the fervor with which Primo sucked his bottle down between midnight and 1:00 AM, Mike and I decided he really is hungry once a night and we have continued to give him a bottle.

After a few weeks we have fallen into a nice routine of putting Primo to bed around 8 PM.  He gets up between midnight and 1 AM to have his bottle and goes right back to sleep on his own.  Some nights we get up once in the middle of the night help him settle back to sleep, which only takes a minute.

We are all getting more sleep.

Somewhere down the line we will help encourage Primo to sleep through the night without a bottle.  Or better yet, I am hoping he will outgrow it on his own.


  1. Yay to more sleep! Cant believe the doctor would recommend something like that, I wonder if he did that with his babies/kids? I am sure that any parent would NOT be able to just let their baby cry like that.

    Kudos to baby steps.

  2. I don't think most people would think a 4 month old should be able to sleep through the night without a feeding! I have read that at 9 months they should be able to start doing that, but obviously every child and every parent is different! :) Sounds like you guys are doing a great job and it's great that you all are getting more sleep. :)