Saturday, August 17, 2013

Our new sleeping schedule

It's taken me a while to write this post. It's taken me a while to get used to this change. I really believe that this is the right decision for our family, but I've had to do a lot of processing.

Switching from Adara sleeping in our bed to her sleeping in her own room has been a huge change. She's across the house, and without our camera monitor, I'm not sure I could do it. In one weekend we stopped night nursing and put her in the crib for all naps and sleeping at night. That was three weeks ago, and I think I'm finally getting used to it.

I try to get her asleep or very sleepy, but we have let her cry herself to sleep. There have been times when we go in, pat her back, and then go out. Once or twice she cried for 45 minutes, but she usually didn't cry more than half an hour.

I still do a night routine: bath, prayer, books, turn off the lights, turn on her fan, nurse and sing, and sometimes bounce if she hasn't fallen asleep yet. We put her down at 7:30 pm, and she's usually asleep within 5 minutes. As long as we don't make too much noise by her room, she doesn't wake up enough to need comforting at night. When we had her in our room she would wake up, see us, and then have a hard time going back to sleep. Now, she may stir, crawl around to get comfortable again, and then fall back to sleep.

She no longer nurses at night. This was actually more difficult for me than it was for her. The first night I woke up at 4 am and pumped 10 ounces of milk! I have pumped other mornings, but each morning I can sleep later, and pump infrequently. Adara does nurse as soon as she wakes up, and is very hungry. These morning feedings are our "reconnect" time. I wake up missing her, and I look forward to getting her up and holding her close.

I also enjoy my Bible time first thing in the morning, without interruption.

She takes two naps: one at 9:30 am for about 45 minutes, and the other at 2 pm for at least an hour. I do a mini-routine to get her ready to sleep: books, nurse and sing, then crib.

Over the past week I've been able to set her in her crib and she hasn't fussed at all. I still try to make sure she's sleepy, and would prefer to put her in mostly asleep. Yesterday she actually leaned toward her crib, so I set her in there and walked out. She yelled out a few times from her crib, but never cried. Within 15 minutes she had settled down and fallen asleep.

I would say this has been a success for us. Adara seems to like her routine, and Alex and I get sleep at night. I am humbled so often, as I realize how judgmental I can be. There are so many different ways to raise a child. Parents have to do what they believe is best, and pray God's grace over these decisions.