Sleep Rules

Somehow, against all thoughts and plans to the contrary, we’ve ended up with a baby that won’t sleep through the night.

This is due to at least a few reasons that I can think of, including the fact that Henry’s schedule is more fixed, so we’ve worked Linus in around Henry, and also that Linus’s colostomy bag prevents us from giving him a bath every night so we don’t have a good nighttime routine going.

Our current schedule has Linus nursing from 8-10, dozing and nursing on and off, and finally going to bed between 10 and 12. He gets up at least once or twice during the night to nurse, but has to be woken in the morning to get to school on time. Not a very good schedule for any of us.

Last night I re-read the Ferber book and realized there are three problems we need to work on. First, he’s getting up too often at night to nurse. (He recently had a cold and was up 3 times a night!). Second, he needs to be put on a more regular, predictable schedule so that he can know what to expect when. Lastly, he needs to lose his improper sleep associations, which generally is me nursing him to sleep.

Luckily, we have the journal from when Henry was little, and we have this record of his schedule. Using those two historical logs, we’re building a new schedule for Linus and working on these problems.

Here’s my plan of attack. First, we’re leaving the evenings alone and just focusing on eliminating the nighttime feedings. Last night he went 5 hours between bedtime and his first nurse. Every day we’ll add 30 minutes on to that until he can go approximately 7-8 hours without a feeding at night. At the same time, we’re setting a fixed wake-up time for him, 6 AM. This will set him on a predictable schedule for the day, and should align to be his first feeding of the day once we wean him from nighttime nursing.

After we’ve achieved that goal, then we’ll start trying to fix the evening. We need to institute a predictable evening ritual, a standard routine. At some point, we’ll also want to move his bedtime earlier. That would be the last step, however, in our plan.

So, we started last night and we’ll see how it goes. Wish us luck!!