At two weeks, we started feeding Hawlander on a schedule (don't worry, the sleep part is coming). It wasn't iron-clad, and to this day it ebbs and flows depending on how he's feeling, napping, etc. But boyfriend's internal clock got solidly set, which has been awesome! It helped us learn each other more quickly and develop patterns. I knew how much time I had to run round and rule out what he was crying about more easily. We fed at 6 am, 9 am, 12 pm, 3 pm. Then we cluster at 6 pm, 8 pm and 10 pm and finally at 2 am.
We were always told by our pediatrician, "what gets attention get's repeated," and we've found that to be true with our guy. Once he realized that he wasn't getting fed every time he woke, he adjusted his sleep. We also never leaped from bed at the littlest cry, and when we gave him the chance sometimes (not always) he rose to the occasion and soothed himself. We realized at 6 weeks that he was fighting being swaddled so intensely that he would get furious and be inconsolable, and without the swaddle he would startle awake every 30 min. So, one nap I decided to break all the rules and let him sleep on his tummy. And then overnight in his bassinet in our room. He slept like a baby all night. I would have never confessed to tummy sleeping a month ago, because I felt like it would be perceived as being irresponsible or cavalier about sleep safety. However, after talking to our pediatrician and being a former belly sleeper myself, I feel like we are doing what is right and reasonable for our family. After two weeks, we moved him back to his room and he continued to stretch his feeding time to 4 am or drop it all together on his own.
Our pediatrician told us that every healthy child has the capacity to sleep through the night at 8-10 weeks. He encouraged us to put him down awake at 8 pm and not return back to the room at all until 6 am. In a few nights, it would be a habit.
Y'all, this freaked me out. I swore I'd never do it. How could I let him cry it out? I read the opposition: how he'd lose trust in me, in humanity.
After some discussion, Garett and I came to this conclusion: it's worth a try. If it doesn't feel right then we can change it. Plus, the uninterrupted time wouldn't hurt our marriage, that's for sure.
Honestly, the first night didn't feel great for any of us. We put him down awake, and he cried for 18 minutes. At 4 am he cried for 43 minutes, and at 5 he cried for 20. Also, so did I.
The second night, he cried for 41 minutes, and at 4:30 am he cried for 30 minutes. I did too.
The third night, he cried for 7 minutes and not at all during the night.
At 8 weeks, he started sleeping from 8-6. Those 3 nights were worth the now 7 weeks we've had together.
p.s. sometimes we break the rules like put him down after we get home from dinner with friends and rock him to sleep just because my heart isn't ready to put him down yet. That's life. Live it. amiright?
I couldn't have tried this alone, because it is heart-wrenching to hear your sweetest one crying for you. We couldn't have done it. Not without other mommas praying for us, encouraging us and texting us through it. Sigh. So nice. We'll need them again, on the night he goes rogue, gets sick or when the next one comes along and all our good juju was used up teaching this one how to sleep. This is why being supportive in return is so important to me. I want to be for you as you are for me. Method or no method. Sleep or no sleep. Time and time again.
No judging. You make your own bed and you sleep in it, but not in a snarky way. Do what your heart and your baby tell you. I don't live under your roof or walk in your shoes, you do. But I can walk beside you or pour you a cup or coffee at my kitchen table. I know you'd do the same for me.