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An Update on Allie’s Sleep

Good morning and happy Monday! I hope you all have had an amazing weekend. We’re super fortunate to have Zack home today for a three day weekend so we are relaxing around the house and spending time with Allie.

Last night we tried something new which I’m super excited about. If you’ve been following along for a while, you know that we’re big on promoting good sleep habits in our home and have been working with Allie on her sleep since the day she came home from the hospital. It’s been very important to me to make sure she’s sleeping well which in turn allows us to sleep well too. So it’s a win/win. So a quick little background for those of you who are new here: we had Allie sleeping through the night by the time she was 5 weeks old (we accidentally sleep trained…oops! haha but she was sleeping 9pm to 5am at that time). Once she was 4 months old, we started nap training. At that point, I felt she could handle having a set nap time schedule throughout the day and up to that point, her daily sleep was all over the place. So we nap trained. She did excellent with it! Then by 6 months, we moved her to her crib in her bedroom rather than sleeping in her pack n play next to our bed. Again, she did amazing with this transition as well. She sleeps through the night and has two 2-hour naps a day. So that’s our little sleep journey we’ve been on these last 7 months.

Now, at 7.5 months, Allie goes to bed at 8pm and wakes up at 5am. I’ll then pull her into bed with us (horrible, I know!!) and she’ll sleep until 7am. So she’s still an excellent sleeper! But last night, I watched a live stream of Whitney Port (from The Hills and The City…for all my MTV fans out there!) and her husband talking with a sleep specialist. I found this to be super interesting and thought I’d watch it to see if I could learn anything new. This stream definitely taught me a lot, but at the same time, it really solidified my mindset and the things I’m doing with Allie. So that made me feel really good to know that I know what I’m doing. So I’m on a really good track with her.

But anyways, one thing the specialist said was to have earlier bed times. Early as in any where from 5:30 to 7pm! It sounded insane to me, but I decided last night we’d attempt a 7 o’lock bedtime rather than 8 o’clock. It was kind of a last minute decision as it was 6:50pm when I decided to try it. But she was already looking super tired so I made her a bottle and changed her into pjs. Just minutes after she finished her bottle, she was passed out in my arms. So I moved her up to her bedroom and crossed my fingers. She had a bit of a coughing fit off and on for about 45 minutes (in her sleep) but once she was done coughing, she didn’t wake up again until 3:30 in the morning. An 8.5 hour stretch. So that was super good!

Normally when she wakes up at night, I’ll go give her a pacifier and she’ll fall right to sleep, but last night I decided to let it go and see if she could put herself back to sleep. And she did! It only took 3 minutes of a little whining and moving around but she did put herself back too sleep on her own. This then led to about 30 minutes of restlessness, but she didn’t wake up and start crying or anything like that and I didn’t get out of bed to run to her rescue. So I was very proud of both of us. The next time she woke was her usual 5/5:30am wake up. She then came to bed with us and stayed asleep until 8am! 13 hours of asleep as opposed to her usual 10 or 11 hours! How crazy is that?! All we did was move her bedtime up an hour earlier and this girl slept an extra couple hours. So if your baby is going to bed super late, move that bed time up!! Ideally, we want her to be sleeping 7pm to 7am (in her own bed) so we’re going to be trying this again these next couple nights and see how she does. I’ll report back later this week on Instagram to update you all.

As for naps. If you’ve been following along on Instagram, you know that Allie has been struggling a little bit in the nap department. She’s recently developed a bit of separation anxiety at nap time so it’s been a bit frustrating trying to put her down to sleep. I posted about this sometime last week and the first thing everyone said to me on both Facebook and Instagram was to sleep train. Which would be awesome advice if she wasn’t already sleep trained! haha So I probably should have added that as a detail in the post. This child has been sleeping through the night since she was barely a month old. She’s been putting herself to sleep since she was about 3 months old. She’s been napping on a schedule since she was 4 months. Sleeping in her own room since she was 6 months. She’s all good in the sleep department. So it’s not the actual sleep that’s an issue. This is all brand new behavior for her.

But if any of you have any tips on the actual separation anxiety, then I’d love to hear them! She’s been doing so much better the past couple days so I’m hoping we’re moving forward here. But it just makes me feel so bad to watch her on the monitor and see her reaching for the bedroom door, waiting for me to come. She’d also cling to me for dear life the moment I tried to put her down so at first, I wondered if she was somehow scared of her crib (we had lowered her crib around the same time his behavior started). But it’s just sad so watch. I even crawled into her crib with her one day thinking maybe she’d feel better knowing I was taking a nap with her. It didn’t work. She’s too smart to fall for that. So I’d love some input here on how to make the nap time transition easier on her! Currently I’m rocking her a bit to put her to sleep first before putting her down, but I certainly don’t want that to become a habit. So I’m all ears!

Overall, I’m still quite pleased with the steps we’re taking in Allie’s sleep. I completely swear by starting these good sleep habits as early as possible. I couldn’t imagine just now starting the sleep training process as most parents do. The earlier you begin these good habits and routines, the sooner they’ll catch on and the sooner they’ll start sleeping better. Which then allows you to sleep better sooner as well. At this point we just have to fine tune her schedule a little bit and we’ll be golden!

When did you start sleep training?
Do you have any tips for new moms out there who are going through the sleep training process?