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(We left names out for privacy)
I'm not sure if I will ever NOT be amazed by how effective our sleep learning weekend is!!
When I first heard about it, I wasn't sure I believed it. I just didn't understand HOW you could get a baby to sleep 11-12 hours a night in 3 days.
We just finished an intensive and this sweet boy had a Nanit monitor. It was amazing to see his progress on the monitor.
7 month old baby B had some unsustainable sleep associations and his frequent night wakings were keeping everyone in a constant state of grumpiness.
We like to have our clients fill in notes on baby's activities leading up to the intensive. You can read baby B's notes below. (Even though the daytime schedule is just as important, I left those notes off.)
As you can see, no one is getting any sleep. Baby isn't happy. He's waking up at 7 am, then needs a nap by 8:30... He's not getting the sleep he needs and his parents are desperate for change.
The first night of the intensive is pretty rough because the rules get flipped upside down.
Babies are incredibly adept learners. They are constantly learning new skills. Learning to sleep is challenging, like any other skill. Babies get frustrated, they get plain mad when they don't quite grasp the concept, but we have to give them space to master the skill on their own. We can do that while making sure all their needs are met and offering reassurance and support.
(WE DO NOT PRACTICE "CRY IT OUT". - Cry it out is a method of sleep training where the caregiver places the baby in a room, shuts the door and walks out for the night.)
7:36 - goodnight it's time for sleep
7:37 - B yelled for about 45 seconds upon exit of the room but completely quiet laying down by 7:37
10:30 - Sleeping peacefully - time for dream feed - pulled away from bottle on his own. Pacifier put in his mouth and stayed completely asleep. Took 1.8 ounces of milk
12:16 am - griping and complaining
12:22 - found his pacifier on his own and is calming with quiet long stretches
12:27 - still awake and complaining but staying pretty chill with long periods of quiet. Don't want to pop in and upset him even more. He's doing good work and we don't want to interrupt it.
2:53 - sleeping peacefully - dream feed time - took 2.9 ounces of milk
2:59 - spotted Bonnie leaving the room and cried for about 20 seconds - back asleep quickly
5:12 - fussed a little - quieted down quickly on his own
6:18 - some back and forth complaining - almost time to get up but not yet
6:54 - making noise - in to get him up for the day but he's still sleeping - Soft speaking and back rubs to wake up for the day
7:22 - up for the day!
7:30 - down for sleep with mom and dad tucking him in. Cried on exit but stopped and laid there calmly for 7 minutes.
7:39 - knocked his paci out of the bed and hasn't figured out how to get on his tummy in his sleep bag
7:45 - pop in to help him roll over in sleep bag and retrieve pacifier. The interaction seemed to really make him mad so he's left alone - asleep within 5 minutes
8:42 - humming and 'ahhhh' noises. no crying
10:35 - was planning a dream feed but he's chatting and making some wakeful noises - not upset at all but making noise - dream feed is delayed until he's good and asleep.
11:03 - offered dream feed but would only take 0.3 ounces of milk - not interested
2:53 am - sleeping peacefully and time for another dream feed - fussed as he was rolled over but took the milk. After taking only 1 ounce, he bit and pulled away from the nipple. He was agitated that he was disturbed from his sleep. Took a minute or two to go back to sleep.
3:27 - fussed on and off for about 5 minutes
7:00 - happy and up for the day!
The daytime is just as important as the nighttime
Daytime activities and naps can make or break baby's nighttime sleep. Naptime offers more opportunities to practice the work of learning to sleep. The intensive is 3 shifts of 20 hours each to make sure that we get it right from the start. All caregivers receive guidance and support for the day and night routine, wake windows, sleep associations and sleep pressure. We continue to offer virtual support for 4 weeks following the sleep learning intensive (no one has ever needed it, but it's there.)
Baby B wanted to sleep - He was ready to learn this skill and became agitated when we offered him nighttime feedings. He did such good work and your baby is capable of the same!
Abbey is a birth and postpartum doula and placenta specialist in Dallas/Fort Worth and a mom to 4 children between the ages of 25 and 12.