Sleep is an important commodity in our household. I have always had a hard time functioning without getting at least 6 hours of decent shut eye everyday. For Dan it is even more important that he gets good sleep because I want him to be alert and have a clear mind while he is at his job. And Remington... well he is use to sleeping at least 16 hours a day... usually 8 hours at night with me and 8 hours during the day with Dan. I know... he leads the toughest life of us all!
Anyways, before I had Roarke I had started researching the best techniques on how to get your baby to sleep well at night almost right away. The one I continued to run across was the Baby Wise Sleep Schedule. Several mom's online seemed to swear by it when "sleep training" your baby. Since I'm brand new to this whole baby thing I decided that I might as well give it a try. What did I really have to lose beside more sleep :)
So, after we brought Roarke home and had our first few bad nights of a baby crying ALL night long we decided to put the sleep schedule into action. And guess what! Almost immediately we had a baby that was sleeping 3-4 hour long stretches throughout the night and probably would sleep longer if I didn't I have to wake him up to eat every 3 hours. I've read that this type of "sleep training" is looked down on by some because you are physically waking your baby up for periods of time throughout the day and most people say if your baby is sleeping let them sleep... but if you think about it, if you have a baby that is sleeping all day why will he/she sleep well at night? So, here is what an example sleep schedule would look like. For different ages the sleep and awake times would look a little different, but this helps you get the picture.
Doesn't he look teeny tiny in his crib!!!
BABY WISE SLEEP SCHEDULE
7:00 - 8:30 AM : wake baby, change diaper, feed (remember the goal is to keep baby awake for entire wake time)
8:30 - 10:00 AM : nap
10:00 - 11:30 AM : wake baby, change diaper, feed
11:30 - 1:00 PM : nap
1:00 - 2:30 PM : wake baby, change diaper, feed
2:30 - 4:00 PM : nap
4:00 - 6:00 PM : wake baby, change diaper, feed (these two hours are the most important time to keep your baby awake... you might cheat on any of the other times, but don't on this one if you want baby to sleep well at night.
Nighttime (during nighttime hours once your diaper change and feeding is done you put baby directly back to bed... no awake time is needed)
6:00 - 9:00 PM : bed
9:00 - 9:30 PM : wake baby, change diaper, feed
9:30 - 12:30 AM : bed
12:30 -1:00 AM : wake baby, change diaper, feed
1:00 - 4:00 AM : bed
4:00 - 4:30 AM : wake baby, change diaper, feed
4:30 - 7:00 AM : bed
A lot of what I have read say that by 8 - 12 weeks old babies will be sleeping clear through the night. Lord knows that is an exciting thought! After doing our own version of this schedule we have had good nights and some really bad ones. That is to be expected of course as you establish your sleep schedule. Everything takes time and right now I have all the time in the world to work on it.