On the eve of Ian’s fifth month…he is rolling over both ways. Back to tummy. Tummy to back. Right and left. And he’s beginning to rock on his knees and scoot forward with his poor little face pressed against the ground. I got me a rough and tumble boy.
Sleep is going well! 7-8 hour stretch followed by one feed followed by another 2-3 hours. We are also completely swing-free for naps. We have also completely grown out of the co-sleeper. I came in the room this morning, and he had completely turned himself sideways so his head was bulging against the mesh back and his feet were dangling over the front. TIME TO PUT THE CRIB TOGETHER DAD, says mama. Again. The ETA is this Sunday. ‘Til then, I’m keeping eagle eyes on our squirmer.
Some people have been asking what I’m doing re: “Sleep training.” Happy to share but you will soon see there is no magic formula or tactic…
- From birth, I consistently used the co-sleeper. I did this to create a gentle sense of autonomy for Ian from the beginning. Does this mean he never slept with us? Of course not. There were plenty of nights and naps where I felt he needed to be close (or we were too exhausted to try and transport him for fear of waking him and having to “start over”). But I did set an intention of putting him down in his own space.
- We established a bedtime ritual after the first few weeks. It started out looking like this: After we had dinner (he was usually on my boob through our meal as that was the only way we could insure enough peace for us to both eat), we would wait for him to get hungry again. I would feed him, put him down in his co-sleeper and Evan would hang out with him until the next feed (usually at least 3 hours), while I slept hard in the “crash room.”
- Once he was three months, we moved him into his room, and I moved in. Our bedtime routine became the following: 7:30pm diaper change, swaddle, feed, put down in co-sleeper.
- Next step at almost five months, we kept everything the same except that I moved out of his room, and when he started to cry after our bedtime feed, I let him fuss for a bit. Sometimes he goes right back to sleep, sometimes I lay my hand on his chest and “shush” until he is calm (just a few minutes). Once I have had to feed him a second time, however I had not been diligent about filling him up later in the day, he’d had less nap time that day, so he fell asleep without having a full feed. After feeding him a second time, he slept for eight hours.
Sorry. No magic formula. What I can say is that I believe consistent, gentle guiding and consistent rituals and timing is KEY. So look your kid in the eye and figure out what’s going to work for your family. And do it. Every day. xoxo