How I Got Shepherd to Sleep Through the Night


I've had a lot of people ask me how I get Shepherd to sleep through the night so I thought I would blog about it.  Honestly, I don't know what my secret is to getting Shepherd to sleep through the night! He has been doing it since about 4-5 weeks if I remember correctly! I did read Baby Wise and I think that book has loosely guided my thinking and how I handle his schedule.
I wanted him on a schedule so this is what I did. For the first few weeks, I let him do whatever he wanted, I fed on demand and let him nap whenever he wanted, I didn't try to direct anything. During this time I wrote down everything, the times he ate and how long he nursed especially. (I am exclusively breastfeeding)

After a few weeks of letting him show me what he naturally wanted to do, I could see a pattern. I knew that I wanted him to nurse at 6am no matter what, so I started waking up at 6am and nursing him, even if he wasn't awake I would get him up, nurse him, then put him straight back to sleep. So he was eating at 6am, 9am, 12pm, 3pm, 6pm and 10pm.   When he was on this schedule, I would notice that if he didn't eat right at 10pm, his whole night was off and he would either wake up earlier than 6, or wake up in the middle of the night hungry.  It didn't make any sense because you would think if he ate a little later than 10pm he would just want to sleep later in the morning, but that wasn't the case!  So now matter what I made him eat at 10pm.  If he acted hungry earlier I of course did not starve him, I would nurse him and then nurse him again at 10pm even if he wasn't acting hungry.
I've noticed that he will kind of show me when he can sleep longer. So when he was about 9-11 weeks old, he would start getting hungry earlier than 10pm, so I would nurse him at 9 and then he would be down for the night. Around 13 weeks I started nursing at 8:30 and he is down for the night after that, still sleeping until 6am. Now he is 15 weeks and I am nursing him at 8pm then down for the night. 
Baby Wise tells you that the most important thing is to keep his first and last meal time the same everyday, if the ones in the middle are a little off their usual times, its not a huge deal. So I always nurse him at 6am no matter what (because I have to be at work at 7:30 so that gives me enough time!). And I always nurse him at 8pm, until he shows me he wants to sleep longer then I will probably start nursing at 7:30pm and gradually pushing it back. I can tell he is ready for that if he starts continually getting hungry earlier at night, or last weekend I slept through my alarm and he didn't wake up until 7am, instead of 6am, so I knew he would be able to sleep longer! 
Right now his eating schedule is 6am, 10am, 2pm, 5pm and 8pm.  I wanted to share my times because that is so hard for me to figure out for some reason.  My best friend's sister told me her times and I copied ;)

Another note, during the day he is at his babysitter's house and he gets 2 bottles of pumped breast milk and they are each 5 oz.

Hope this helps any sleep deprived mommies out there!!
If you have any questions make sure to leave them in the comments and I will answer in another blog :)





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3 comments:

  1. It's so great that Shepherd is sleeping through the night. My lil guy didn't sleep through the night until about 4/5 months, and even then it was only for about 5-6hr stretches. I didn't know that the first and last meals of the day should occur at the same time. Interesting, indeed. I'll have to try that with my next kiddo. Glad you are getting your much needed rest :) He is adorable btw!

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  2. This is so helpful! Do you also follow feeding him right when he wakes up and keeping him up after he eats like Baby Wise recommends?

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    1. I do feed him right when he wakes up. I don't ever try and keep him up, if he wants to nap I let him nap. He actually usually takes a nap right after he nurses, because it kind of puts him to sleep.

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