I have decided to post an update on our sleep training journey, especially for those parents that are asking themselves “When will he/she finally sleep through the night?”.
Well the answer, of course, depends on each baby. I have two little rascals and they were completely different in their sleep routines. On the positive note, eventually, hopefully, within a year, they will start sleeping through the night 😀
Alexei was a what you would call a textbook baby in regards to sleeping (and only sleeping :P). He started sleeping for 8-hour stretches at 6 weeks and continued increasing those times so that by the age of 4 months he was sleeping 12 hours (7 to 7). When his sleep started deteriorating the nurse advised us that since he is such a big baby and he is being formula fed we should introduce some solids. Once we started weaning him, we never looked back.
Matthew on the other hand, was a cluster-feeding baby, not in a typical way as he actually did each full bottles every single time. So I would call him a very hungry baby 🙂 When he was born he needed a lot of food straight away and got very frustrated when he wasn’t getting it fast. I was breastfeeding him for 10 weeks, but at the beginning had to supplement my milk with formula, until my milk supply increased. In order to increase my milk supply, I used to pump regularly and store away any excess.
At 10 weeks my milk disappeared after a bout of high temperature, so he happily switched to formula. However, even though babies on formula are supposedly better sleepers, he wasn’t. He would sleep in 3 hour stretches max and then demand to be fed.
At 3 month-old check-up, the nurse suggested that since Matthew never took soothers (Alexei, on the other hand, loved them), he was using feeding as his soothing technique. She also suggested giving him water instead. As I mentioned before, I was surprised at that as I thought you couldn’t give water to babies under 6 months, but I am not a healthcare professional (medical scientist, but not a practitioner), so we tried out her advice. Let’s just say I wouldn’t suggest this to anyone else. He started having colic from water and was very uncomfortable. That was another thing that he never had and Alexei had all the time.
So after reading a lot of articles and watching YouTube videos, I decided to introduce a night feed at around 11.15 pm. This helped for a while, but I noticed that he was still waking up after 3-4 hours and seemed hungrier during the day.
Then one of the nights (when Matthew was around 5 months) my hubby offered to get up for him and then he fell asleep and didn’t wake up at 11.15 pm. Matthew proceeded to sleep through till 4 am! So that was 9 consecutive hours!
At that stage, we were starting to wean him and after a couple more nights of him doing the same, I realized that he did not need the night feed at all and us waking him up just cemented his routing that he needed to be consistently feed every 4 hours.
For the next two months, I continued letting him sleep as long as wants and now at seven months we are finally at the stage when he sleeps through the night most nights.
Of course, there are a couple of nights that he is still waking up, if he is coughing, or if he turns on his tummy or if he didn’t get enough food during the day. But this does not affect us as much now that we ARE actually getting proper sleep most of the nights.
So don’t be discouraged and keep on going 🙂
Hope you all had a lovely weekend!