How we finally managed to get her to sleep through…
And what we did…
I remember Ottilie being around 11 weeks old and I was minding my own business in a shop when the owner came up to me.
Shop owner “How old is she?”
ME “11 weeks”
Shop owner “oh how lovely, she must be sleeping through now too”
ME “UMMM not quite”
The reality of this conversation was that Ottilie wasn’t ‘not quite’ sleeping through, it was that she wasn’t at all. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t completely naive to other babies sleeping through, even from week 1, It was just that a total stranger assumed she would be. It made me feel incredibly conscious of my parenting as to why my daughter was somehow (in my foggy new mum head) the ONLY baby in the world not sleeping through.
Ottilie at 11 weeks was still very much waking up every 2-3 hours for a feed. I was super smug because A. I didn’t mind her waking, we co slept so it really wasn’t much hassle for me, and, B.She used to sleep the longest from around 6am … usually till around 10 and when your on mat leave with your first baby – that really is one of the luxuries.
If only I knew it would take a whole year and a half more for her to sleep through… I may have just laughed it off.
Advise from other parents/mums/dads/grans/books/google/etc
Everyone said she would sleep through when she was weaning onto food because she would be ‘fuller’. This didn’t work for her – she ate and ate and ate but yet still woke routinely at night for feeds.
Then we tried a ‘warmer room’. Up went the heating, on went the long sleeved vests and she was snug as a bug. But no luck with that either.. She still woke and just had slightly rosier cheeks than she probably should have.
‘Give her a bigger feed before bed’ Tried that – she just leaked her nappy, tried a bigger nappy, she leaked that too. Only made her wake more and in a worse mood.
After she turned a year old we realised action needed to be taken – not for us, we had gotten used to the wake ups and even on our first baby free night we woke up at her usual hours like clockwork. It was Ottilie losing out from her interrupted sleep. She would wake up moody and tired almost every morning.
The method that worked for us
My Mum got researching and found a site with tons of Mum fans who suggested lessening each feed each night over a 4-6 week period. Now I write it I realise just how obvious this should have been.
Ottilie was having around 6 ounces 2x a night.
We maintained Ottilies 6 ounces for the first feed but gave her 5 for the second
We lowered Ottilies first feed to 5 ounces and second to 4 ounces
Ottilies first feed was 4 ounces and second was 4 ounces. (she was starting to cotton on to our tactic and was getting agitated at the lack of milk)
Feed one became 3 and feed two stayed at 4 (no science behind this its just what worked for us)
Week 5 feed one stayed at 3 and feed two became 3 ounces
S H E S L E P T T H R O U G H !!
It just happened – as simple as that. We put her down and she woke up the next morning.
It was like a mini miracle – She has now been sleeping through around a month. I didn’t want to write this blog post straight away as I was fearful I would jinx it.
This method really really worked for us and was so simple and kind to her. I honestly think had we tried it sooner it would have worked too. We just got used to her routine and lived with it – when we could have had ATLEAST 6 months extra sleep…. hindsights a wonderful thing..