Sunday, October 25, 2009

STTN

STTN: no, it's not the acronym for the latest reality show, but it is an acronym that most mothers of infants will recognize. It is letters you run across with tired eyes and unwashed hair as you GOOGLE: infant....sleep....night. Sleeping Through The Night. 

I first ran across it when Peyton was about 6 weeks old...and there were mothers who said their babies had been sleeping through the night since 2 weeks old! What?!!? Obviously something was wrong with my child. She came home from the hospital sleeping 4 hour stretches at a time which seemed great. Until that lasted FOREVER and four hours turned into three and then to an hour and a half. You just can't function as a normal member of society with that kind of sleep record. At her two month check-up, I mentioned it to the doctor who recommended a book for me to read. Read?!?! Honestly, did he know I had gotten up that morning at 4:00am just so I could have a shower for that day? I dismissed it as normal for her age and decided that she would surely start STTN soon. 

Everyone has a different milestone that they believe babies start sleeping better.....6 weeks, 8 weeks, 12 weeks....10 lbs, 12lbs, 15lbs......drinking 6ozs...7ozs...8ozs.....eating cereal, drinking cereal. Peyton passed all these milestones and yet, still not sleeping good at night. At her four month check up, I mentioned it to the doctor again and again, he recommended the book. Ok, at this point...whatever...I'll read it. 

WOW...it made so much sense! It described my child perfectly and laid out a game plan. Basically it suggested the "let them cry" method. Well, we had already tried that to no avail, but it had been awhile and the book suggested 4 months was a good time to let babies learn to soothe themselves. It made me feel better by explaining how important sleep was to babies and how important establishing good sleep habits now would be in the future. So, we decided to give it a go. She cried for about 10 minutes when she woke up the first time, about 8 minutes the second time, and about 10 minutes the third time. The next night? She woke up once and cried for 5 minutes. The next? She woke up once for about 3 minutes. Of course, it took me several nights of going in her room after she fell quiet to make sure she was alive, to realize that she was OK. This might actually work. 

For about two weeks now, I have been the mother to a different child: she goes to bed around 8 or 8:30 and sleeps pretty much 12 hours straight. She still wakes up every now and then and I hear her on the monitor, but there is hardly ever any more screaming...just small sounds as she gets herself back to sleep. She is a happier baby all the time and when she is fussy, it's usually because something's wrong...not just fussy all the time like before. I feel like a new woman and I have discovered an even deeper love for her now that I have re-entered the world of well-restedness. The book has "game-plans" for all ages so I intend to keep it around for teething, terrible twos, and every other milestone that might affect the sleep of this family! Crazy long post about a small subject, but a very important subject for new moms and babies! Here's a few updated pictures to reward your commitment to this blog :)

UPDATE: sorry, I forgot to include the name of the book! "Healthy Sleeping Habits, Happy Child" by Dr. Marc Weissbluth

She loves to eat! Wonder where she gets that from?!?!?



She loves playing on her tummy and now that she has learned to turn back to front, I can hardly keep her on her back anymore



We started baby food and have conquered carrots and green beans so far...she loves carrots..still deciding about those green beans. And she sure is messy!



She loves doing baby push-ups and is getting so strong!



We went to Atlanta on Friday where "Aunt Les" and "Aunt Doris" helped find Peyton a very fashionable outfit for our upcoming Altmix shoot....hope you are as excited as I am! Until next time....

2 comments:

Becca said...

Great pictures and WAY TO GO on getting her to sleep through the night . . . Jayci STILL doesnt do that (well she did, now she doesnt, then she does, then she doesnt . . . it's all a big game to her apparently)

Hayley said...

Wow, I wish I'd known about that book when my little man was still waking up to TEN times a night at 3 years old... I still have NO idea how I functioned for those first 3.5 years!!! Glad to hear you have it sorted nice and early on!