Today is Todd’s 1st Birthday! August 21, 2015.
His first year…SO many milestones…SO much to document! This post is all about sleep…Zzzz. It could be alternately titled, “Don’t Hate Me Because I’m NOT a Sleep-Deprived Mom!”
Todd’s been a great sleeper so far, and I’m beyond grateful for that. His long morning naps have given me that precious “me time,” which helps me be the best mom and wife I can be during the other times. And– every night that I don’t hear one peep from the baby monitor turns into one happy morning!
In truth, all mornings are happy mornings regardless of whether Todd wakes up in the night or not. But at least if I wake up tired, I can rarely blame it on Todd!
The only exception to this was Todd’s first ~2 months. Of course I was completely sleep deprived during that newborn phase!! But mercifully that didn’t last long. I just happen to know for certain that lots and lots of babies and toddlers keep their moms up at night for many months and even years!
About me: I’m a morning person. Most of the time, I wake up before Todd does, and it usually gives me enough time to do a little reading and/or computer stuff before it’s “GO” time with Todd. For the longest time, he’s been waking up between 6-7 AM. Often, Eric gets to see Todd before he leaves for work at ~6:30 AM. I’m always happy when they get at least a few moments together in the morning.
My own sleep quality has vastly improved since I’ve been home with Todd. Now that I’m not working (at least for now), I really know how job stress can affect one’s sleep! On workdays (pre-pregnancy), I used to wake up at least once before my alarm would go off at 5 AM, even though I was sooo tired! It was maddening.
My (lack of) sleep during pregnancy was a disaster! Being pregnant and stressed and working full time in a demanding workplace really took its toll. Waking up every 2 hours for no good reason was insane! Without a doubt, I can honestly say that I’ve slept much better in the 12 months following Todd’s birth than during the 9+ months of pregnancy and any other time in my adult life.
It’s been awesome. Don’t hate me! Now, I’m going to recap Todd’s first year of sleep. I put the milestones in all caps.
FIRST MONTH… AUG 21 – SEPT 20
Todd spent 2 nights in the hospital after he was born, and he came home at 2 days old (Aug 23). My initial plan was for him to sleep in the Pack ‘n Play travel bed, next to my bed. That didn’t work. He was swaddled, but he had a really hard time sleeping. Did he even sleep there at all? My memory is too vague.
At 5 DAYS (Aug 26), Todd started CO-SLEEPING on my bed with me. I did it out of necessity because it worked. It was summer and therefore warm enough for me to remain topless, with Todd’s cheek nuzzled up against my breast. He slept very well that way, but unfortunately I didn’t.
As tired as I was, it was still difficult to get quality sleep, because I was afraid to move a muscle. Of course, a part of me really cherished those times we had together (my little “bed partner”). I was still trying to breastfeed then, and a few times Todd was even able to latch onto me that way. In the mornings, the breast contacting him all night would feel engorged, and I’d find wet, milk spots on my sheets.
During this time, I was waking Todd up at night to feed him (example: 11:30 PM, 3 AM, and 6 AM.) If I didn’t wake him up, who knows how long he would have slept at night. Basically, I was trying my best to comply with the “feed every 3 hours” recommendation. Was I perfect? No! And I felt really guilty if I let it stretch longer.
Note– you’re “supposed to” time the feeding duration from the start of one feeding to the start of the next. That always just seemed wrong!! It took at least an hour per feeding, which left little time before the next feeding would start.
At 3 WKS (Sept 10), Todd started SLEEPING IN A SWING during the day. Right away, it was obvious that he was quickly soothed by the motion. (The same thing applied to the movement/vibration of car rides.) Motion = easy slumber! At daytime, Todd also did a lot of sleeping on me, which was precious.
At 4 WKS (Sept 18), Todd started SLEEPING IN HIS CRIB at night (after a successful trial using the Pack ‘n Play Sept 17). I knew it was “time” to make the change because Todd was starting to cry more when I’d bring him into bed with me. I figured he could cry in his own bed just as easily.
In really, he didn’t do much crying in his crib. That first night he went to bed successfully at 7:30 PM. He woke up hungry at 11 PM, 3 AM and 7 AM. Once he started sleeping in his crib, I don’t recall waking him up at night anymore. There was no reason to do that because he started being exclusively formula-fed at this time. I simply responded to his needs.
SECOND MONTH… SEPT 21 – OCT 20
The bedtime routine (that I still follow now) was established this month. I described it Baby Todd’s Second Month.
I had good quality of sleep (but lacking in quantity) once I had my bed to myself again. I slept with the baby monitor next to my pillow (still do). When Todd woke up during the night, I’d hear his soft grunts. That was how he communicated his hunger. It wasn’t a cry because I always responded quickly to those initial sounds.
Left to his own sleep/eat rhythm, Todd woke up every ~2.5 to 3 hours at night in the early part of the month. Then, the first sleep block started stretching to 4 to 5.25 hours.
6 HOUR SLEEP… 5.5 WKS (Sept 29)
When Todd was almost 8 weeks, we went to Oregon for a week to visit family. That trip sticks in my mind as being a major turning point re: sleep. At the beginning of the week, I felt very tired and run down from the cumulative weeks without a full night’s sleep. Eric took over “night duty” for couple days at the end of the week, which gave me a much needed break. Then, the night we got back home Todd had his next sleep “PR”:
7.5 HOUR SLEEP… ALMOST 2 MO/8.5 WKS (Oct 19)
THIRD MONTH… OCT 21 – NOV 20
In the third month, Todd generally woke up once per night and then woke up in the morning anywhere from ~5 to 7 AM (mostly toward the early side!).
At 10 weeks old (Oct 30), I started officially recording Todd’s daytime naps. I got into a routine of starting his first nap within 3 hours of him waking up in the morning. Morning naps lasted ~1.25 to 3.5 hours. There wasn’t much predictability. Afternoon naps were a regular “thing” and they lasted ~30 minutes to 3 hours… all over the board!
SLEEPING IN ZIPPERED SACK… 12 WKS (Nov 13)
8.5 HOUR SLEEP… ALMOST 3 MO/12.5 WKS (Nov 17)
FOURTH MONTH… NOV 21 – DEC 20
9.25 HOUR SLEEP… 3 MO (Nov 21)
9.75 HOUR SLEEP… OVER 3 MO/14 WKS (Nov 28)
This is the month that Todd started to “sleep through the night.” Nighttime sleeps of ~8 hours (+/-) were frequent occurrences. And– there were more nights when he slept straight through than when he woke up once. Keep in mind that an 8 hour sleep starting at 8:30 PM still ends at a very early hour (4:30 AM!). To maximize my own sleep, I was going to bed pretty much right after Todd was.
9+ hour sleeps (noted above) were outliers this month, but that would change in the next month.
Starting the last half of the month, Todd trended toward longer morning naps (~3 hours) and longer afternoon naps (~2 hours). Of course, there was wide variability.
FIFTH MONTH… DEC 21 – JAN 20
A big chunk of this month included the Christmas and New Year holidays. We were away from home for 9 nights. Sleeping away from home was a big challenge for the first 5 nights, but Todd finally accepted the travel bed for the last 4. The night we got home (Jan 2) we changed his sleep attire and he proceeded to hit the big 1-0 sleep milestone!
SLEEPING IN FOOTED SLEEPERS… ALMOST 4.5 MO/19 WKS (Jan 2)
10 HOUR SLEEP… ALMOST 4.5 MO/19 WKS (Jan 2)
After Todd set his PR, he then had a span of 7 out of 9 nights when he’d wake up crying/hungry after only being in his crib for ~2.5 hours. Once he got back to sleep, he was good for the rest of the night.
After the “11 o’clock wake-ups” stopped, Todd had a 9-day stretch of ~9 hour sleeps without any wake ups. That sleep stretch kicked off with another PR (on Jan 12). Wake up or no wake up, Todd started his mornings chatty in his crib…so cute!
10.25 HOUR SLEEP… >4.5 MO/20.5 WKS (Jan 12)
Daytime swing naps this month included the more predictable morning nap (up to 3 hours) and the less predictable (and shorter) afternoon nap. Occasionally Todd “declined” his afternoon nap, but yet he remained pleasant (then zonked out at “night night” time).
A couple times, Eric got to enjoy some rare evening cuddles, when Todd took catnaps on him (Jan 19 & 21).
SIXTH MONTH… JAN 21 – FEB 20
10.75 HOUR SLEEP… 5 MO/22 WKS (Jan 21)
FIRST CRIB NAP… 5 MO/22 WKS (Jan 23)
11 HOUR SLEEP… 5 MO/22 WKS (Jan 23)
STARTED TUMMY SLEEPING… >5.5 MO/24.5 WKS (Feb 9)
11.25 HOUR SLEEP… ALMOST 6 MO/~26 WKS (Feb 18)
Before this month, would Todd fall asleep on me before I carried him to his crib. But– for some reason, this whole month Todd didn’t (although he showed signs of being tired). I put him in his crib awake, but yet he didn’t cry. I felt proud of him for being so at ease!
This month there were more nights when Todd slept all night than when he woke up once. When he slept through until morning the duration was ~10 hours (+/-).
Regarding daytime naps– 5 days in a row this month I tried having Todd sleep in his crib instead of the swing. The first day (Jan 23) was promising, but…by the 5th day, it was clear that the swing needed to stay! (Read the details in Baby Todd’s Sixth Month). Other than the “crib nap trial,” Todd kept the same nap sleep pattern as the last month: He had long morning naps (2-3 hours) and quite a few solid afternoon naps (up to 2.25 hours).
SEVENTH MONTH… FEB 21 – MAR 20
11.75 HOUR SLEEP… 6 MO/26.5 WKS (Feb 24)
This month Todd continued to sleep ~10 hours per night, and he woke up once in the night ~1-3x per week. At the beginning of the month, Todd was awake going into his crib (like last month), except this month he sometimes cried briefly before falling asleep.
By the end of the month, he was back to being “out” when I put him in bed. I love when he falls asleep on me in my glider chair because it gives me as much snuggle time as I want. During the day he’s “Go Todd, Go!”
The nap routine was unchanged from last month.
EIGHTH MONTH… MAR 21 – APR 20
FIRST TRAVEL BED NAP (25 MIN)… >7.5 MO/33 WKS (Apr 11)
This month Todd slept through the night (~10 hours) about half the time and woke up (once in the night) the other half of the time. He started the month with some “rough” nights (defined below). He seemed to need just me, crying “ma ma ma” and pulling on my shirt, standing in his crib.
A “typical” (i.e fairly easy) night wake-up looks like this: Todd wakes up crying. I get formula, then bring Todd to my room. I rock him and feed him. He falls asleep in my arms. I put him back in his crib. Total time from awake to back asleep = 30-45 minutes (maximum 1 hour).
A “rough” night (for us) means Todd doesn’t go back to sleep easily after waking. During a “rough” night, Todd is physically restless and he won’t necessarily accept formula. He might fall asleep on me but then wake back up when I try to move him. I don’t like letting him cry in bed for more than a few minutes, so I might have to pick him up 2-3 times. IF it takes over an hour (up to 2 hours) and it takes several tries to get him asleep, then it’s a “rough” night. Fortunately, there have been relatively few times when I felt I had no choice but to let him cry until he fell asleep.
Daytime naps were status quo. Like previous months, the morning nap was solid and consistent, and the afternoon nap was highly variable. Depending on the length of the morning nap and our afternoon activities, Todd often snoozed in the car or stroller (and 3x he took an evening catnap on one of us).
NINTH MONTH… APR 21 – MAY 20
This month, Todd had more nights when he slept all night (~10 hours) than when he woke up. When he did wake up, it was typically within 3 hours of his bedtime. He was usually asleep when I put him in his crib.
Daytime naps remained unchanged.
TENTH MONTH… MAY 21 – JUN 20
1ST TIME GRANDMA PUT TODD TO BED… ALMOST 10 MO/43 WKS ( Jun 19)
This month Todd had only 5 nights when he woke up in the night. When he did wake up, he went back to sleep easily after a bottle offering and some rocking in the glider chair. Bedtime remains ~8:00-8:30 PM. This month it was a mixed bag whether he was asleep or awake when I put him to bed. When he went to bed awake, he always fell asleep within minutes. ~10 hour sleeps were still the norm.
Daytime naps: no change. Afternoon naps were informal (i.e. in the car seat or stroller) and typically of ~30-45 minute duration. Only once did Todd take an afternoon swing nap (30 minutes).
ELEVENTH MONTH… JUN 21 – JUL 20
2 NIGHTS WAKING UP WITH DRY DIAPER… 10.5 MO/45 WKS (Jul 3 and 4)
Similar to the last month, Todd only woke up in the night 4x this month. It was Todd’s BEST SLEEP MONTH of the year. A couple of the night wake-ups coincided with the arrival of a new tooth (which made sense).
This month, Todd generally fell asleep on me before I put him in his crib for the night. ~10 hour sleeps continued. I strived for no later than an ~8:30 PM bedtime, but sometimes it’s a challenge with the seasonal, evening brightness of summer.
Todd’s usually plenty ready for bedtime, but a couple times this month he just wasn’t. Instead of fighting him (i.e. letting him cry), Eric and I made the house as dark as possible, we both got on our couches, and we let him play. We modeled “sleeping,” and kept reminding him that it’s “night-night time” when he’d come over to engage with either of us. It was actually hard not to laugh (and we did!). The goal was to show him that it’s not exciting to stay up any later. After about 15-30 minutes, he went to bed easily.
This month, the morning nap shortened a bit. While he did have two 3.25 hour naps and four 2.75-3.0 hour naps this month, the trend was closer to a ~2 hour nap. The swing is still worth its weight in gold!
TWELFTH MONTH… JUL 21 – AUG 20
1ST TIME ERIC PUT TODD TO BED… ~11.5 MO/~50 WKS (Aug 8)
In this final month of Todd’s first year, Todd had 5 nights when he woke up once (same as the tenth month). Like last month, morning naps lasted no more than ~2 hours (except two ~3 hour naps). Morning naps are also starting later now. Instead of starting ~3 hours after waking they’ve recently been starting ~4-5 hours after waking (at ~11 AM or later).
When we spent a week in Wenatchee, Todd slept solidly at night, but the only daytime naps were those taken in his car seat.
CRIB NAP (1 HOUR)… ~12 MO/52 WKS (Aug 19)
Just two days ago, Todd took the first nap in his crib since January. What happened was he fell asleep at the end of our morning stroller walk. Instead of waking him up, I simply carefully moved him to his crib. He didn’t wake up during that process, then he slept for a solid hour. That was good!!
So there you have it! I have no idea what’s in store for us sleep-wise in year #2, but obviously I hope it’s just as good!