Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Baby Whisperer solves ALL my problems?

It's another wonderfully sunny day here in Abbotsford! What's even better is that both of my kids went down for LONG naps today! I would have never imagined such a simple thing could feel so amazing! Up until this week Keziah rarely had long naps, but now she's doing 2 good ones a day. And of course the whole soother issue for Micah has been a challenge but it seems to be getting better little by little. We still had a one-hour crying/coming-out-of-his-room session last night before bed and he also didn't have a good nap yesterday afternoon but today things are looking better once again. When I put him down in his bed this afternoon he was looking through a really big Blue's Clues book - one of those ones with the buttons that make sounds. When it was all quiet and I checked on him, he was sleeping with the book on his face - SO cute! I wanted to take a picture but I was too afraid to wake him, so I moved the book and let him sleep :)

This morning was Keziah's 4-month check-up. She is now 25.5 inches long and weighs 14 lbs, 5 oz. Not as much as I had guessed, but she's still in the 75th-95th percentile for her size!

I've been catching up on my Baby Whisperer (BW) reading this week in hopes of solving Keziah's night-waking issues. And yes, the author makes the bold claim on the cover that she will solve ALL my problems!!

One thing the BW recommends is stretching baby to a 4-hour daytime routine at around 4 months. This goes against my common sense of feeding her lots in the day in hopes of filling her up. But, it coincides with Keziah's ability to be awake for longer periods of time and to take longer naps, so it makes sense. Keziah seems to be taking to this pretty well so far and doesn't usually have a problem waiting the extra hour to eat. She actually eats better and longer now that I'm stretching the feedings out (and it may also be the reason why she's suddenly having longer naps).

Another interesting thing the author mentions in her book is that when babies wake up at the same time every night they are probably waking out of habit and not hunger. BW says that at 4-months babies should be able to sleep at least 6 hour stretches and usually any shorter than that (especially if it's every single night) indicates that they have gotten used to getting fed and have come to depend on that feeding in order to fall back asleep. This sounds like Keziah since she wakes up at around 1:30 every night like clockwork. So one recommendation is to actually wake up before she wakes up (about an hour) and rouse her a little bit to disrupt her sleep pattern in hopes that it will press the "reset" button and she'll sleep through that regular feeding. Once again this goes against my common sense, but at this point I'm willing to give it a shot. I figure I'm sometimes up a half-dozen times in the night with my kids anyway - so what's one more?

I'm not opposed to letting her cry it out a bit either - or trying to rock her to sleep rather than feed her. But her crying often wakes Micah up and he's not in a place right now where I can trust him to settle easily. So, feeding is usually the simplest and quietest solution. But the BW has confirmed my suspicion that Keziah doesn't actually need that feeding, so I'm willing to start taking measures to cut it out.

So, I'm curious, what have you found successful/unsuccessful in getting your kids to sleep through the night? What has been your experience (if any) with the Baby Whisperer techniques?


Amber said...

Wow, the cover to that book sounds so inviting...who wouldn't want someone to solve ALL your problems??! I've never read the book, (though I've heard lots about it) but I'm sure she has lots of interesting ideas that are worth a try when times get tough! Interesting concept of waking up your child before they typically wake up at night in order to "reset" them. Very interesting indeed. Seems so backwards, huh?? But I can see how it may work. It just seems backwards because WHAT IF that night they wouldn't actually wake up at their usual time and then you are specially getting up (AND WAKING THEM UP for that matter!) when you would have been able to sleep. Weird!

I'm a little nervous to see how 2 kids sleeping in the SAME ROOM will play out in our house in a couple of months. Very interesting times ahead, I'm sure!

All the best Jamie - sounds like you are figuring out your 2 kids little by little - keep plugging away!! You are doing a great job!

kelly said...

sleep issues with TWO! wow, you're a good mom!
I wish I had started Taeya on BW WAY earlier. But once I knew she was waking out of habit to eat (and didn't need it), I think we tried just rocking her back to sleep, or just giving her a soother. I think our attempt at not getting up to give her a soother anymore was letting her cry it out (in hopes she'd find it herself), and that worked. So maybe it would work for a feeding too.
Alf was always the one wanting me to feed Taeya at night, because it was a quick fix, but I had enough of it and basically decided "no more!" And if you're decided on it, that's half the battle! The rest is finding what technique works for you and Keziah, be it a soother, rocking her, or letting her cry for a bit.
I'm curious to know how the wake-to-sleep plan works.
Maybe also try the PU/PD method (something Taeya was too old for when we tried).

erin said...

I did the four hour schedule with all the kids. It was more for my sanity especially Liam since I didin't have time to do anything closer together. I am sure it was around 4 months when they started the 4 hour stretch and it eventually turned into three meals a day. As for the night thing, since Aidan is the only one that never slept throught the night right away, I remember he too would wake up the same time out of habit. I found the only way that worked was Crying it out.

Renee Shaw said...

I've never read the book, but I have heard a bit about it (wasn't it on Oprah? haha). Anyway the only advice I would say, and I know it's worked for a lot of people I know, is when when she wakes up get your husband to go in there. If she is waking out of habit to eat, if you go in there to just try and rock her that might make her more mad because she relates you to food! lol
If your husband goes in there to rock here it won't take long before she realizes that food isn't coming so she might as well stop trying to get it! haha
Preston never had that problem so I can't say I'v tried it, but like I said a lot of my friends have and it's worked for them!
Good luck!

KimberlyMuehling said...

Hi! Oh I hope you start getting more sleep soon! Have a dozen times a night must be SO hard! You will be in our thoughts and prayers.
I definitely agree with the husband going in thing, because they can't give in and offer food and they won't drive baby crazy with the smell of food. I know all the books say that food doesn't make a difference but my baby girl Katie apparently hasn't heard. She TANKS up before bed and then sleeps for a good long time. Maybe starting cereal would help get her through forcing a longer night. With all the books I've read, at some point you have to break the habit. Keziah certainly looks chubby (so cute!) enough that she's not going to starve by sleeping longer (and you'll feel so much better!) I haven't read BW, but I have heard good things about it. I hope you have better nights ahead soon!

megan said...

I have not read the BW book. The nice thing is that you can try different things and find out what works the best for you. When Aidan was waking up at night around 4-5 months I had read that they might just need to cry it out. We started doing that and usually he would put himself back to sleep. However, if he was truly crying and needed consoling I would bounce him, last resort, feed him. Many times he would cry out but not truly wake up.
Good luck. I would like to hear how the BW techniques work for you....

Trev & Rebekah said...

That sounds like an interesting book. I am glad you atleast have some options from it to try out. I am afraid to read books and then feel like a failure if things don't go according to the books. I'm sure i'll be asking you for advice though in a month or so. :0)

Trev & Rebekah said...

That sounds like an interesting book. I am glad you atleast have some options from it to try out. I am afraid to read books and then feel like a failure if things don't go according to the books. I'm sure i'll be asking you for advice though in a month or so. :0)

The Hanks Home said...

Hi Jamie! I don't think we know each other but I know your husband! I went to Bethany for one year and it was the same time Erik was a junior (I think). If he doesn't remember me, we were in choral together!! I came across your blog on Trev and Rebekaha's. Rebekah and I are from the same town in Manitoba and went to Bethany at the same time. Your children are beautiful! You take awesome pictures too....great for scrapbooks!! Anyway, thought I would just say hi to Erik (and to you) and if we do know each other from Bethany, I'm soooo sorry. It was many year ago...hahaha :o)
Michelle (Wootton-maiden name)Hanks

Donna said...

I think taking away the sleep props from Micah is a good step. I did this with Ethan around 6-8 months becasue I saw how they were disrupting his sleep, but somehow at age 2 1/2 we are still having those issues, weather it be a car or toy snake, he changes his mind everyday, we need to put our foot down again!

How I got Ethan off eating everytime he woke up was making his bottles smaller and smaller, seriously like down to 1 oz. I agree though it is just easier and quieter for everyone to just feed them.

You are doing good, keep researching and trying different stuff and things will work out!!

Heather said...

Hmmmm... interesting Jamie. I've been thinking for about a month now that James is just waking up every 3 hours by habit, because he usually won't drink more than about 1-2 ounces before he falls to sleep again. We've just been feeding him, because he seemed to get upset when we would just give him a soother. I also like the idea of stretching daytime feedings to every 4 hours. Again, James really only eats about 4 ounces on average per feed. It would be nice if he would eat MORE, LESS often. I'm afraid to try the cry-it-out routine, but I think that it makes sense to wake him before he actually wakes up. Do you have to wake them up entirely, or just a little? And then what? Rock them? I think I need the book...