It happened! I mean, it happened 2 other times, but those were after a long night of screaming and over-exertion, so I think it was a fluke. But last night, it really happened. And by it- I mean sleeping for 5 straight hours, and 9.5 hours total! It was wonderful.
I discovered that Isla June loves, loves music. So I put in a CD that my mom got for us call "Transitions" that replicates sounds of the womb with calm vocals/ kind of classical music. It's very calming. It even puts us to sleep at night. So yesterday, I attempted to get us on a schedule, a-la Babywise. Now, if you're not familiar with babywise I'll give you a brief history.
Babywise is a book that touts parent -directed scheduling based on 3 hour time increment focusing on a pattern of eat, play and then sleep. It is written by an OB and is a very controversial book. Some people swear by it, while others profess that it is child abuse. You can google it and get lots of information on both sides. Be informed and make your own decisions, that's what I say. So here's my opinion (since you are reading my blog, that's all you'll get).
What I like about the book:
If you know Jeremy and me, you know how we love schedules. Ok, it's mostly my husband, and I've become quite the fan as well in our 5 years together. So, I like the idea of getting the baby on some type of schedule. It's good for the system and it's good for the psyche, knowing what to expect. I also like how the dr. recommends getting a full feeding in the book. A lot of times, newborns fall asleep while nursing, which can lead to multiple cluster feedings since the child wont be getting the hindmilk from the breast which is what has the protein and high calories in it.
What I don't like about the book-
the book recommends/says that it is ok to let a baby cry it out for 15 minutes if you put them down for a nap. Developmentally, a newborn is not ready to cry it out because they aren't able to self soothe yet. So, this I feel is developmentally inappropriate advice, and heartbreaking for mom and baby if attempted at this young of an age.
Also, the schedule is very strict. Baby is supposed to eat every 3 hours, and even though the book says to feed the baby if the baby seems hungry, it doesn't offer a lot of advice for adapting the schedule. This can make a new mother feel very inadequate and overwhelmed.
So what we attempted yesterday, I'd like to refer to as "gentle Babywise". We ate, played a little bit, and when Isla June started to yawn, we immediately went upstairs, put on the CD, and soothed her into sleep. If she woke up, I went upstairs and soothed her back to sleep. I attempted for her to sleep until her next feeding. It went great! We're kind of running on a 2 an 1/2 hour scheulde instead of a 3 our schedule- which is fine by me, when she's hungry, I feed her. and she was in such a better mood because she wasn't so overtired (I discovered this was our problem- I have a baby who doesn't want to sleep!) She took 4 good naps yesterday that lasted about 2 hr to 40 min. each. It was such a blessing! I managed to babyproof the house, do laundry and write 1/2 of an assignment during this time. Plus, I made it back to the gym for my workout class (thanks to Aunt Natalie! but that's another story, my first outing without baby-yay!)
Then, last night, we started bedtime routine at 9:00 (bath, massage, nurse, rock/walk to sleep, swaddle) It took her awhile to get down for good, but she wasn't fussy at all. She fell asleep for good in her bassinet at 11:00 (not too bad for a newborn) and slept until 4 am. I woke up a few times to check on her because I had a hard time believing that she was still asleep. Then she nursed and fell right back asleep at 4:30 and slept until 7:30. Nursed and fell back asleep until 8:30. It was wonderful. Jeremy was so excited- he said he felt like a new person. I still needed a nap, but I think my sleep deprivation is cumulative and I need to sleep for 24 hours straight at this point to catch up, but we're on the right track.
We've attempted the same thing today. Hopefully it will work just as well (if not better). I'll keep you updated.