Isabel, my firstborn, arrived fat and healthy at 8 pounds and 9 ounces, sporting a full head of dark brown hair. Like any new mom, I suspected that my days of uninterrupted slumber and sleeping in were in the past.
And I was correct: Isabel’s sleeping habits were erratic at first, causing my husband and I to be up at all hours of the night. I eagerly anticipated the day when I’d get my baby sleeping through the night. Of course, that baby milestone takes a bit of time to happen, but it eventually does.
Here’s my baby’s sleeping story:
Slow but Sure
By the 3-month mark, Isabel and I had set the bedtime routine: bath, nursing, story, and crib. This regular schedule helped her calm down at the end of the day and signaled that it was time to get some rest. I sent my new baby off to sleep each evening until 2:00 a.m. when she howled for the next feeding.
Gradually, Isabel started to wake up a little later, a baby development milestone that gave me some much needed extra rest, too. My goal was to get her to sleep from bedtime all the way until 5:00 a.m. Would she make it?
She Did It!
When Isabel finally slept seven hours straight, I was a bit surprised. I knew eventually I’d get my baby sleeping through the night, but unfortunately, my body was ready for her to wake up sooner. Breasts need to be emptied of milk on a regular schedule, so while she was snoozing away, I was awake anyway, and with rather sore, full breasts!
A Quick Feed
As soon as Isabel was awake, I breastfed my new baby, so I could get some relief. She took a big drink from both sides, and then promptly fell back to sleep. After another week, my breasts had adjusted, and Isabel thankfully kept up her new pattern of sleeping a full night.
Now that Isabel is a few years older, she’s developed to the point where she’s a great sleeper. While I sometimes miss the days when she was an infant, I certainly don’t miss the days when my baby’s sleeping schedule meant I was up throughout the night. Now we are all snoozing more soundly!