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Sleep Training Part One Million



I feel like all I ever write about, talk about and think about is sleep! Seriously, I actually have OTHER things to write about but first I’ll give you the sleep update, then I’ll start preparing some more interesting posts… like the $2,200 vet bill I just paid, and the sensory box I made Sabine out of scraps because we are broke after the $2,200 vet bill 🙂

So sleep. We are getting some night time sleep! Our naps are shit, though. Here are the logs.

April 6 Ped Sleep Log

March 30 Ped Sleep Log

We started our “sleep through the night training” on Thursday, April 3. The savvy reader, though, will notice Sabine slept through the night on her own accord the night before. And has continued sleeping through the night with no intervention from us. The only thing that has changed is that the Professor handles bedtime routine. Still, even after a good night Wednesday, we hunkered down for what we were certain would be a sleep training shit storm.

Thursday night our instructions were for me to leave the house three hours prior to bedtime. I’m in class from 4 p.m. until 10:30 p.m. Sabine hangs out with our Nanny until 6:30 p.m. on Thursday and then Daddy takes over so this was not a problem. The idea behind my leaving is that Sabine needs to think Mama has left for the night and it is just her and Daddy. No milk makers till morning.

Daddy did our usual routine, with dinner at 7:15, bath at 7:30 and bed between 7:45 and 8:00. She fell right asleep. That night he slept in the living room on the air mattress with the baby monitor and I slept alone in the bedroom with my cat and the doors shut. She shocked us with with only one wakeup at 5:20 in the morning. She fussed and grumbled (stage 3) till 6 and then fell back asleep till 7:30.

The second night I had to leave the house two hours before bedtime so I went to a delicious restorative yoga class. SO WHAT I NEEDED! I came home to a sleeping baby and a husband on the air mattress. This would be the night that things went to hell, we said. She slept through the night again but woke earlier than our plan indicated (wakeup is supposed to be 7 a.m.) We followed protocol letting her cry/fuss for 30 minutes and then let her get up.

Since then, all the nights have been the same. She goes down between 7:45 and 8:00 and is asleep fairly quickly (last night was an exception – lots of sad crying baby). Daddy continues to handle bedtime routine, although I do not have to leave the house. In another week or two I will take back over bedtime routine and hope to all things holy it does not screw this up! Sabine still wakes earlier than we would like, but honestly I can live with it!

The challenge now is working out a nap schedule that agrees with everyone. At this point she should be transitioning to two naps a day. I think this, coupled with early wake ups and adjusting to sleeping through the night has confused the naps some. I hope they sort themselves out. If we are still struggling in a few weeks I will schedule another chat with our sleep consultant.

And now I must say, to the Admin on the breast feeding Facebook page called Dairy Queens, I shoot you the bird. This woman ripped me a new one when I posted a concern about my milk supply dropping now that we were sleep training. I guess we really never got to sleep training since Sabine sort of did it on her own, but still. No, judgmental Admin, I will not wake my sleeping baby at night to dream feed her. The sleep consultant said this is actually what has CAUSED all these problems. WAY back around 3 months old Sabine started to transition to longer and longer sleep stretches and I freaked out so I continued dream feeding her every 3-4 hours. Now if someone crept in and dream fed you a delicious milk shake every 3-4 hours at night you would get pretty used to it… and grow to quite like it… and maybe even expect it…. and possibly start to demand it.

So, kind, understanding and loving blog readers who had a baby that hated bottles and only liked milk from the boob: how did you handle your supply dropping when your little started sleeping through the night? Any tips for adjusting naps?




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  1. April 9, 2014

    I didn’t notice my supply drop at all when D started sleeping through the night. I kept up my 2 pumpings a day and that was all, but that was my normal routine at that point in time. Nurse 3x a day, pump 2x at work. My supply didn’t drop until I stopped pumping at work when D was 9+ months old. I did take fenugreek pretty much the entire time I BFd, and I ate oatmeal every morning.

    For the naps, what worked for us was trying to create a routine. When he was in between naps schedules (going from 3 to 2 naps a day), we’d have two or three weeks of crappy naps, but we’d still try. Even if I had to pick him up after 30 minutes, he still would be in his crib around the same time. It worked for us. Now, I just try to tire him out as much as possible. You could try moving nap times? When we went to 2 naps a day, he was napping pretty early in the morning, around 9:15 or 9:30 since he woke up early, and then he’d nap again around 1:30 or 2.

  2. April 9, 2014

    Honestly I didn’t do anything for my supply. My son started sleeping 8-10 hour stretches around 3 months (I know, you hate me!) and I just slept. In the beginning I’d be really engorged in the morning and leaking everywhere, but it’s much better now (he’s almost 6 months old). I’m still pretty full, but it’s not uncomfortable and I rarely leak. The rest of the day I just feed on demand (approx. every 2 hours) and I haven’t had any supply issues.

    • April 9, 2014

      No hate here! I am thrilled other women don’t go through this!! I hope the milk makers adjust soon. Mama does not like all this sheet washing!

  3. April 9, 2014

    I also have not noticed a drop in supply since my girl has slept through the night. Granted it doesn’t happen every night but when it does I’m engorged and leaking in the morning too which I know will adjust once the STTN becomes more regular. we are approaching 4 months though so I’m bracing for a sleep regression at any time now. But yes, your body most likely adjust but if you do notice a drop you can take fenugreek etc like you did when you and Sabine were really sick 🙂

    • April 10, 2014

      I am praying your regressions are minor and swift! We hit the four month regression early and she just never looked back. We regressed until 9 months. 😦

  4. nonsequiturchica #
    April 9, 2014

    My daughter started sleeping about 8 hours a night around 2.5 months (sorry!) and is pretty regularly sleeping 9 hours a night now that she is around 4 months old. I haven’t seen a drop in supply. Right now during the work week I nurse her 3 times a day and pump 3 times a day- amazingly I have enough milk to freeze some at the end of each week.

  5. April 9, 2014

    Back in the day when tru slept 9pm to 6am, (good times *sigh*) i got a little engorged. It calmed down in a few days.

  6. April 9, 2014

    I think I only noticed a drop in supply once Paxlet started eating more solids (around 6-7 months).

    As for naps, when we transitioned from 3-2 and then 2-1, there was a short period of grumpiness, but it went away…

  7. April 9, 2014

    I didn’t have a problem with my supply either. I was engorged for a few days but my body adjusted. Just because you get engorged and then you stop getting engorged doesn’t mean your supply has dropped. It just means your body is adjusting to the new schedule. Your milkmakers become more efficient at their job.

    • April 10, 2014

      Yes, I agree with Buttermilk… it may be that your supply hasn’t really dropped. If you are still engorged in the mornings, your supply definitely is fine. Your body will just take a couple of weeks to adjust every time you have a dramatically new schedule. But if you still suspect low milk supply, then I recommend either breastfeeding her really well to “tank her up” right before bed (not sure why the sleep specialist advises against this. This isn’t the same thing as letting her do non-nutritive “comfort” sucking at the breast. You can pass her to the Professor to finish the bed routine after she’s eaten well), or otherwise maybe pumping or hand-expressing right before you go to bed.

      Some of the worst enemies of a solid milk supply are very infrequent feedings and distancing yourself from your baby (which it sounds like you have to do for the new routine to work). You can help balance out the long night stretch by feeding and cuddling her as much as possible during the day when you are with her. This is more effective than pumping. And remember; starting solid foods is the first step to eventual weaning. So at Sabine’s age, it’s possible that she is starting to move toward more solids intake (you’ll know by her poo), which — paired with the shift toward no night feedings — might be signaling to your breasts to lessen production. Just part of the gradual, more slow/gentle weaning process. 🙂

      Anyway, I also recommend Mother’s Milk herbal tea, if you like the taste of licorice. It has fenugreek and other lactation-promoters in it.

      Oh, and when I was having similar sleep woes when Loki was Sabine’s age, you sent me this article, and it was just what I needed. So I’ll paste it here, in the hope that it will make you feel better too!:

      Good luck, Belle! You can do it!

      • April 10, 2014

        Oh I still tank her up. I just can’t nurse her to sleep. We have lots of warm milk leading up to dinner. Then eat, read a book and sometimes have another slurp of warm milk if she is not over tired. Then Daddy takes over and does bath, jammies and bed. As for solids… we are lucky if she eats one small meal a day. She is not taking to solids like I have hoped. 😦

  8. Emma #
    April 9, 2014

    Your body makes what your baby needs… in essence, it’s perfectly ok for your supply to drop now because she is getting more nourishment from “real food.” I remember being nervous about the same thing, but I think at 9months, I was feeding my baby 4 times per day and by 11 months, only twice. Weaning him at 12 months was a breeze because my supply matched his demand, so it wasn’t painful at all.

  9. April 9, 2014

    Harvey has been doing long sleep stretches (6-9 hrs) since about 2.5 months (my daughter was more on Sabine’s page so this is a welcome change) and after a few nights of engorgement my body seems to have adjusted already with no issue / lack of milk during the day. Honestly, I wouldn’t worry about it. Just like some kids dont sleep through the night for the entire first year of their life and the nursing Mom’s milk keeps coming, there are plenty who sleep through the night early and the kiddo still grows and thrives.

  10. April 9, 2014

    I was always so so so worried about milk supply with R sleeping at night. But the crazy thing is….I never had one single issue in the 14 months we nursed. Those babies regulate themselves, and they will adjust to baby’s needs. Even if those needs are higher some days and lower others. I have a gf with twins who works as a nurse and sometimes goes 3 days without nursing them, and she says when she is back home, the milk just comes right back!

    As to crazy fb ladies…..never again. Once a lady in a group asked for sleep advice, and I told her to send in daddy cause often they aren’t even hungry, just see mama and think boobs. Another lady then told me that my child was probably actually really hungry and needed those calories and I wasn’t feeding her (forget that my profile pic had my child with rolls for days and she always settled for her daddy without a peep!). Misery loves company…and these ladies want everyone to go years without sleep as they did.

  11. April 9, 2014

    Sorry, I didn’t realize you were making too much milk – just catching on. I would not pump (cause then you will just keep making it!) but if the pressure gets to much, a little hand job (haha) should take the edge off.

  12. April 9, 2014

    First of all, I’m hating you a bit right now. Ha ha! Bryson’s been so sick AND teething that he was waking every 2-3 hours, and I was losing it. Last night, he slept through until 3:15. B said, “maybe there is hope that he can do it on his own.”. I rolled my eyes and told him to dream on. But…. Now you’ve got me dreaming too! Thank you for the hope! Of course she did it when it was the professors turn to take over. 😉

    Naps – now that is something we have under control for both kids! When doing 2 naps (and she’s more than old enough for just 2), I read the rule of 2, 3, and 4 and that works for us. First nap is 2 hours,after waking up in the AM. Second nap is 3 hours after waking from first nap, bedtime is 4 hours after waking from second nap. In our case, B wakes around 7, so nap is 9-9:30. He wakes at 10:30-11 so second nap is 1:30-2:00. He wakes between 3-4 (I put him in bed with me if he wakes too early and nurse him while he sleeps until 4 – this is probably against the law and I need to stop) and then bedtime at 7:45/8.

    I am a stickler on naps. I need that time to myself. Matthew just woke up after just 45 minutes (he naps 2-3 hours a day at once if we let him) screaming with growing pains and failed to go back to sleep after trying super hard. I feel myself losing my mind. I need this time!!!!

    • April 9, 2014

      In regards to supply, pump before bed every single night.

  13. April 9, 2014

    My girl is 1 and I’m STILL dreamfeeding! Granted, I only dream feed at 10:30pm, then I go to sleep. She started sleeping through the night, on her own, at 8 months old. I did nothing. Nothing. And I still dream feed her and she still sleeps through the night on her own. I was dream feeding her since before she started sleeping through the night, so I don’t know if I would agree that dream feeding affects her night sleep. But again, all babies are different. ALL babies. My supply dropped not when I dropped a night feed, but when I fell sick a couple of weeks ago, vomiting spells etc, and didn’t take in much calories for the day. It took me almost 2 weeks of regular feedings to get it back to where it was. Kinda. So I don’t think dropping a night feed will affect your supply much so long as you’re still feeding your body the calories it needs, and pumping when you need to. Cheers.

  14. April 9, 2014

    When the twins started sleeping longer stretches sometimes I woke up and pumped a little so I wouldn’t feel engorged in the morning, and gradually lengthened the amount of time – plus it helped me keep a back up supply in the freezer.
    Once we were down to two naps our schedule looks like this:
    Wake 7am – milk
    Breakfast 8:30-9am
    Nap 10am (or roughly 2.5-3 hours after waking)
    Wake/Milk 11:30-12 (before dropping a milk feed recently)
    Lunch 1:30
    Nap between 2-2:30 or roughly 2.5-3 hours after waking

  15. jesicabrennan #
    April 10, 2014

    Like others have said, the girls adjust, when you need less milk I’ve found it takes longer, about 3 days for them to figure it out and when you need more they’re ON IT the very next day. I suppose it’s a good system to take longer for the supply to drop than increase, but 3 days was always the magic number for me!

  16. jesicabrennan #
    April 10, 2014

    And this:

    was amazeballs for me trying to figure out nap schedules. If she seems tired early PUSH her until she hits that 2.5-3 hour mark or whatever it is for her age and then do the same thing again leading up to the next nap, don’t let her nap early and enforce a bedtime! It works I swear =)

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