Changing Our Sleep Patterns- Night 7 and My Dream Came True

I didn’t need to dream of sleep last night.

According to Dr. Gordon’s plan, night 7 introduces the last phase of his plan to help families change the sleep patterns in their family bed.  It’s not a lot different, just reducing some of the comfort measures but still being close, touching and verbally comforting them.  I figured it would be another unpredictable night.

I was right.  But not how I expected.

Official anylasis?  The best night ever.  For Smunchie and I any way.  Check out the timeline.

Timeline-ish.

8.15pm- Smunchie goes to bed.  We had several friends over for our twice a month dinner and discussion so things were super busy right up until bed time.  She settled well though and went down with no trouble.

11.14pmish- I went to bed.  Smunchie stirred a bit and that was it.

2.40amish- Squiggle Bug came into our room and got upset for some reason (I’m not sure) and The Piano Man went and slept with her on the couch when she refused to go back to the room she shares with a big sister.  Smunchie did not wake even with all the noise.

7.09am- I hear some fussing at the end of the bed and look to see then looked at the clock.  Smunchie stood up and started talking to me, I went and got her and realized I was leaking, it seems sleeps does these boobs some good.  Back in bed together she was so very cuddly and happy to help me with the leaky boobies situation.  It was a long nursing session, a far cry from the 2-3 min. quick sips she had been doing.  Happy and content after a good 25 minutes we looked at books together in the morning sunlight.  It felt good, so good.

In case it doesn’t jump out at you, Smunchie slept from 8.15pmish to 7.09amish.  Eleven hours.  Today I’m smiling easily, busy, productive, enjoying my children, excited about some up coming plans I had been dreading because I didn’t have the energy, playing with my kids, caught a frog with them after checking out the 7 frogs we found swimming in our kiddie pool this morning (and the string of frog eggs too), planning to make some yummy and healthy treats for all of us, looking forward to cooking with my kids and having dinner with some friends tonight.  Smunchie is also energetic, super happy and into everything today.  She and I are feeling pretty good.

The Piano Man is tired.  Squiggle Bug’s sleep issues have been long and on-going and her daddy is always her person of choice when she’s struggling.  We’ve tried to get her to sleep through the night several times but it always ends up short lived.  Hopefully with Smunchie getting more sleep we can work on a gentle approach for our more high needs sleep fighter and The Piano Man will be able to feel more rested as well.  I imagine my energetic and enthusiastic self is very annoying to his sleep deprived self.

I don’t know if this change is going to stick or if tonight will be a totally different animal. Anything is possible but even if it is a more difficult night I feel like I can handle it just because I’m feeling so much better.  My gratitude to Dr. Gordon for such a simple, easy to follow plan to help a family in need of more sleep to find it without compromising the family sleep arrangements.  This was a good fit for us.

To read about this whole process, you can follow our progress using Dr. Gordon’s method and read about night 1, night 2, night 3, night 4, night 5, and night 6.

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Comments

  1. Wohoo!
    I am so glad this is working for you. I get all giddy if I get 4 hours in a row, you must be feeling so much better.

  2. Jessica! Congratulations! I am awed, and jealous 🙂 I admit I would have never made it past Night 2, which resonated with my experiences with my older child very strongly. So, cyber high fives!

    I just wanted to share some totally unsolicited advice re: Squiggle Bug. Since my daughters experience with a great Reggio style preschool program I have used some of the advice of their child-development consultant in our home in the similar way they do in school. In school, children are seen as empowered, decision-makers, problem solvers. They are very much loved but never condescended to. Anyway, the approach to all kinds of problems they have advocated is to ask the child to come up with their own plan. You present the problem and ask what plan they can come up with and discuss how/why that will work to solve the problem. It is tempting to “suggest” things to them but it is more important to let them consider the problem and try out their own solutions. It’s important to follow through on the solution that your child suggested and committed to using, reminding them of “their plan” as needed. Preschool age children will amaze you and it is very empowering to them to be able to confront challenges and succeed in this way.

    • We’ve tried this with her, her solution is daddy sleeps with her, LOL! That’s kind of working right now but he’s not much of a fan. We’re going to try figuring somethig else out together.

      Love the approach!

      ~Jessica

  3. I’m so glad you got a wonderful night of sleep! You sure deserve it!

    You give me hope! I think we’re going to have to try this with our daughter.

  4. “I don’t know if this change is going to stick or if tonight will be a totally different animal.”

    It almost doesn’t matter because you’ve acquired the tools for gentle night-time response. And . . . Smunchie has made the tactical error of showing you that she can sleep 11 hours in a row! She’s listened to the implied question: “Smunchie, isn’t this a great mom? Want a mom who’s even more fun? Look for her at 7:00 AM. There she is!”

    Don’t tell anyone how well this approach works–when you’ve chosen the right time for your family–because I’m trying to keep a low profile and I don’t want to be famous like those other sleep docs.

    Jay

    • Low profile? I think you cover is blown Dr. Gordon. But I’ll do what I can not to shout it from the virtual roof tops… oops. The most important part of the sleep tool you’ve given parents to get more sleep with an older baby/toddler is that it’s not something that happens at a certain age but rather a journey the family is ready for when they are ready for it. By encouraging parents to listen to the needs of their family and themselves instead of societal pressures and expectations you are encouraging parents to embrace the unique dynamic of their family gently. Thank you.

      “Smunchie has made a tactical error of showing you that she can sleep 11 hours in a row!”

      Yes she did! Apparently she liked having a mom who’s even more fun and not so zombie-like. It happened again!

      Thank you so much for your encouragement through this journey, I appreciate it.

      ~Jessica

    • If it works – it would be better that you get all the fame and not those nutty folks who think they are Sleep Whisperers and all Wise on anything Baby!
      You should put them out of business… wouldn’t that be great?!
      Anyways, we tried the “plan” with our 14 month old, and she is just not ready. It is IMPOSSIBLE to lay her down awake. She just won’t do it. Maybe when she is a little older and eating more solids.

      Thank you for your research and putting it together in an easy to understand method!

    • I’ve got good news and bad news for you. The good news is that she’s getting there. The bad news is that the meacdil definition of sleeping through the night means sleeping one 4-5 hour stretch. So waking up 2-4 times a night is still very developmentally and biologically appropriate for an infant.Babies have small tummies and need to wake up to fill them. (And stuffing them in the hopes of getting more sleep doesn’t work. They’ve done studies on that one. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a baby who sleeps the same. If you’re not, you’ll get a baby who gets uncomfortable gas from being too full and wakes up more often rather than less.)The bigger and older she gets, the longer she’ll be able to go. My daughter started sleeping longer once she hit about 10 pounds that’s when she started going for one 4 hour stretch, usually midnight to 4 am. By six months she was starting to go longer. (Although then you run into night waking due to teething, growth spurts, and developmental milestones!)My son started out at 10 lbs. 4 oz. and has slept a good 4-5 stretch once a night since birth, from roughly 7 to 11 pm. He’s over 20 pounds now and is starting to sleep for 6 hours or so.Hang in there, mama. Don’t try to force your baby into different sleeping habits. That’s alternately frustrating for you or spirit-breaking for them (i.e. cry it out horrid practice). Instead, try to work *with* her. Nap when she naps during the day, as much as possible. Enlist your partner to help with the nighttime parenting. I do the nursing and diaper changes for our youngest at night, my husband takes care of our older child when she asks for water, needs calming down because of teething, etc. When we had just one, I did the nursing and he did the diaper changes so neither of us was getting too sleep deprived.

  5. Is everything I need to know in that article or here on your blog?

    I am an EXHAUSTED, 34 week pregnant mama, and more than 2-3 hours of sleep a night would be AWESOME. My boy is MOSTLY night weaned already, he nurses to sleep, but still needs me for comfort & to give him his sippy (half juice/water w/ thawed breastmilk or freshly pumped added some nights) and he sleeps ON MY PILLOW with his arms wrapped around my head. Imagine that with my 9 month pregnant belly. :/

  6. Okay, so I read the article.

    I wonder how it will work for my family.

    I’d love to chat with you about the application of this as it applies to our particular situation.

  7. I am SO jealous. We started this plan a few days before you did and the end is nowhere in sight! agh! Where did we go wrong?
    Are there any forums that are all about this method? We would really appreciate the support.
    Also- I think it is awesome you have DR. Jay Gordon himself, commenting on your blog! Maybe he can send me a message too!

    • I really think every child is going to respond differently to the process. It probably depends on a variety of factors including age, readiness, sleep associations, and personality. My 2nd and 4th would have fought a lot harder than Smunchie has but they fight everything and neither one of them are good sleepers even now. Is it improving at all? Are the night feedings done? How”s your little one responding?

      (((hugs))) Sorry this has been so difficult!

      ~Jessica

      • Hey Jessica –
        Thank you for your response, I was very encouraged. At 14 months, I really felt that she was ready, but after 10 days of trying, we gave up.
        She cried and cried and it just was not worth it.
        I have noticed that it seems like our attempt was not all for nothing…. It seems like she IS staying asleep better when we first put her down at night… like 2 1/2 hours to 3 hours instead of every 45 minutes until we go to bed and she joins us in bed.
        Also, twice in the last week, she slept pretty good. One night for a little over 7 hours and another night for almost 9 hours. WOW – those were amazing nights! This mama felt oh-so-good!

        The other contributing factor of her not doing well with night weaning is that she is not much of an eater of any solids. She is still EBF pretty much. And I do try to get her to eat every time I eat… which is a lot! You can imagine, I’m bf-ing a toddler – Some days I can eat ALL DAY and still feel like I am starving.
        So, once she is eating more solids, I think the timing will be better for her.

        Thanks again for your encouragement!

        • Yeah, it really doesn’t sound like she was ready but I think it’s more of a process anyway so maybe she wasn’t ready to night wean yet but she was ready to start going longer stretches. That’s great! A few months of that and then if she starts eating more solids she may be ready to try night weaning. It sounds like you are really tuned into her needs, together you’ll figure out the right time. For now I’m just glad you are getting more sleep here and there! ~Jessica

          • Thank you so much for your support and encouragement in a culture where comforting your child doesn’t seem to be the norm anymore. A friend of mine was over the other night and when my daughter woke up (and hubby went to comfort her) she said “you really just need to let her cry”… UGH!
            I am working on the BLW with my dd and hopefully the “Nursies when the Sun Shines” book will help.
            I REALLY appreciate your encouragement and wisdom in all of this…. It really helps me keep my head above water!

            You Rock!