Now that Hunter has turned 8 weeks, we wanted to start the next transition to eventually getting him to sleep straight through 10-12 hours a night. The first step began at 8 weeks. Hunter had a feeding at about 8:30pm, and was put down after that around 9:15pm and would sleep until about 2:30am, which was great!! But since he was getting older and was able to go 7-8 hours straight without a feeding, we decided to change his schedule up a bit.
The early evening feeding stayed about the same, around 8:30pm. He would go down around 9:15pm and then I would wake him up again for the "Dream feed" around 11:00pm. It is called a dream feed because baby is practically asleep while he is eating. Then he would go back down after that feeding around 11:45pm and (hopefully) sleep until our morning wake time of 6:30am.
His 8-10 week schedule goes as follows:
I was really hesitant at first because I was getting such great sleep! Two long stretches of sleep for me felt like HEAVEN! But just because I was afraid of having a few rough nights, doesn't mean I should skip the sleep training. So I prepared for what I thought would be some long nights.
Luckily it was only ONE rough night before the little guy got the hang of it! I figured out that on the first night I woke him up for his dream feed too late, at midnight. My logic here was that the later I fed him, the longer he would sleep. But it totally backfired because it ended up interrupting his night time sleep cycle by waking him up while he was already a few hours into his night time sleep. He nursed very poorly because he was sooo tired, so it took a long time to get him eat. So that night I put him back down around 1:00 am, and he woke again at 5am ready to eat! I knew he was not hungry because he had been able to go the 6-7 hours of sleep before without eating, he was just waking up out of habit and because his sleep cycle was off since I woke him too late for his dream feed. I ended up having to rock him back to sleep a few times until he fell asleep at 6am, and then I had to wake him for his normal morning wake time at 6:30am.
This was pretty discouraging but I knew it was necessary for his wellbeing and mine! The next night I woke him earlier for his dream feed at 11:00pm. He ate soooo much better this night, was much more alert! He was put down just before midnight and slept until 6:30am! WOO WOO! Success! It has been a little over a week now and he has been sleeping from 11:45pm-6:30am each night, what a blessing! Hard work and consistency does for sure pay off. Now we only have a couple weeks more and we will be getting rid of the "dream feed" so that he can begin sleeping from around 9pm-6:30am....Stay tuned & email with any questions! xoxo-B