Saturday, March 7, 2009

Learning through repetition

I'm reading a book I found at the library because both AJ and I have felt that Sam's sleep habits are OK, but we could use suggestions for a direction to head towards improving her routine. She is at the point that she eats on demand through the day, usually every 3-4 hours. She wakes up 3 times a night, every 3 hours, to eat a midsized snack. She goes to sleep wonderfully and really stays asleep, even through the feedings, well in the night. The naps are a different story. They typically happen at around the same time every day but only for 30 minutes at a time, the occasional hour. So I went in search of some guidance to just push us in a direction. I really felt that her sporadic eating during the day was not enough to keep her through the night but I didn't really have any concrete advice on how to change things, other than getting on such a routine that it's impossible to live. I know that my mommy friends are having similar issues and some of them even seem to be struggling even more with a lack of sleep. We all want to provide the best development for our babies with a balance of nurturing and structure.

Most importantly she insists that it is the families life that the baby should learn to adapt, and the parents are always empowered!!!
Positive reinforcement is what teaches great behavior, not negative.
We teach them to move, talk, interact through repetition, so it makes sense to sleep train through repetition.
We need to teach them to sooth themselves, not rely on us soothing them all the time.
Don't get so repetitive with one action that it becomes the only answer to a problem.

This book, The baby sleep solution : a proven program to teach your baby to sleep twelve hours a night / by Suzy Giordano with Lisa Abidin, was originally design for multiples to help really establish a training for their more time consuming development. However, she applies it to all babies. The best part is I was able to read it in a few hours and it really is an outline step-by-step concept so that you have goals to start right away.


  1. it does get easier when they settle into a more predictable (and longer!) AM/PM nap schedule, instead of little cat naps all day long.

    she'll get there. good luck!

  2. So here's what worked for us - with both boys... The tiniest little old lady at church told us that when she lived back in Europe, they would wrap the babies in swaddling, so they couldn't flail their arms and startle themselves out of sleep. And she proved her point by taking our (then) 3 month old and wrapping him up like a little burrito! He fell asleep during church and had the longest nap he'd ever taken. Ever. Including night sleep. 2.5 hours later... we were hooked. So we bought an actual "baby wrap", and started swaddling. We had full on "night sleep" 6-8 hours a night, and a 2 hour nap in the day (sometimes two of those when they were younger). And my kids are both COMPLETELY different personalities, and it still worked for both.

    And, as a side note, our youngest still likes to have a blankie around him (just draped, not wrapped). It's worth a try, at least!

  3. I don't know how to flip on the sleep-through-the-night switch on at 6 months, but for Abigail, what worked best was a mostly rigid schedule to start leading eventually to a parent-directed approach. You're absolutely right, the parents should always be empowered, but starting with a schedule may be a good boost in the right direction.

    We read "Secrets of the Baby Whisperer" and it really helped us formulate a plan and realize that the tough beginning stage will lead to a much happier, well rested, and healthier baby.

    You two are doing a wonderful job raising Samantha. She's a very lucky girl to have you guys and your loving home and family! Congratulations!


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