Oh boy — where to start. I began reading sleep books while I was pregnant — determined to have a baby that slept through the night before my maternity leave was up. Ha! Little did I know no matter how hard we try it’s really out of our control for the most part. Every baby has a different sleep story and I believe it’s more how you learn to accept and handle that as a parent that can be challenging! If you’ve been following along my monthly updates with Piper you’ll know that we have been pretty lucky in the sleep department – Piper began sleeping through the night very early (albeit she stayed up until 11pm before she was ready!). We tried a variety of different methods and ultimately combined techniques when it came time for Piper to leave our room (4.5 months).
The most ground-breaking concept for us was putting Piper down for her naps during the day before she got over-tired — which is something I had read about on Natalie’s blog long before Piper was born but somehow completely forgotten until I started reading all the books below — most of which touch on the concept. I was so worried about Piper having some sort of structure to her day (her “schedule” is still all over the book based on the length of her naps) and this really helped. As a general rule we put her down after 2 hours of wake time. Now a days its closer to 3 hours but we still try to really stick to this rule, it keeps her very happy during the day. She only sleeps for 30-60 minutes (even if we extend the wake time, she still only naps for this short amount!). I also used all of the techniques outlined in The Happiest Baby On The Block and ate up every piece of advice from Bringing Up Bebe — and instituted the “pause” right from the start. Piper finally has an early bedtime of between 7:30 and 8:00 and wakes up at 7/7:30 every morning.
Over on Oh Mama (where I’m a contributor) I’m sharing more details on each of these books — but these are the ones I read! Soon I’ll be sharing our bedtime routine and more on what we do to get Piper to sleep!