At the recommendation of Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child*, we put Eric earlier than usual, at 7:45. (This doesn't seem early, but he's always been a night owl, so it's early for him.) At 8:20, he woke, and we didn't pick him up. Instead, for about 40 minutes, we patted him to soothe him in his bassinet and gave him his pacifier. He would stay calm for a bit and then wake and fuss... but the last time I soothed him, I gave him his pacifier, patted him for a few minutes, and then walked away from the bassinet around 9 p.m. with him still awake and sucking happily.
He didn't wake again until 1:15 a.m.
I was ecstatic. This meant, among other things, that he WAS capable of falling asleep in his bassinet!!
At 1:15, I nursed him, and then Stuart changed him and rocked him back to sleep. He was asleep by 1:45... and didn't wake again until 5:15. I nursed him again, and then he slept for another hour and a half.
To experienced parents, this may seem excessive. Eric was, after all, 12 weeks old -- many babies of that age are sleeping through the night and/or need only one night feeding (if any). But for us, this was amazing. Eric had had 4, then 3.5 consecutive hours of sleep. After weeks of having a maximum of 2 hours at a time, this was absolute bliss.
So what do we think caused the change? We don't know, but we have some ideas.
- We decided that constantly picking him up when he cried had actually been stimulating him and therefore causing a higher level of wakefulness.
- Getting him to bed earlier avoided overtiredness and therefore promoted more restful sleep. (This theory is straight out of HSHHC and makes perfect sense to us.)
- At 12 weeks, it looked like he was finally outgrowing the colic. In subsequent days, we have become even more confident in this theory. He's so happy and content!!
In the meantime, here he is at 3 months!