It is 9am. I am still in my PJ's and I am sitting in front of my fireplace, enjoying the warmth it's flooding into the room. Baby boy is sleeping in the motionless swing a few feet away, snoring his sweet little head off.
His relationship with sleep and naps has naturally become pretty consistent generally and we are finding our way with this new rhythm.
We feel pretty proud of how well he has adjusted to early bed times and sleeping in his crib and J and I are appreciating some evening time together. We put Levi down between 6 and 7pm (depending on his naps) and after some stories and songs and his final feed he goes down pretty easily.
We have decided that we are going to postpone full sleep training until 6 months but are making sure that we are consistent with the routine to help him prepare for sleep. A few reasons behind this including friends stories of much greater and lasting success at that age, plus information about the emotional development that allows little ones to better understand and remember their behaviour and how it was responded to once they hit six months.
In the evenings, Jeremy and I enjoy the quiet to catch up about our day and connect, and recently, to wrap presents, write Christmas cards and do some Christmas baking. Having said that, I confess that I am usually ready for bed by 8.30pm at the moment, this motherhood thing is exhausting!
Levi usually does a longish stretch between 6 or 7pm and around 1 or 1.30am when he wakes for a feed. Wish such an early bedtime, it means I don't get the full benefit of a long stretch of sleep but see above, I am getting more of it than you might imagine :) But we recognise it is for his best that he goes down at that time and seeing his positive and easy adjustment to the routine only confirms what we read.
He then wakes up between 3.30 and 4.30am (between 2 hours 45 minutes and 3 hours later) for another feed.
His night feeds last between ten and fifteen minutes and he is asleep again. If he stirs significantly before 3 hours and I can feel confident he isn't hungry then I usually wake J to go in to change his nappy and resettle him, which usually works and he is back to sleep without ever really waking up. We are hoping that in time his need for food during the night will decrease and we can confidently let him soothe himself without going in, but because he is breastfed, our pediatrician has told us he may genuinely be hungry through the night at 3 hours intervals so for a bit longer and of course I am happy (or at the least willing) to get up and nurse him if he needs it. If his feedings get significantly shorter, I might start giving him water and see if its just the sucking he needs rather than the substance. He eats well during the day.
After the 3.30am feed Levi usually wakes for the day between 6.30 and 7am.
I titled this post the gift of time because I am starting to get used to this earlier and more abrupt wake up and start to my day. Levi is a pretty happy chappy generally but first thing in the morning he is seriously A.dorable! He is soooo chatty, like he has missed having someone to talk to while he was sleeping, and he laughs easily, simple precious. Quite honestly I am not a morning person, so I have little energy or desire to do anything much first thing in the morning. I am not rushing to get to chores or "to do" lists, I simply want to enjoy my baby. We read stories in the nursery while he first wakes up and then we go downstairs, I make a cup of tea, grab something easy to eat for breakfast and then we play. I have an hour or two of simply enjoying my son. I would never have chosen to be up and going so early after such a broken nights sleep but having it forced upon me because of Levis schedule has been a special time and I am so thankful.
It is truly a gift.
When I get up and going with Levi early, he is ready for a nap around 8.30 or 9am and he sleeps well. It give me time to get dressed and ready for the day, throw on some laundry - or blog :) So it's good all around.
I am not holding too tightly to this routine because if I have learned anything in my parenting experience so far its that these little people change at the drop of a hat and they like to keep us on our toes.
Bring it on kid, mama's ready :)