I don’t want anyone to think I’m an expert on this topic at all… so consider yourself warned.
When Marc was first home from the hospital, I didn’t think too much of the first night or two. I was used to not getting much sleep but this getting up every three hours wasn’t fun. After a week I started to think my eyes were about to bleed and about a week after that I’m pretty sure I was sleep walking in and out of meetings at work. I was drained but in some crazy way I started to get used to it.
After a while I was totally able to function on about four hours of sleep. We got a routine down – we started by feeding Marc dinner, followed by 20-30 minutes before bath time, followed by getting him ready for bed, and finally a bottle of formula/milk.
Marc would wake up in the middle of the night for a bottle at 2am and 4am until he was 5 months old. Then just at 2am until he was 9 months old. At that point our doctor started giving us the advice better do it now then later, he was referencing ferberizing. I’m the big softy here I couldn’t do that to him just let him cry. Thankfully Marc didn’t need much encouragement to start sleeping though the night, I started by giving him half of his normal 6oz of formula with only 4oz then 3oz and then switched him to water alone. That was the trigger that made him no longer wake up.
Fast forward till now 18 months old, We haven’t altered his routine at all. Of course we had our moments of growth spurts and teething (wow that was the worst). His little colds that kept him up from time to time, but overall we’ve keep it on track.
He now gets his binky only at bedtime (or in the car or when we’re out in public – we’re still working on that one) and he has a few stuffed animals in the crib and his favorite blanket that he snuggles up with (it’s very cute). We do have a play blanket that is different from the sleep blanket mainly to put some cues that play and sleep are different (I’d like to think that helps).
In no way am I solely responsible for this success alone, without my wife I’m pretty sure Marc would still be falling asleep on my chest, like he did when he was first born. (I still kind of miss that too)