You didn't see this coming, did you?
Blaise had a 6 hour slept stretch last night. This has only happened once or twice and I can't even tell you when it was - but it was A LONG time ago - like February or something.
Here's what we did:
We have been giving him a bottle at night after I nurse him for about 2 weeks or so now. I have been struggling to make sure I have enough milk supply, but late in the day is always pretty weak, plus we'd had some pretty hot days and I wanted to make sure he was getting enough fluids. In Germany (I say this because I don't know how it works in the States), there are three types of formula: PRE, 1 and 2 ("follow-up" formula (Folgemilch). You give a newborn baby the "PRE", a baby between newborn and 6 months "1" and six months + get the "2" (a "follow-up" to nursing). I made a big project of deciding which formula to choose. I chose the brand based on an eco-consumer reports type magazine. I then chose the "PRE" formula, because it was the closest to breastmilk and didn't have added starch.
Last night I caved. We did what I avoided when he was younger, but decided he was old enough now. I actually wouldn't recommend this, because I think if you have a good sleeper it isn't necessary (or if you have more patience than me to try and train your less-than-good sleeper). We doctored his bottle and added all natural rice flake powder. Maybe you are wondering why I was against this? Well, when he was under 6 months, he was exclusively breastfed so it wasn't an option anyway. I guess I just wanted him to learn to sleep without having to stuff him like a turkey. What changed my mind (this is important for my ego to point out) wasn't the sleep I was missing out on, but the sleep he was missing out on.
Having said this, I should also mention that he woke up about 90-120 minutes after putting him down and was CRAZY! We really thought something was wrong. We finally got him to bed after about an hour and another nursing. We think maybe he had some poopsies (gas) that was bothering him, but who knows. Then he slept for 6 hours. Also, this was only the first night, so anything could happen tonight.
We have also continued working on the putting him down drowsy, which I think is also contributing to Blaise sleeping a bit better. (I say "a bit" because we've still been having the unexpected napping issues, more on that in a minute). I have to admit that Jan is better with this than I am. He is much more patient in general and I think that makes him more successful. I've had a few successes, but more frustration.
Which brings me to our napping issues. As I mentioned before Blaise used to nap twice a day. Recently he wasn't taking his morning nap anymore, and sometimes only sleeping 40 minutes (like yesterday!!!). I am blogging to you now from a Blaise nap zone!!!! I got him to take a nap, 2.5 hours after waking, and he fell asleep on his own!!! How do you like that for a success? :) :)
One day at a time.
Thanks to Jen and Kelly for their sleeping tips - those new mommies out there might want to check out what they said in this post.