A Sleep Update

I’m writing this all out for my own records and also in case anyone else might find it helpful. I know I combed through people’s sleep posts when we were struggling with our 20 minute napper / non-bedtime sleeper! It’s so hard to know what’s “normal” because every baby is different, but I highly  recommend Troublesome Tots if you have sleep questions for a child of any age.

Here is what I was going to shoot for after my last post six weeks ago…

  • 7:30 am Wake up, eat, playtime
  • 10:00 am Begin 1st nap (hopefully 1.75 hrs)
  • 11:45 am Wake up, eat, playtime
  • 3:00 pm Begin 2nd nap (hopefully 1.75 hrs)
  • 4:45 pm Wake up, eat, playtime
  • 7:30 pm Bedtime (eating right before)

Thanks to our new standardized bedtime routine, feeding Stella upon waking from sleep instead of nursing her to sleep, and putting her down drowsy but awake to help her learn how to fall asleep on her own, here is where we are at right now:

  • 7 am (varies from 6:30-7:30)
    • Wake up, eat (solids and nurse), playtime
  • 9 am (must be within 2-2.5 hrs of wake up time OR ELSE)
    • Begin 1st nap.
    • Sleeps for 1.5-2.5 hrs instead of 20 min. when we put her down earlier.
  • 11 am
    • Wake up, eat (solids and nurse), playtime
  • 2pm
    • Begin 2nd nap (time depends on when she woke up from 1st nap – goes down earlier if first nap was short)
    • HOPE that it’s for 1.5-2 hrs, but this one is still all over the place. She usually takes two naps of 2 hours each or three naps of 1 hour each, which I’ve read is pretty normal at her age, as 9 months is the time most babies are transitioning from 3 to 2 naps per day.
  • 4pm
    • Wake up, eat (nurse), playtime
  • 6-6:30pm
    • Dinner (solids)
  • 7-7:15pm
    • Begin bedtime routine (bath, PJs, brush hair, read books, nurse and sing, prayers)
  • 7:30-8pm
    • Asleep.
She is still waking up 1-2x/night to nurse, which is a huge improvement over waking every 45 minutes like she was in July. We are now working on night weaning though. It’s not that I hate nursing her in the middle of the night at all (in fact, I often miss it), but since we aren’t co-sleeping anymore, it makes me get a lot less sleep because I have to wake up and go in the next room (which makes it harder for me to get back to sleep), and I know that physically, she can totally sleep through the night without eating at this point (and has a couple of times on her own!). So, our plan right now is to time her feeds at night and I let her nurse for 1 minute less each night. We started with six minutes (12 total) last Sunday, and the hope is that by the time she’s at < 2 minutes, she’ll just start skipping feeds. This is an easier process if my husband can help sooth her back to sleep (no boob temptation), but he’s getting up at 4am for work right now (and not home until 8pm) so the poor guy is operating on a severe lack of sleep, so I’m hoping I can do this on my own. We shall see!

Okay, scratch that. I wrote that a couple of weeks back, and after a few nights of racheting down her nursing times (we got down to 4 min per side)… I gave up. It was a HUGE struggle to get her back to sleep after only eight minutes of nursing (while it’s not hard at all after 12), and she is down to usually only one wake up per night, so I figured screw it, I don’t mind night nursing for now.

I am not a poet by any means, but at 1am the other night I wrote this on my phone when I couldn’t sleep. Yep, I’m not ready to night wean.


An Ode to Nighttime Nursing

Rocking, rocking, bleary eyes staring at your precious, suckling face…
this moment is all that exists.

Gliding, gliding, tired arm cradling your perfect, heavy, ever growing body…
this moment is all that exists.

Shushing, shushing, aching back bent over the crib that was picked out just for you…
this moment is all that exists.

Loving, loving, thankful heart so full it could burst at the seams with my love for you…
this moment is all that exists.


  1. Sounds as if she is doing really well! Alidia’s schedule is almost exactly the same! I’ll try to share it on my blog soon. She had been sleeping through the night and is now waking once a night to nurse. I was going to try to cut that because I don’t really think she is hungry since she nurses a lot in the day and didn’t used to nurse in the night… but to be honest, I love that time with her so much and will miss it more than I can imagine once it is gone… so I am happy to keep waking up, drowsily going into her room to scoop her from her crib and snuggle for as long as it takes… which is usually me that extends it because I get pretty comfy snuggling there with her. Love your little poem!! 🙂 I can totally relate.

  2. I was TOTALLY gonna ask you on your next post to do a sleep update!

    Sounds like things are going much, much better. Congrats!

    1. Oh Yeah and beautiful poem!

  3. She sleeps SO MUCH! Wow! I’m jealous! 12 hours at night and up to 4 hours during the day? Rockstar baby!

    1. Oh no – not 12 hrs at night! Maybe 11-11.5 total time, but she’s up once or twice eating, which takes out another 15-20 min each time… so maybe 10.5-11hrs at night? Then good days, 3-4 hrs of naps, bad days, 2 hrs of naps… so between 12-14 hrs of sleep a day? I feel good about it based on this chart (http://www.troublesometots.com/baby-sleep-what-is-normal/) and the fact that she seems happy and well rested, but it took the last couple of months to get her there! 🙂 I can’t imagine doing it with two!!

  4. She is doing so well – and so are you!

    I will only say this to you (and everyone else who reads this), as nice as it is to have a baby sleeping through the night, I miss the middle-of-the-night nursings a bit. I waited until he was almost 10 months to sleep train and I’d do it again, but holy smokes – I miss those snippets in time when it was just him, and me, and the glow of his night light. Your poem reminded me so much of those moments in time.

    1. Yep, exactly. When she sleeps through the night from 7:30-7:30 or whatever, it will be awesome, but right now i still really love those cuddly moments with her, and I’m not going to force those moments to stop yet b/c I’M not ready! 🙂

  5. Sounds like she is firmly in a 2-3-4 schedule for naps!!

  6. Love your poem. Gave me chills. 🙂

    Glad things are getting better on the sleep front.

  7. Awesome, we started a schedule too, it’s working pretty well. I need to be more strict but keep telling myself he still a baby.

    1. I would NOT worry about a strict schedule until at least 3 months. Check out that troublesome tots page I linked to.

  8. Yay! That sounds that real progress!! And I love the poem. I do NOT miss the middle of the night nursing sessions, but there is something about them that is sweet. And just one a night is really good!

  9. Your schedule sounds exactly like what Weissbluth (Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Baby) says it should be at Stella’s age. I read a lot of sleep books (and rejected sleep training in the end), and Weissbluth’s is the only one that I found really informative instead of dogmatic. So, anyway, clearly you don’t need it, but apparently you’ve worked your way to an ideal sleep schedule not just for you but in the eyes of the “experts.” 🙂

  10. I love your poem!!! So precious! And I think your schedule sounds perfect. Way to go, mama!!!

  11. I’m been meaning to reply to this for a while! I’m so glad that things are better now! Now he’s 6 montsh old, I’m in the process of figuring out a more strict schedule for G (strict as in enforcing things and not giving in). I’ve gone back and forth on whether to night wean or not over the last two months (dr said one thing, I felt another. I can’t make decisions like that easily grr) and I know I’m confusing him at night because of it. The past week has been worse than usual, so since I have a long weekend we’re going to start training Friday night. Fingers crossed it only takes a week or two!

    And thank you so much for the resources! Both in this post and your first one. I’ve been reading through them all!!

    1. So literally 2 nights after I wrote that I felt okay about not night weaning…she night weaned herself. Crazy! Probably two times in the past 11 nights she has woke up once, and other than that she sleeps for 11 hr stretches. It’s amazeballs. For me, I’m glad we waited and didn’t use CIO (I’m sure it’s necessary for some babies, but Stells seemed to figure it out on her own once we changed up her routine to help her learn how to fall asleep without the boob). Good luck, whatever you do!

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