Sleep Does Happen With A Baby

by HEAB on April 10, 2011

Hello my almond butter loving friends. If you're new to HEAB, you may like to subscribe to my RSS feed or receive my posts via email. Thanks for reading!

We’ve got Summer on a regular sleeping schedule, and it has changed my whole life. Happy rested baby = Happy rested mama. We were very fortunate in that Summer started sleeping through the night all on her own at about 3 1/2 months of age, but getting her to sleep for naps and at bedtime was often a challenge. In the beginning we were way underestimating how much sleep she really needed, but Healthy Sleep Habits, Healthy Child and Good Night Sleep Tight are two books that really helped get Summer’s sleeping habits on track. I highly recommend both for any new parents out there. Up until Summer was about 4 1/2 months old, she needed to go down every 2 hours for a nap, and then a couple of weeks ago, we started putting her down for naps at 9 AM and 1 PM. She now sleeps from 6 PM to 7 AM, and her naps last anywhere from 1 to 2 hours. Summer has a very accurate internal clock, and if we take her on walks before bedtime, she will literally start getting fussy at 5:58 PM. It’s amazing, and by the way the above links to the books are from my Amazon store, but please don’t think I am trying to sell you guys something. I just wanted to share b/c the books really helped us, and I’m sure you can find them at your local library. So, to all my readers with new babies, it’s so true what they say, it does get easier. I promise!

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A well rested mama & baby at our our coffee date this morning with our friend Catherine (creator of the amazing veggie Marathon Burger).

After coffee, I came home and heated up leftovers of Averie’s Curried Ginger & Raisin Lentils. I made it yesterday and enjoyed a big bowl topped with the last of my coconut cornbread.

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So good Averie! I followed her recipe, but sauteed my veggies in coconut oil for a few minutes before adding them to the pot, and instead of sugar, I used 2 grams of pure stevia and fresh ginger rather than dried. Yum, I love adding raisins to savory dishes.

For lunch I heated up a bowl of the lentils and ate it with some Indian spiced chickpea pancakes I made earlier this morning.

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Good, but I preferred the cornbread. :)

Hope everyone is having a nice weekend!

{ 71 comments }

Heather @ Health, Happiness, and Hope April 10, 2011 at 1:35 pm

That’s so great about Summer! Every baby is so different, and when you finally find a good pattern for his/her specific needs, it makes all the difference in the world for BOTH of you! :)

Great use of leftovers!

Nicole @ Making Good Choices April 10, 2011 at 1:49 pm

That’s so great Summer is sleeping through the night. I will be picking up those books when I have a little one! :)

Erica April 10, 2011 at 1:51 pm

WOW! What a good sleeper your little lady is. 6 PM to 7 AM?? Amazing. I will definitely be leaning on your for support when our peanut is born. Cute pic of you three ladies too.

Quix April 10, 2011 at 1:52 pm

Yay for sleep! And those lentils sound GREAT!

Matt @ The Athlete's Plate April 10, 2011 at 1:54 pm

Those cakes look good! I must make them ;)

danielle April 10, 2011 at 1:55 pm

congrats! So happy for you and Summer! I will check out the books for sure…we have some time, my littl eguy i sonly 8 weeks but I am looking forward to his spontaneous decision to sleep through the night, and a schedule– a concept which still seems totally foreign to me! Enjoy your rest mama, you’ve earned it!

Jessica @ Dairy Free Betty April 10, 2011 at 2:00 pm

Summer is SO cute!! :)

Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) April 10, 2011 at 2:02 pm

I am soooo happy you and Summer (and CD) are getting some sleep and on a regular schedule! There is nothing better and that becomes that all-encompassing focus of life!! than getting good sleep with a new baby. It takes over your life and you read every book, tip, trick and just pray something will work. Glad you found what did the trick for your happy home :)

The lentils….I am so glad you liked them! I love the idea of pan sauteeing with coconut oil first. You know I am such a one pot cook so that never happened for me. Thanks for blogging about them :)

And the Indian Spiced Chickpea Pancakes…NICE! I still have to try garbz bean flour. Only blogger who hasn’t had it…yet. They sound delish.

Enjoy your Sunday!

Holly @ The Runny Egg April 10, 2011 at 2:30 pm

Well I’m glad Summer is sleeping so well! My sister’s 2 kids both slept really well when they were young — which was nice when they stayed with us a few times :)

Shannon April 10, 2011 at 2:31 pm

great to hear your baby is on a good sleep schedule. does she sleep alone? seems like babies who do not co-sleep sleep better. my first slept with us for forever and now our 5 month old is currently. i’m ready to make the transition, seems like a good time before the boobie crutch really sets in at night. thanks for all your wonderful recipes and insights.

HEAB April 10, 2011 at 2:52 pm

Hi Shannon,
I slept with Summer when she was first born so that we could be skin to skin to help with breastfeeding, but we started putting her in crib when she was about 4 weeks old, and honestly, everyone seemed to get more sleep that way.

BethT April 10, 2011 at 2:36 pm

The only thing that makes me happy about sending Lucy to daycare is they’ve gotten her on a great schedule for daytime naps. She, too goes to bed around 6ish but has started waking up around 430. Bah! I can usually get her back to sleep, but I wish she’d make it till 6 each morning… ;) glad Summer is sleeping so well.

Sarah April 10, 2011 at 2:46 pm

This post could not have come at a better time! I have a six week old that’s up every 2 hours at night… last night was particularly rough as he had decided to wake up almost hourly to feed! I’m breastfeeding and his schedule is really starting to wear me thin, but I now have both of those books on hold at my library!

HEAB April 10, 2011 at 2:51 pm

Hang in there Sarah. Summer would usually only nap for 20 minutes here and there for those first few months, and I was just in survival mode. You and your little one will get things figured out soon. The books really helped us!

Salah (My Healthiest Lifestyle) April 10, 2011 at 3:07 pm

those chickpeas look soooo awesome

J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) April 10, 2011 at 3:26 pm

Yay for a well-rested family!! That’s so great, especially her internal clock. I think we could all use a little help listening to our bodies and get the rest we need instead of overdoing it so often. :)

I love adding raisins to savory dishes, too. My favorite way is in meatballs. Try it if you haven’t! So yum.

Dea April 10, 2011 at 3:46 pm

YAY for sleep! I love how you show that it’s possible to be a functioning parent.

Laura April 10, 2011 at 4:13 pm

“So, to all my readers with new babies, it’s so true what they say, it does get easier. I promise!”

At least until the next one, anyway! :D

Mary @ Bites and Bliss April 10, 2011 at 4:18 pm

You’re definitely lucky to have had such a sweet baby to start sleeping regularly so early! I know some babies that seriousy must be nocturnal. Or at least they stay that way for months!

Carolyn April 10, 2011 at 4:47 pm

Your food looks really yummy. Especially that blue bowl of goodies. Such a fun combination.

Natalia - a side of simple April 10, 2011 at 5:17 pm

Aw, I’m so glad to hear that you’re getting some sleep! I know I’m still working on making up for all the sleep I deprived my mom of when I was young :(

By the way, you look absolutely beautiful in your pictures!!

Monica April 10, 2011 at 5:17 pm

I love the Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child book! A family I nannied for followed that book to a T and I was so impressed with their daughters behavior because she was always well rested. A good friend just sent me my own copy and I can’t wait to follow the book with my baby. :)

Emilia April 10, 2011 at 5:34 pm

First off- how cute are you and the babes? Well done with clothing decor, ladies! :)
Aren’t socca pancakes so SO good- and easy to make, too? I love making all diffrent varieties: rosemary, curry spiced, cinnamon, etc. Next i’m going to try sweet with maple and cinnamon :)
Happy day, HEAB :)

alli April 10, 2011 at 5:36 pm

wonderful sleepy news! i have the first book that i checked out from the library, i will be looking for the other one next! your story gives me such hope :) my little guy usually takes 4 naps and goes to bed usually around 8 until 6:30 or 7 am but he wakes at least twice to nurse. 13 hours through the night sounds amazing! just wondering, does summer wake at all during the night to nurse?

HEAB April 10, 2011 at 8:32 pm

Alli,
I no longer nurse Summer and we never nursed at night – just did bottle feeds. Nursing for me required the use of an SNS (supplemental nursing system) as well as a nipple shield, and each session took up to an hour. So, at night, I would bottle feed and then pump. I’m still pumping, but I stopped nursing Summer at 4 months, and she started sleeping all the way through the night at about 3 or 3 1/2 months. For a while, she started waking up again at 4 AM but would go immediately back to sleep after eating. Then up she started waking up at 5, and eventually 6. When she got up at 6, she didn’t go back to sleep until her first morning nap, and she’s now starting her day at 7 AM. Both books are great – Good Night Sleep Tight offers a more gentler way of letting the baby cry it out. With Summer we never had to in the middle of the night, but we did start letting her cry it out a bit for naps and getting her to sleep at night. However, it never took more than 15 minutes, and now she never cries for more than 5 minutes when we put her down to sleep. She will often wake herself up, and we let her cry for 5 to 10 minutes before going to get her and she usually falls back asleep. I’ve found that when she is truly ready to get up, she talks in her crib rather than cries.

Jennifer April 11, 2011 at 7:20 pm

My little guy was the same way….started sleeping through the night fairly early but was pretty difficult to get down to sleep (bedtime or naps). We also read Healthy Sleep Habits which helped a lot. He would always cry when he wasn’t ready to wake up and talk when he was really awake….we were all happier when we figured that out. :)

Hannah April 10, 2011 at 5:44 pm

The *last* of the cornbread?! Oh no! Clearly you’ll have to make more, because I’ve been swooning over those cornbread images for days now and I don’t wanna stop ;)

P.S. Is it bad that I’m envious of Summer’s sleep habits? I wish my mum still tucked me in at night… :P

Kelly April 10, 2011 at 6:25 pm

I LOVE the book HSH, HC – I read it when my little one was 9 months old, and WISH I would have had it sooner! It was such a great read, and made so much sense!! Yay for happy, rested babies!! :o )

tracey April 10, 2011 at 7:02 pm

Sure could use some encouragement in the sleep and schedule department…checked out both of those books (i think they are great) but my little 3 month old peanut has not been the easiet baby…she was napping soooo well, but now she has decided 45 minute naps are great! Sleep begets sleep, right! We hope to get more on track. How much did she weigh when she starting sleeping through the night?

HEAB April 10, 2011 at 8:22 pm

Tracey,
Trust me, we had many ups and downs in the those first few months. There were somedays when Summer literally only slept for 20 minutes at a time, and I just didn’t know what to do. I remember at Summer’s 2-month check-up, her doctor told me her naps should be between 1 to 2 hours, and I just laughed in his face. It was exhausting. I hope you guys get back on track soon. What worked for us is when I just started putting Summer down after 2 hours of awake time, no matter what. Made a world of difference. Sometimes she napped for 2 hours, and sometimes she only napped for 30 minutes, but again, she went down for a nap every 2 hours. Not sure how much she weighed when she started sleeping through the night. She’s always been on the small side. She was probably about 10 pounds?

tracey April 10, 2011 at 8:36 pm

My Evelyn is on the small side too. We hope she will reach 10 pounds soon :)

Liz @ Tip Top Shape April 10, 2011 at 7:27 pm

Oohh, I must make those chickpea pancakes soon!! They look fantastic!!

Katie @ Nourishing Flourishing April 10, 2011 at 7:42 pm

Think I’ve already said it — but wow! Love your photos from the new camera :)

HEAB April 10, 2011 at 8:17 pm

Thanks Katie. I’m trying but so much to learn. It’s fun though.

Christina April 10, 2011 at 7:44 pm

Your recipes look fantastic!! Unfortunately I live in a dorm here at Belmont in Nashville so I will have to wait until next semester to make them!! Was it hot in Nashville today or what?!?! It was a huge struggle getting my long run in! whhhheeeww!

HEAB April 10, 2011 at 8:14 pm

Christina,
I feel like we went straight from winter to summer. What happened to spring?!? Supposed to be cooler this week. The high on Wed is only in the 70′s, but yeah, today was not a good day for a long run. I took Summer for a walk at 8:30 AM, and it was already getting too hot for her to be outside. Glad you survived.

Kath (My Funny Little Life) April 10, 2011 at 8:34 pm

Yay! I’m happy for you and Summer that sleep rhythms are getting easier! (And life as well. :) )

Maria April 10, 2011 at 10:01 pm

It’s so wonderful to hear that you have a nice schedule going with Summer! I definitely agree that when you are able to get on a good, solid schedule of sleep and wake time that life gets THAT much easier. Predictability can be extremely comforting!

Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday April 10, 2011 at 10:04 pm

Catherine, if you’re reading this I just want you to know that you are stunning.

HEAB April 11, 2011 at 2:37 pm

Samantha,
Isn’t she? I will be sure to pass your comment onto Catherine. Bet it will totally make her day! :)

Cat April 11, 2011 at 5:40 pm

Oh my goodness y’all are totally making my MONTH! So sweet! Thank you for the shout out on my Marathon burger! Love & miss ya H!

Kate (What Kate is Cooking) April 10, 2011 at 10:25 pm

That’s so cool that she’s sleeping through the night! I’ve heard many horror stories from working in a daycare about the sleep deprivation that comes with having a newborn. Since I’m a twin, I don’t think my parents ever slept- one of us was always awake in the middle of the night!

HEAB April 11, 2011 at 2:36 pm

Kate,
I cannot imagine having twins. Your parents are heroes in my book! :)

Kiran @ KiranTarun.com April 10, 2011 at 10:39 pm

Love the sight of a well rested mama and baby :)

charlotte April 10, 2011 at 11:14 pm

Yay for sleep!!!! It really does make all the difference doesn’t it? So glad that Summer’s settled into a nice routine. Maybe it makes us dupes but my husband live and die by our kids’ schedule. Makes everything go so much smoother.

HEAB April 11, 2011 at 2:35 pm

Hairy Armpits,
I’m all for the schedule and have gotten very protective of Summer’s sleep. Totally worth it, and even though I need to be home throughout most of the day, at least I know when my windows of opportunity are…before it was totally hit or miss, and I kept having to cancel plans at the last minute if Summer was napping. Thanks for all the advice you gave me in the beginning. It really helped!

Ellie@fitforthesoul April 11, 2011 at 12:12 am

YAYYY SO GLAD TO HEAR SUMMER’S BEEN A GOOD GIRL! :D thank you so much for this info Heather!! I always think about my future children and want to know everything that I can know. :)

Amy April 11, 2011 at 3:01 am

Hi Heather! Summer is so beautiful!
My little guy is just about 4 months old and sleeping through the night with about 4, 45 min. naps a day. I also have read HSH, HC and I’m hesitant to put him to bed earlier than 8 because of that last feeding (I’m strictly breastfeeding). How did you make that earlier transition? Do you think the formula helps? 6 pm to 7 am is absolutely amazing!

HEAB April 11, 2011 at 2:33 pm

Amy,
Honestly, I do think that fact that Summer is supplemented with formula helps. I’d give up her earlier bedtime in a heartbeat if I was able to exclusively breastfeed. From what I’ve heard from friends, formula fed babies tend to go to bed earlier and sleep through the night at an earlier age, and they don’t need to eat as often. I’m assuming they just get more at every feeding.

We started putting Summer to bed earlier simply because she was acting tired, and then she just slept right on through to morning. For a while she woke up at 5 AM, and then 6 AM, and now it’s 7 AM, and she did this all on her own. She weighs between 12 and 13 pounds now, and we feed her 28 to 30 ounces a day. Since I’m exclusively pumping, I know exactly how much she gets from me. She was getting half breast milk, but now that she needs more, she’s only getting about a 1/3 of her daily intake from me. I can’t keep up. :(

Hope this info. helps Amy, and best of luck. That earlier bedtime will come soon. :)

Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) April 11, 2011 at 6:35 am

I am so glad you are feeling rested and things are running smoothly with Summer’s naps. My boys both slept through the night by 3 months, but naps were a bear. Sounds like you got to enjoy a great visit with your friend! Oh and savory pancakes are always a great stew side dish, right?! I hope you have a great week Heather!

Oh and we made the decision…we will be in TN June 1st!

HEAB April 11, 2011 at 2:26 pm

Sarena,
Ah, just got chills reading your post. Hopefully we can meet up before Chris and I head to Michigan in August. CANNOT wait to meet you in person! :)

Maryea {Happy Healthy Mama} April 11, 2011 at 6:41 am

I haven’t read the other one, by I totally concur with the Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child recommendation. That book helped us soooo much!

Alexandra (Veggin' Out in the Kitchen) April 11, 2011 at 6:47 am

Sometime in the faaaaaaarrrrr future when I have kids, I’m definitely going to your blog for help! :)

Mmmm…. those pancakes look yummy! I made you Indian Spiced Teff Pancakes yesterday and loooooved them!! There’s a picture of them on my blog if you want to see :)

Have a fabulous week!!

<3

Kate April 11, 2011 at 7:03 am

Hi Heather,
Love your blog:) A couple of questions: If Summer wakes up after only napping 30-45 min do you let her cry (and at what point do you go in?) My 7 month old has starting taking these short naps and I have let her cry, but she is so stubborn…she just gets so worked up and cannot settle on her own. Also, did you find the set naptimes helped? Do you put her down at 9am even if she wakes at 6am? I find my daughter gets beyond if she is up more than 2 hrs. I might try the set naptimes though….consistency is the key I think:) Thanks so much for the great advice!

HEAB April 11, 2011 at 2:24 pm

Kate,
Yep, Summer stays in her crib for at least an hour for nap time. So, if she wakes up before the hour is over, I let her cry, and she always goes back to sleep. If she wakes up after the hour is over and cries for more than 5 or 10 minutes, I go in and get her. I find that when she’s ready to get up she talks instead of cries. Usually if she is just crying, she will go back to sleep.

Yes, the set nap times have really helped us. We’ve started it about 2 weeks ago I think, and Summer always goes down at 9 even if she wakes up before or after 7. Consistency is really the key, at least for us. Hope this helps Kate! I know it’s hard at times, but I also know that Summer is much happier when she gets more sleep. :)

Molly April 11, 2011 at 10:50 am

I am so inspired by this post! Thanks so much for the book recommendations, Lillian and i are struggling to find a sleep schedule for her and this gives me hope that we will find it soon! I ordered the books and can’t wait to have them! Thanks Heather! Xo

kara April 11, 2011 at 12:46 pm

I’m jealous that she sleeps until 7am! My baby goes down at 6:30pm and is up by 5:45am the next morning!

Miranda (Untamed Kitchen) April 11, 2011 at 12:49 pm

I meant to tell you that I sent my sister the link to your post about baby-led weaning. She bought the book and is using it with my 6-month-old nephew, Archer! It’s so fun that he gets to be a part of family meals. Thanks so much for sharing that. I’ll see if she’s heard of these books too!

R @ Learning As I Chop April 11, 2011 at 1:23 pm

That’s so great that you have a sleep schedule. I love how honest you are about the trials and tribulations of new motherhood.

Emily Elizabeth @ Kisses for Breakfast April 11, 2011 at 2:55 pm

I also underestimated how much sleep Annabelle needed. I thought she was hungry often when I think she was really just tired. :) I was so happy when she started sleeping through the night too. I’m so happy to hear you both are getting a good night’s rest!

Maddy April 11, 2011 at 4:37 pm

Thanks for posting about sleep! the bane of new moms (and dad)s. my son is nearly 9 months old and is an awful sleeper. he slept mostly with me and nurses constantly and is a very restless sleeper. he is constantly kicking and moving around in his sleep and then wakes himself up and cannot get back to sleep. if I put him in the crib he cries, sometimes for 45 minutes and then even when he falls asleep in the crib, he is up again in two hours. its the most frustrating thing! i will try the sleep tight book; i have the other one but am too sleep deprived to figure out how to use it :) enjoy your sweet little one AND your sweet night’s sleep.

Alyssa April 11, 2011 at 8:42 pm

Wow, Summer just gets more and more gorgeous!

HEAB April 11, 2011 at 9:48 pm

Thanks Alyssa. :)

Julie April 11, 2011 at 8:43 pm

Hey Heather,
You gave me hope! My son has been the most erratic sleeper and we have finally got some sort of routine going. He is 3 weeks younger than Summer. Soooo my question is how did you know to make the switch from the 2 hour wakefulness window to scheduling her naps? I have HSHC and loved it. It worked with my older daughter, but I can’t remember when I started “the schedule.” My little guy goes to bed at 6pm and wakes about 6ish am. I am just afraid to start the schedule for fear he will be too overtired. But the two hour window is exhausting and unpredictable.

HEAB April 11, 2011 at 9:47 pm

Julie,
HSHC talked about transitioning from the 2-hour window to the scheduled nap time between 4 and 5 months (I think – it’s been a few weeks since I read it), and I was starting to notice that Summer didn’t always seem too tired when I put her down, and it was staring to take longer and longer for her to fall asleep. So, I was wondering if I was trying to get her to sleep when she didn’t always need it. I figured I would try two scheduled naps a day for a few days to see how it went, and it didn’t work, then I’d go back to putting her down every 2 hours. It’s working great, and she’s now sleeping longer at night. She too was getting up at 6 AM on the dot every morning, and now she’s sleeping until 7 or a little after.

Pure2raw twins April 11, 2011 at 9:00 pm

So happy to hear you are getting sleep!! I know how wonderful you both must be feeling ;)

Indian spices pancakes, YUM!!

Karen April 12, 2011 at 8:58 am

SAVE THOSE BOOKS! They are great and I used them too (for kids # 3 and 4). Summer will go through other developmental phases and will get confused after periods where she is sick, the family routine changes or you go on vacation or something. Trust me, you will need to refer to the books again. We would often refer to the periods right after a disruption as “baby boot camp” while we ALL got re-trained on our routine. It is well worth getting a child on a good sleep schedule – invaluable when they go to school. Tired kids = whiny kids. Tired kids = poorly behaved kids. This is the case even as “old” as middle school and high school. My middle schooler (13 yo girl) is very predictable – when she has a sleep debt everything becomes very dramatic. The only fix is getting back on routine.

You are a great Mom!

Heather @ kissmybroccoli April 12, 2011 at 7:54 pm

Wow, sounds like a pretty good schedule to me! So glad you and CD were able to get a routine down so quickly. Love the pic of your lunch bowl with the pillows in the background! Perfect balance!

Colleen April 13, 2011 at 6:06 am

Heather, it is great to read this post! One of my biggest apprehensions about having a baby is the fear that I’ll never sleep again and turn into a sweatpant wearing messy-haired zombie. It is good to see that with some discipline and routine, you can actually be awake to enjoy the first year of your baby’s life!

Emily April 19, 2011 at 10:01 am

Ugh, I’m hoping that Lily will be sleeping through the night sooner rather than later. She’s nine weeks, and we started the early bedtime (7PM) just after 6 weeks, and she really started to get the hang. She’d wake up once around 2-3 to eat, but go right back down for the rest of the night. Then all of a sudden last week she started fighting bedtime, and it has been taking us between 2-3 hours to get her to sleep! I’m hoping this period ends soon. You’d let Summer cry for 15 minutes when you put her down for the night? I worry that she’ll just work herself up into a fit, but I’m willing to anything a try at this point!

HEAB April 19, 2011 at 10:39 am

Emily,
Do not lose hope! I remember proudly announcing to my mommy & me yoga class that Summer was sleeping through the night, and they all told me, “just wait”. Yep, a few weeks later, she was waking up at 3 or 4 AM. Babies go through phases, and you just have to let go sometimes. For the first 4 and 1/2 months, we went by Summer’s schedule. We never really tried to put her down at certain times. We just tried to have her back in bed after 2 hours of awake time, and we never let her cry it out until she was 4 1/2 months old. Prior to that, we would either just stay with her in the nursery or run back up there putting the pacifier back in her mouth or rocking her carrier (she slept in her carrier in her crib. Started that at 6 weeks and it just worked so well that we continued with it until she was 4 1/2 months) until she was asleep. If she got really worked up, then Chris would bounce her on my exercise ball. That either calmed her down or put her to sleep. The key with Summer and for most babies from what I hear is to put them to bed before they’re really sleepy. Otherwise, they are overtired and fight sleep. So, perhaps adjust the 7 PM bedtime – maybe for now she needs to go to bed earlier?

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