I would say the most significant thing that happened during Berkeley’s 7th month is that we sleep trained him! I have actually gotten a full night of sleep for almost a month now and it feels GLORIOUS. You’ll notice how many pics there are in this post, and it’s because we actually got to DO STUFF since he’s been sleeping well :)
He’s still got some issues- namely his naps still aren’t great which means his bedtime is at 5pm.This early bedtime leads to two issues: 1) he wakes up around 5 (though we don’t get him until 6) and 2) he’s asleep before we get home from work so I only get to see him before I leave for work on weekdays! :(
We wanted to wait to sleep train until Berkeley’s reflux was under control. I’m not sure if it’s because we upped his meds to the maximum dose for his weight, or if he’s gradually outgrowing it (fingers crossed) but he’s been seeming much less uncomfortable and spitting up less.
I bought a couple sleep training books (that used different methods) and read a ton of online articles. I wanted to attempt sleep training on my own but after a couple nights I gave up. I wasn’t comfortable letting him cry without knowing that I was doing it the right way. I mean there isn’t really a “right way” but depending on your child’s disposition, etc, there is definitely a way that will work best for him/her.
We ended up working with Pickles and Ice Cream sleep consulting, who I had read about on a funny mom blog I read called Mommy Shorts. Erin, the sleep consultant, doesn’t use one training method specifically, but I would say that it’s a modified CIO (cry it out) plan, with timed check-ins. After filling out an online intake form, she schedules a 45 min (or in my case slightly longer because I ask so many questions) phone call. During the phone call she basically tells you how the plan is going to work. I guess she comes up with the basics beforehand, based on the intake form, so you should really try to be super detailed on that. After the call, she sends you a very detailed pdf file of the whole plan. The plan starts the night after you receive the plan, and she gives you 8 days of email and phone support. I ended up calling her numerous times and she guarantees she’ll call you back within 4 hrs. Emails are answered by the end of the day. I’m sure she was mighty sick of me and my incessant questions by day 1, but she didn’t show it.
Night 1 involved crying, but never for longer than 10 minutes before I got to check on him (i.e. go in, put a paci in his mouth and then leave). He took an hour to fall asleep. That was the longest hour of my life. Nate wasn’t home so I was doing it on my own and I was on the verge of tears myself. Finally after an hour, Berkeley let out one final scream and then literally conked out. It was such a contrast (the screaming and then immediately passing out) that I laughed out loud. I was already feeling slightly more confident.
He woke up a bunch during the night but I only had to check on him once because he was able to self-soothe- you only check on him if it’s more than 10 STRAIGHT minutes of crying, but he would cry on and off. Night two he was asleep within 15 min. Night three he passed out in 5 min. Oh, and he slept thru the night by the second night! I was told night five he might have a regression. Sadly because his bedtime is super early until his naps are better, it was also the first night EVER that i wasn’t home to put him to sleep :( His nanny told me he cried for 15 min straight so she went in to give him his paci and he went right to sleep after. Not too bad! He was up during the night a bunch but never cried. He just played in his crib and tried to resettle himself.
In the beginning when he woke up crying, he would be all cuddly, which I loved…but he doesn’t cry at all anymore. He just plays and talks to himself until we go get him. Sometimes he’ll let out a protest cry if he’s been in there a while awake, but it rarely has tears. If he would NAP LONGER, he wouldn’t have to be awake in his crib so long!!!
We’re a month in and I can already say that doing sleep training was the best decision I’ve ever made, second only to getting an epidural. Haha! As I mentioned before, his naps aren’t so great yet, but they’re still WAY better than when I had to hold him for 2 hours or take 30 min to rock him to sleep. Now I just put him down awake and leave the room. He usually falls asleep within 15 minutes. Lately he’s been crawling around the crib and trying to scale the walls of it, but he eventually tires out and rests his little head. Ideally his afternoon nap should be around 2-3 hours, but it currently ranges from 30 min to 1 hour 20 min, hence the early bedtime. But I’m supposed to leave him in his crib for 90 min minimum, so even if he wakes early, I still have some time to myself- hooray!!!
In addition to conquering nightime sleep, Berkeley hit some major milestones this month. He still can’t sit unassisted, but he started and mastered army crawling, and just started to take some steps on his hands and knees too! Usually after a few steps he goes back to army crawling because it’s faster. He also can pull himself up to standing…which was crazy the first time he did it. It makes sense though since he loves to stand. He hasn’t quite figured out what to do once he gets to a standing position and thinks that it’s ok to just let go of whatever he’s holding on to. This means he gets monitored carefully. He’s a tough guy and doesn’t even flinch when he bonks his head on things…which happens quite a lot since the boy doesn’t sit still.
He also started going to music class! I don’t get to go since it’s on a weekday, but I did get to come this last Friday and it was so much fun :) His nanny told me that the first time he was scared of the drums and was also just overwhelmed with all the new sights. When I came (his third class), he was warming up to it and was pretty smiley.
Oh, he also got much better at eating solids this month and doesn’t really push any out of his mouth. He’s still doing purees though.
Can’t wait to see what next month brings!!!
Stats: 17 lb 5 oz, 28 in. Size 3 diapers.
Eating his toes, doing stuff! (because he has a schedule now), music class, almost sitting up, his wubbanub, putting pacifier in his own mouth, high pitched squealing (except when he lost his voice due to crying), crawling to his toy bin and pushing it over and sticking his head in it, kissing himself in mirror, foot tapping (constantly), throwing a fit when you take away his water, etc., face grabbing, eating solids!, taking walks, getting on hands and knees- crawling a few steps, throwing pacifiers out of the crib, toes, watching cars from our front porch, yelling, pulling to standing!, trying to grab the birds in the mobile above his crib, his grandparents, and he LOVES being outside.
Staying still, sitting, waiting too long for his breakfast
He finally has a schedule now that we sleep trained!!
He wakes up before 6am most days, but we don’t go get him until 6. He gets a 7 oz bottle and then we go downstairs for some breakfast (oatmeal and some fruit puree, plus about 1 oz of water to drink). Depending on what time he gets up, he has his first nap around 7:30-8 and it lasts anywhere from 30 min to 1 hr 40 min. We don’t get him out of his crib until at least 75 min tho. When he wakes he gets a little 3.5 oz bottle. He sometimes gets solids about an hour later, and then he gets a 6 oz bottle 30 min before his next nap. The next nap happens somewhere between 11:30-12:30 and lasts about the same as his first nap. He gets a 6 oz bottle when he wakes and then a 7 oz bottle about 30 min before bedtime. Bedtime is currently between 5-5:30. I’m hoping it’s later at my next update!!!