Angel baby raising(5): Ethan independent sleep development record

Angel baby raising(5): Ethan independent sleep development record

This one is longer and written more scattered. It's a summary of the previous months, and on the other hand, I think it's meaningful to share the most realistic situation with you. The actual fact is that you are not alone in your battle, I have also been through this little by little, Ethan is not a natural angel baby, but also in repeatedly questioning, perseverance over. Everyone is different, and babies are different. My own experience is not a golden rule, but I have benefited from the experiences shared by a large number of mothers. I hope my experience can help and inspire you.


  1. During hospitalization

Ethan's first few days of life, in the hospital before the milk is finished, I was already tired and fell asleep. Did not realize yet that putting to sleep was a problem.


  1.  4-15 days - the stone on the chest

Due to Ethan's jaundice, he needed to be hospitalized for blue light. During that week, I spent every day with sore breasts due to a blocked breast. I spent my days holding the breast pump, my back was sore, and I had to suckle all day and night.


  1. 15 days to full term - frustration and beginning

The blockage gradually improved, but my nipples were still painful. I had lost several layers of skin and tried to breastfeed through gritted teeth and pain. While the breast situation was improving, Ethan started to have a meltdown where he would cry from 4pm to 8pm every day. In order to harmonize, I also began to nurse to sleep, but the situation did not improve but worse.


After a thorough investigation, the following causes were identified.


A. Growth spurt. Three days before and three days after the 14 days of irritability, three days after the weight spiked wildly a little.

B. Irregular work and rest, low efficiency in eating milk. Often fell asleep while eating. But soon after sleeping, he would wake up and cry as soon as he was put down.

C. Improper burping. Air in the belly is uncomfortable, colic.

D. Not paying attention to the baby's sleep signals during the day. Teasing the baby all the time, causing her to have a serious lack of sleep. The tiredness that has been accumulating explodes in the afternoon, irritable and can not sleep baby is very difficult.




First carefully read "On Becoming Babywise" twice. 

Start recording Ethan's routine.

Ethan takes about 2 hours to eat his next milk when he is full (including feeding time).

Breastfeeding time: 30 minutes, burping 10 minutes

Waking time: after burping, he can be awake for about 15-20 minutes, after that he starts yawning and being irritable.

Sleeping time.

Daytime naps - can sleep for about 1.5 hours with cuddling

Night sleep - if you feed formula before bedtime, you can sleep for 4-5 hours to get up to eat milk, and wake up after 2.5 hours.

For breastfeeding, you can sleep for 3 hours and wake up for 2.5 hours afterwards.


The observed results led to the development of a 2.5-hour work schedule



From the 15th day of regular routine. I explicitly told my mother-in-law and husband that cuddling was not allowed. Since the baby is used to being held and cuddled (and must be walked while being held). If you don't hold him when he is sleepy, he will start to cry. But I have been firmly convinced that: this child can not be to bed to hold, after I bring up the baby alone, it is impossible to do nothing a day to hold the child. And hold to coax the child sleep quality is not high, a little movement will wake up. Plus he will get heavier and heavier, really do not have the strength and energy to hold and coax. If you want your child to be comfortable, you have to make sure that I can support myself physically and not fall down. So it's best to kill this bad habit before it's too late! The long pain is better than the short pain!


For the first three days, I saw some books and foreign mothers' forums saying that the cry-immunization method can quickly put babies to sleep on their own. However, I was worried about the psychological damage to the child and the lack of security. More importantly, I couldn't bear to hear him cry so hard. So I decided to switch to a slightly softer way of putting her to sleep, even though it might take longer to achieve her goal of falling asleep on her own.


So we combined the Faber method + pick up and put down method + shushing and patting method + white noise. We then modified it for Ethan's specific situation to form our own method of putting her to sleep. That is: after catching the baby's sleep signal, carry out the bedtime ritual, enter the patting and coaxing stage, if the baby's emotions are out of control, then pick up and soothe emotions until she is calm and then put back to bed and continue patting and coaxing. After a time of patting and coaxing, gradually reduce the intervention and give the baby the opportunity to fall asleep on her own. (See the end of the article for a diagram of the specific method)


We tried the pacifier, but he wouldn't take it and pushed it out with his tongue. I was determined to stop nursing to sleep. After nursing during the day, wake Ethan up if he has fallen asleep (at least a few minutes of wakefulness between eating and sleeping). Then put him back to sleep with a cuddle. At first it was difficult, he kept crying, no matter how rhythmically I patted him and made shushing noises with white noise. After about two days, he cried for shorter and shorter periods of time and slowly accepted to be held to sleep.


Regular routine tips.

Be flexible with your routine. Ethan transitioned from 2 hours to 2.5 hours in a week.  Spread the time out a little bit. Don't stick to a rigid schedule when implementing a routine, but adjust it to your child's condition. If the child does not even support 2 hours, you should reflect on whether you did not feed enough before and lengthen the feeding time next time.


Tips for putting your child to sleep.

A. Use a swaddle or sleeping bag. The baby will feel more secure. When we hold and put to sleep, then put to bed, the baby will not feel too much change in the environment. It is a good idea to prevent waking up with a startle reaction.

B. It's best to stay with your baby to escort him to sleep, observe his condition at all times, and pat his shoulders or buttocks when he shows signs of waking up. Make a rhythmic sound to lull him to sleep.


  1. 1 month to 2 months - regular routine is beginning to show results


Because the daytime naps have slowly become regular, the baby cries significantly less. The baby's mental state was particularly good throughout the day, and the crying was significantly reduced, so my mother-in-law slowly saw the benefits of regular rest, so we could discuss how to adjust the sleeping method together, and the psychological pressure was reduced. 45 days later Ethan reached a long period of irritability for three days, but with previous experience and expectations in mind, he passed peacefully.


Regular work and rest: At this time, we found that Ethan was able to take milk only after 2.5 hours. Sometimes after 2.5 hours, he could still last for another 10 minutes. So we started to extend the regular interval to 3 hours. Again, after a week of gradual transition, he slowly reached 3 hours of rest in a month and a half.




Tips for putting her to sleep.

 a. Continuing sleep is very important, the first half hour in the case she is not asleep, it is best to keep watch over the side, ready to pick up sleep.

 b. Patting and humming should have a rhythm. Pat the shoulders, back, buttocks and thighs. Adjust the rhythm according to the baby's condition. The mother can hum soft music together with the sleeping song played.

c. Baby needs to be put to sleep in a calm emotional state. If she starts to break down and cry, the first thing to do is still to soothe the emotions. At this point, you can pick her up and let her emotionally stabilize before continuing to put her to sleep.

d. In order to break through the work and rest, to extend the time of the baby naps. You can transition on the electric bassinet for a while. Let her nap time slowly and steadily extended, and then gradually reduce the number of times the bassinet is used.

e. Seize the time to fall asleep is very important! Some babies' signal is the first yawn. Some babies have not yawned, they start to froze, their eyes have been staring at a place, their eyes are no longer so dynamic, as if out of focus. Parents need to observe their babies when they are active and when they are sleepy to catch the sleep signal in time. It is easy for babies to fall asleep when they are not yet irritable. If you don't notice the baby's bedtime signals and miss the moment, it will be difficult to put them to sleep. This is where the benefits of regular rest come into play, you can look at the time and know if she is probably close to going to sleep, basically not missing her sleep signals.

f. At this time, Ethan can already sleep for 6-7 hours at night. The lengthening of the interval between feedings during the day will make the nighttime sleep time also significantly lengthen.


 5. 2 months to 4 months - Moving towards independent sleep


Ethan's waking hours slowly lengthen as he transitions to a 4-hour routine on his own.



The biggest problem Ethan had at this time was short daytime naps and frequent failures to pick up sleep. He occasionally falls asleep on his own, but is not yet able to fall asleep on his own every time he sleeps.


Goal: To extend the nap time, slowly reduce the intervention and increase the chance of falling asleep on his own.



  1. Fix Ethan's sleep environment, he must go to his own crib for sleep.
  2. To make him sleep longer, close the window curtains before bedtime and fix the bedtime ritual: put on the sleeping bag, turn on the bed bell, stuff the pacifier, and occasionally read a book.
  3. Put her to bed ten minutes early to avoid over-stimulating activities and let his emotions stabilize first.
  4. Introduce both a soother wipe and a soother doll and put the wipe and doll in her hand when she reaches out to grab them. Turn on the bed bell to attract her attention.
  5. When she is calm, try not to pat and coax her and let her try to fall asleep on her own.


Tips for putting her to sleep.

A. Your baby will grunt or cry intermittently before going to sleep, and will rub her eyes and shake her head. Try not to intervene at this time, this is a normal phenomenon before going to sleep. If the hand keeps grabbing the face, you can hold her hand, or by wearing a sleeping bag with sleeves, so that her hand is not so easy to grab their own.

B. Avoid eye contact. Your baby will sometimes stare at you before bedtime. Try not to stare at him at this time, because staring at him can sometimes make your baby excited.

C. You can hang crib mobile, toys and so on above his head to attract his attention. Or hang some black and white colorful patterns around the bed, he stared for a while. Blinking eyes slowly fell asleep.


D.When your baby is just falling asleep, you can sit near her and observe her state. Slight signs of wakefulness can be gently patted a few times, humming music, or make rhythmic sounds, and soon he will be able to fall asleep again.


 6. 4 months to 6 months - Sleep regression and repeated consolidation


During this period, our family went through a move. The in-laws who were helping also went back home. That meant I was alone with the baby in an unfamiliar city.


Luckily Ethan adapted well and didn't have any major problems. But it was just about time for him to turn over. He suffered from a "large motor developmental period + sleep regression", waking up many times during the night, several times a night, for a week before returning to calm.


At 6 months, there was also a week of what is called a jump period, and it was repeated.


Tips for putting to sleep.

A. You can't expect your baby to fall asleep on his own and then not have any more sleep problems.In fact, the baby's first year is a time of rapid growth and development. At certain times, it is normal for your baby to be irritable and have recurring sleep problems. It's important to take it in stride and be ready to readjust your baby's routine from the ground up. Don't think that regular rest and sleep training is useless because of some special periods, but in fact the general trend is getting better.

B. Fix your baby's bedtime at night and the first milk time in the morning.The two meals close to bedtime at night can be fed more appropriately, which can make your baby sleep longer at night.

C. After the addition of complementary foods, complementary foods and milk time are counted as meal time.Still have to comply with the rest time interval. Do not feed snacks in between meals, you can drink water in moderation.


Bedtime signals: dazed eyes and bad mood.

Step 1: Bedtime ritual. Put on the sleeping bag - pacifier - soothing towel - turn on the crib mobile.

Step 2: If baby is irritable, tap on the shoulder. You can also tap both hands simultaneously and rhythmically on the parts: shoulders, legs, buttocks, back.

Step 3: Head shaking and grunting before bedtime are normal. No need to interfere. If the pacifier falls out, promptly plug the pacifier.

Step 4: If your baby scratches her face and eyes with her hands, push and hold her hands.

Step 5: If your baby shows some signs of wakefulness, pick up on time. Plug the pacifier, turn on the bed bell, and pat.


Baby's performance of sufficient sleep: no crying or fussing when waking up, excellent mood.


7、Above 6 months --- Merging sleeping


At this stage, your baby's waking hours are getting longer and daytime naps are facing the problem of concurrent sleep, and daytime activity needs to be increased.


Goal: To complete the merging at 7 months of age. Transition from 3 daytime naps per day to one nap in the morning and one in the afternoon.


Previous Review.

Angel baby raising (1) - Preparation

Angel baby raising (2) - Theory of regular work and rest

Angel baby raising (3) - Regular work and rest training in practice

Angel baby raising (4): Theory of putting to sleep


The end


If you want to join a moms-support group and discuss with more moms like you, please search Alex Zh on Facebook to answer my 3 questions, then I will invite you to join in.



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