After several nights of spending an hour and half or two hours in the nursery with an overtired baby who would not go to sleep (two nights ago, I tried setting her in her crib. She cried for more than 10 minutes, so I went back in. An hour later, I tried again and it took a full 20 minutes of wailing before she settled and went to sleep. I know that was best for her as she truly was just overtired, but it was so hard to hear such pitiable sobbing and not go in.), I decided it was time to try something new. In the past (my wondrous 7 months of experience), we generally fed her and she got a bath around 7:30 or 8. If it was on the earlier side (7 or 7:30), she’d sometimes catnap for half an hour or 40 minutes (just enough for us to eat dinner!) and then wake up for another hour or so before going to bed around 9. I had tried putting her down for the night at the catnap, but she really wasn’t ready then and would wake up (fully awake and let’s party). The evening nap seemed to work well for her – it kept her from getting too overtired, but she was still ready for bed.
It occurred to me now, though, that maybe the evening nap was really when she should be going to bed. The last few nights she has been OUT during that nap. She wakes up looking a bit tired and sort of confused and grumpy (I hadn’t noticed immediately as that is much the way that I normally wake up). But then she’s up – yawning and rubbing her eyes and overtired, but unable to go back to sleep.
So last night I decided to just put her down to bed when she got sleepy after her bath (7:30 or so). I figured if she woke up in 45 minutes or an hour, I’d treat it like a night feeding – just got in and nurse her with the lights off and try to put her back down. If she was really fully awake, I’d deal with that (and have another night of the 2 hour bedtime routine), but hopefully that wouldn’t be the case. And, crazy thing – it wasn’t! She actually didn’t wake up for another feeding and slept from 7:30 pm to 7:30 am! I guess the downside (if this is now her bedtime) is no more sleeping in on the weekend for us (we’ve been spoiled with a baby who will sometimes sleep till 9 or even later!), but it does seem a much better schedule for a 7 month old.
I reminded my husband that one night does not a pattern make, but here’s hoping!