Sleep at 17 months

16 Feb

The last time I did a sleep update was back in September when N was just over a year old. We had just moved into a house and finally N had his own room. He seemed ready to sleep on his own and I couldn’t keep the milk buffet open all night–I needed sleep and more than that, I was experiencing painful nursing (and bloody milk!) from side-lying nursing + teeth. So we did a very mild version of sleep training and N began to sleep alone.

It was a great transition and it dropped nighttime feeds down to once a night, if that. We have been in a cycle since then of a couple nights of sleeping all night, then a nighttime waking, then more sleeping thru. However, for the past couple weeks, N has been sleeping all night every night. Now that we’re in a new phase, I figured it was time for a full update.

1) Bedtime routine: I am proud that we have created a nice bedtime routine that seems to work for N every night. There are even nights now where he starts to gesture to begin the routine if I don’t notice how late it’s gotten. Generally, bedtime is somewhere between 9 and 10 pm, depending on when he woke up, what his nap was like, etc. We begin by brushing his teeth with a little finger brush. N doesn’t love it, but I can usually get him to open wide with a bit of the kids’ toothpaste, my tooth-brushing song, and some giggles. Then, we shut his bedroom door and N turns off the light himself. We go to the glider and read books together. The last few weeks I give him a choice between 2 books, read it, and then he chooses another. We do that for 3-4 books. Then, I roll him up in a blanket (a big-kid version of a swaddle) and lay him in the crib turn on the sleep sheep and his glow seahorse and tell him how much I love him. He then plays a bit by himself, talks to himself, and usually within a few minutes he’s asleep.

Then, he sleeps until 10 or 11 am. Yay!

2) Nursing: Now that babe is sleeping all night, we’ve been down to 1 feed/day. I feed him when he wakes up in the morning and it is really nice cuddle time. He’s sleepy and warm and cuddly and I just love pulling him to me in the glider and letting him snuggle, drink milk, and slowly wake up (which usually means the nursing gymnastics begin–a foot in the face, a punch in the chin…). Since I sometimes wake up and leave before he gets up, I’ve started to add an after-nap feeding back in whenever I’m home. Again, when he wakes up he’s sleepy and a little cranky. Feeding him after a nap gives us snuggle time and also helps him wake up. The snack also buys us some time to get his dinner ready. I almost think he could wean entirely off breastmilk without a care, but I’m definitely clinging to it. I like my one-on-one cuddle time, I like that I can still physically care for my boy, and I like that he’s getting all the health benefits. I fear the day when he gets really sick, hurt, or upset–and I hope that we’ll still be breastfeeding so I can physically put him at ease.

We are so happy that N has such a nice routine. It makes our lives very predictable and N seems to be thriving on his current schedule. He eats well (avoids fruits and vegetables, but I hear that’s a toddler thing!), sleeps well, and he’s so happy! We’re so lucky to have him in our lives ❤

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