Dumplin: 5 Months Old and Sleep Training Day 1

Time flies! I can’t believe our sweet boy is already 5 months old. We’ve really seen a lot of new skills this past month, which I guess explains the “stormy” 4 month leap as per the Wonderweeks. This past month has been really challenging though- with him being fussier than normal, and his diaper patterns changing as well. He went from a pretty predictable every-other-day to now 3-4 times a day pooping schedule. We were using cloth diapers part time, and have taken a break from it due to the unpredictability of poopsplosions, but will start putting them back into rotation again. I love using the Applecheeks brand with my homemade bamboo fleece inserts. We will definitely be cloth diapering more frequently once the weather is warmer because we only have one pair of pants that will fit over Dumplin’s fluffy bum! 

We noticed significantly less spitting up about 2 weeks ago, and so I started reintroducing dairy again this week. So far, we’ve seen no reaction- no spitting up, no change in diapers!! I won’t be gorging on gluten-free cheese pizza anytime soon (or will I? Hmmm….) but we might be growing out of this acid reflux!! Woohoo!

Teething is still a byatch, and the little bugger has been biting me a lot when he’s at the end of a nursing session. 

He still won’t take a bottle, but we’ve had some success with introducing the sippy cup. He doesn’t know how to suck it though. He just bites at it and waits for the breastmilk to ooze out, which happens extraordinarily slow, so he gets frustrated. The little bugger also started reverse-cycling over a month ago. He only nurses maybe 3 or 4 times a day (because he’s distracted)- and not long ones either- and then sip sip sips his remaining calories all night when bedsharing with us. I didn’t realize this was a thing until recently. I guess that’s why he was even more clingy with nursing at night than previous months.

  
Things Dumplin’ can do now:

– sit unassisted, though not all the time

  
– sits in his high chair

  
– holds objects more steadily now

– grabs objects from you if you pass it to him

– can roll onto his sides, and has rolled from tummy to back ONCE

– has found his thumb, and enjoys sucking on it!

– has started forming an attachment to his lovey, who we’ve named “Forrest”

  
– enjoys his playmat and bouncy chair again, enjoys the exersaucer, but LOVES the Jolly Jumper

  
– has the best giggles, and crescent moon eyes when he smiles and laughs

At 4 months, Dumplin’ was fitting into 9-12 month clothes, but we had these footed Carter’s PJ’s that just seemed to have ridiculously long and skinny legs. He’d fit them in the torso, but his feet would only reach the ankles of the legs so it looked like the jammies had broken ankles. Well, it seems that our boy has had a major growth spurt over the past month, because now he fits the jammies perfectly. I’m kinda sad because he’s less chunky now. His muffin top and pot belly are gone and have been replaced with abs (no joke- the kid is starting to show off some really good muscles), his leg are long and his thigh rolls are less voluptuous, and believe it or not, he actually has a neck now! His cheeks are slowly disappearing too… So sad. Baby boy is growing up.

Here are his stats for 5 months old:

Weight: 20.0 lbs (up 14 oz from last month) 

Height: 72.5 cm or 28.5″ (up 6 cm from last month) 

  
Sleep Training 

So we had planned on starting a week ago, but I got sick, and was worried that he was sick, but he miraculously didn’t get what I still have. Yeah, it’s been almost a week now and my throat is still itchy and sore, I have a nasty postnasal drip, runny nose, and now a productive cough. I feel like shit and have had to skip the gym a couple of days this week. Sleeping sucks because I’m gagging from the coughing. I haven’t been sick in so long and had forgotten how much it sucks! 

Anyways, the week went by and it seemed like Dumplin’ was fine, so last night we started sleep training him for bedtime. Daylight savings time kicked our ass, so it wasn’t until about 8pm that we started his usual bedtime routine: bath, coconut oil massage, pj’s, and then a nursing. We wanted him to be tired, so we let him Jolly Jump before we started his bedtime routine.

Then we turned on some white noise, wound up his mobile, turned on his aquarium, and placed him in his crib with Forrest.

Then we waited in the living room, watching him through the baby monitor linked into both of our devices. 

We both timed his cries, and DW went in to do the sleep waves following a gradual check-in process of increasing wait times.

Here are our the notes that I took from last night: 

Sleep Training Day 1:

9pm start

Sleep waves in minutes: 5, 7, 12, 12, 12, 12, starting to slow down… 6… Quiet

Feedings: 11:45pm, 3:45am, 6:45am

Wake-up: 8:44am

Total minutes of crying: 1 hour 6 minutes

Total time until sleep: 1 hour 20 minutes

Of course we (DW and I) didn’t sleep last night. I have been so used to my 8pm bedtime with him, and we were both glued to the baby monitor that we couldn’t settle easily. We watched Scandal and the Mindy Project so that we weren’t focused on his crying, and sat in the living room together to talk it all out. 

Reciprocal Love and Hound Mamas were awesome supports during the evening, and texted with me to keep me motivated. At 11pm, we got ready for bed, because it had been quiet in his room for a while. Then I snuck into the nursery and dreamed him. I hated waking him up, but we decided that it was better to wake him up than respond to his cries because we’re trying to get him to self-soothe more and break the dependence on the cry-we-come-fix-it association he currently has. So I woke him to feed every 3ish hours to make sure he wasn’t hungry, I changed his diaper, and then put him down awake. I tip toed out of his room, so nervous that I’d start hearing screaming soon, but I didn’t. He didn’t cry at all. I was shocked.  

In bed, I missed my little snuggly boy. I missed his warm little body pressed up against mine, his smell, hearing him breathe. It was weird having space back in our bed. I hugged a pillow tight and curled up around it like I would my baby boy. I also only half-slept, because I wanted to be aware enough to hear him if he cried, which he only did once in the night- at 6:45am, which was probably due to hunger because he quieted down and went right back to sleep after I nursed him. At 8:44am, we heard whimpers, so it was time to start the day. 

Overall, it was a lot less painful than we had both expected. I am so grateful for the support from Reciprocal Love and Hound Mamas, and the Happy Sleeper for explaining how important it was for Dumplin’ to learn to self-soothe. 

Day 1 down. I hope day 2 is even better, though I’ve read that sometimes it’s worse because of the extinction burst effect. Fingers crossed that day 2 goes well….

Stay tuned!