Sunday night hubby and I went to Barne's & Noble and bought this book Good Night, Sleep Tight The Sleep Lady's Gentle Guide To Helping Your Child Go To Sleep, Stay Asleep, And Wake Up Happy by Kim West. We have had so much trouble trying to get Samantha to sleep through the night. At her tender age of 11 months, she has only slept through the night a handful of times. And has never slept more than 9 hours in one stretch (besides the first 2 months). A pea from peadom inquired about something similar got me to thinking about what we could accomplish with a book to go by. Let me tell you, A LOT! I am so amazed with the results of this authors strategies. We never had this problem with Katelyn, she was sleeping through the night at 3 1/2 weeks old. She was always a great sleeper, an early riser... but a great sleeper. I learned that babies from 9 -12 months of age do not need to be fed in the middle of the night. They can actually go 11 hours without food, as long as they are eating well during the day.
Sunday night, I decided to take away that nighttime bottle. When she woke up, I went in there and sat next to her crib, shushed her, rubbed her little leg, arm, back and talked to her. I was in there over 2 hours. She didn't cry the whole time, but wanted me to pick her up and play with her, to feed her. But the thinking is, she needs to be taught how to soothe herself to sleep. It's not as bad as it sounds. Just typing it out almost makes me feel like a meanie, but I understand the philosophy behind it now. There are several stages of sleep, and one of these we actually can wake up to get a drink of water, arrange the blanket, etc and not ever realize it. Most times we do the above and go back to sleep without ever remembering we were awake. If your baby doesn't know how to self soothe, then she will just wake up and expect you to put her back to sleep... either with a bottle, rocking her, etc. Night two wasn't much easier, but she did stay lying down in her bed sucking her thumb, and only cried/whimpered a little bit. Last night, she slept all the way through. I hope by my bragging on her and this book it wasn't a fluke. But, I will keep this up, as I really think this approach is one that will work.