- Her own crib. Yes, I moved her into her own room, into her own crib and do not turn on the baby monitor at night. She is right across the hall and we can hear her cries quite well from our bedroom. I think we all started to sleep better after the move.
- Weight/Age - She is almost five months old and weighs a nice, hefty 17 lbs.
- No more feeding in our bed - When Elisabeth was a newborn, learning how to feed her in our bed while I was laying down saved me from complete exhaustion. However, I more and more frequently fell asleep while feeding her and would wake up two hours later with a baby still in my bed, enjoying the all-you-can eat buffet. I could tell Elisabeth enjoyed this arrangement, thus making her night-wakings quite rewarding for her.
- Elimination of late-night snacks - I figured her need to nurse in the middle of the night had more to do with comfort than with hunger. (Let's face it - Chunka Munka isn't going to waste away from hunger anytime soon.) So, we used Richard Ferber's suggestion on how to wean out night-time feedings. If she woke up four hours after we first put her down, I would make her wait 4 1/2 hours before I would feed her. The next night, she woke up 5 hours after I put her down and I made her wait 5 1/2 hours. It only took me two nights of making her wait an extra 1/2 hour between feedings to eliminate her need to night feed all together.
- Setting of a Schedule - Elisabeth seems to thrive on a schedule, routines and transitions. We tried to let her "cry it out" a few times but I found, through much prayer and anguish, that this was hurting her more than helping. Elisabeth would cry for three hours straight if we let her and refused to fall asleep. As long as we stick to our routines, we have a baby that falls asleep quite quickly and sometimes completely on her own.
We still have some work to do when it comes to taking longer naps but I am not complaining. So, thank you Elizabeth Pantley, Richard Ferber, Marc Weissbluth , Tizzie Hall, and Sonya Moore (a.k.a. my local baby whisperer). This well-rested mother and father (at least for now) salutes all of you for your sleep advice.