Last night was interesting – shortly after going to bed, the little guy woke up screaming like he was being murdered. This came after some weird sleep noises, so we concluded he was having a nightmare. This has happened a few times in the last month after days with a lot of stimulation – he will not be comforted, does not want food, and simply screams for about 30 minutes before he can be calmed. But aside from that nasty bump in the road, we think the night was a success! After falling asleep, he slept for a solid 5 hours after that without any stirring, which for us is awesome.
To help prolong his sleeping, we do what they call “dreamfeed” a lot with our little guy. It sounded weird and crazy when I first read about it 4 months ago, but basically he stays sleeping, and we pick him up and feed him – I think it works either for breastfeeding or a bottle, but we do it only while breastfeeding. We started with dreamfeeding when he was very newborn, because he was so resistant to sleep in general. I am really glad we did it – he is now accustomed to eating while he is sleeping for those times when we need him to sleep a little longer, but otherwise he would wake up from being hungry. We do dreamfeeding every night maybe 1 or 2 times a night, and it helps the process be more streamlined for everyone (instead of pick up crying baby –> calm baby –> feed baby, it’s pickup sleeping baby->feed sleeping baby)
So, this morning, when my wife was getting up, she did a quick dreamfeed and put him back to bed – and then right before she left, she did another feed. At that point, 8:30 in the morning, he just kept on sleeping. So, I had a choice to make: let him sleep or get him up. After all, we have to get past jetlag, right? It turns out with babies this young basically cannot have too much sleep – and sleeping during the day will not impact their night sleep like it does for an adult (actually we have found with our son if he does not sleep much during the day he does not sleep well at night). So him having too much sleep was not the concern – it was more about the daily routines (day = X, night = y) that I wanted him to get into here ASAP. I wanted to get him the activity he needed, and get him into a daytime routine, so I went about unpacking and let him sleep until 10:00 (normally he gets up at 6:30 or 7:00, so this is a later start than normal, but his bed time was about 4 hours later than normal). To wake him I did those softer things to slowly wake him up naturally (removed his blanket, made more noise, etc.).
The rest of the day has so far been an awake and alert day with naps often, just like normal. I think the key thing for us to get him transitioned into Day and Night is to not let his day naps be too long – keep them shorter like they usually are, and make sure he is getting fed enough so that when we go to bed, he is not super hungry all night. Tonight I hope to get him to bed 1 hour earlier than last night (so 11:00 for us), and then start by 9.00 tomorrow. Then 10 the next day with an 8:00 start in the morning, and then maybe 9:00 and a 7:00 start and hold it there. Of course he might have other ideas 😉