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Sleep Training, Pasta, Jumping, Oh My!

July 24, 2012

Lots to cover in this post, obviously.  🙂

Sleep training first, I suppose? 

We’re sleep training.

There.  That covers it.

I kid, I kid.  Lila has always been a good sleeper—she slept through the night here or there starting around 5 weeks. But, she’s not very consistent in her sleep—she’d have two or three nights of sleeping through the night (usually from about 11 pm to 6 am), and then the next night she’d have a 3:30 wakeup call. 

One of the advantages of not breastfeeding (and yes, there are some) is that you can work on helping baby to take longer stretches of sleep much sooner—you don’t have to wake up to pump or feed, and formula has more staying power in their bellies. 

Up until this week, we’d been simply following Lila’s cues for when and how she wanted to sleep.  She’s been sleeping in her crib for about the past month, but other than that, we’ve been pretty loose about her sleep routine.  Some nights, she’d fall asleep in our arms at 8:30 and stay there until we put her in her crib at 10.  Some nights, she’d be up until 11, awake and playing.   Some nights she’d want to rock to sleep; others, no rocking was necessary.

The loosey-goosey nature of her sleep schedule kind of hit its high point on our recent vacation—she was off schedule anyway, so her sleep kind of went out the window in Nantucket.  By the end of the trip, she was staying up until 11 pm, and waking up two or three times during the night—something she rarely did even as an infant.

Time to sleep train. 

We gave ourselves a few nights to settle back in, and then, on Saturday night, we had our first bout of sleep training. 

Since her bedtime has been so flexible and relatively late, and because it’s summer and it stays lighter later, we’re putting her to bed at 8 right now.  This will probably be gradually moved back to a 7:30 or 7:00 bedtime by the fall. 

At 7:45, we changed her diaper, rubbed lotion on her (baby massage!), and put her in her pj’s.  We put her in her crib with her favorite pacifier, turned on the sleep sheep, and turned off the light. 

Then we braced ourselves.

Many, many people view sleep-training as “cruel.”  We’d agreed to do a mix  of the cry-it-out and no-cry methods—we’re letting Lila cry it out, but for a very short period of time.  The advice I read suggested letting them cry for 3 minutes before comforting them, replacing the paci, and leaving the room again.  Then, if they begin to cry again, you wait five minutes before comforting them.  Finally, if they’re still crying you wait ten minutes—and this is the max. 

We never got to ten minutes.

The first night, Lila cried for a few minutes, I went in the room and replaced the paci and comforted her, and she passed right out.  The second night was a little tougher—we went through maybe three periods of crying before she settled down.  And last night, we put her in her crib at eight, and although it took her until 8:30 to fall asleep, she never cried— she simply rolled around and played in her crib before putting herself to sleep around 8:30.

Again, I know some people are wary of sleep training…but man, does it seem to be working for us!!! It’s also really, really nice to have a set bedtime for Lila—and I think she likes it too.  Babies generally do pretty well with routines, and I can already tell that she’s taking to this one.

SO.  That’s that—I’ll let you know how it goes for the rest of the week, since we’re only three nights in!

In other news…we’ve been eating lots of pasta:

DSC_0283 DSC_0287 DSC_0291

Is that weird?  I feel like pasta isn’t really a summertime food, but we’ve been making super-easy sauces that sometimes don’t even require cooking, and our dinners have been ready in the amount of time it takes to boil water. 

The above pasta was cappellini with zucchini, garlic, and tuna.  Feel weird about using canned tuna in a “real” recipe?  Use tuna packed with olive oil, and you’ll never look back. 

The pasta was had last night:


…looks creamy, right?  For this super-creamy sauce, I actually just blended a can of cannellini beans in the food processor with some garlic salt and about a cup of pasta water (post-boil)—so easy!!  We added some fresh tomatoes, and dinner was served.


I think this would also be good as a pasta bake, topped with some breadcrumbs and parmesan.  Yum.

And in OTHER other news…Lila is crazy.  This child is full of energy—and I don’t know who she gets it from.  Ryan and I are both pretty lazy. 

But if she’s not kicking her legs, she’s trying to roll over, and if she’s not trying to roll over, she’s trying to sit up—her entire morning consists of doing pilates, essentially. 

In fact, she’s gotten so active lately that we pulled out the Jumperoo.  She’s a little young and small for it, but she likes to sit up and LOVES to stand—she’s quickly getting to the point where she refuses to even lay on her back.  So, we decided to see how it would go with the Jumperoo:


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It’s a hit.  She won’t even sit still long enough for me to get a good picture. 

Something tells me she’s going to be a handful when she can actually crawl.  God help us when she starts to walk.

Luckily, early mornings are still snuggle-time:


…which is why they’re my favorite time.  🙂

Have a great Tuesday!

15 Comments leave one →
  1. July 24, 2012 2:04 pm

    so glad the sleep training is going/went well! I love how honest you are about everything, it really is so refreshing.

  2. July 24, 2012 2:43 pm

    We started sleep training at six months, since I was losing my effing mind :). She still wakes up once anywhere from four to five and is up for the day at six. However, she goes to sleep at 7 so I will take it- it is a marked improvement from where we were at before. I just need to go to bed earlier. That never happens though! Love the pics of her in the jumper 🙂

    • July 24, 2012 2:50 pm

      Yeah, we’re still working on the mornings– she wakes up anywhere from 5:45 to 7:00. We’re still doing a twilight feeding at 10– otherwise, I’d try to go to sleep at like 8:30, ha!

  3. July 24, 2012 3:30 pm

    Personally, I think pasta is an any-time-of-year comfort food! I love blending up beans as your sauce — I’m thinking you could add some nutritional yeast to that to give it a little ‘cheezy’ taste too.

    Good luck on the sleep training!

  4. July 24, 2012 3:37 pm

    Glad the sleep training is going so well. I think you are right – babies and children usually do so well with a routine, and they are so much happier when they are rested. As far as the jumping, I know who she gets that energy from – you!! You were a big jumper when you were very young. We would put you in your Johnny Jump Up and you would be as happy as a clam. Glad she likes it, too!

  5. July 24, 2012 3:45 pm

    ugh we’re working on sleep training too, and it’s hard! Wes isn’t taking to sleeping through the night yet even though he used to when he was MUCH younger, but he’s never taken a paci. his bedtime is around 7:30/8 or so as well, which seems to be working OK – and it’s nice because Nate gets to hang out with him after work before he goes to bed!

    we’re getting an exersaucer this week, and i think Wes is going to go berserk over it. i can’t wait!

    i can’t wait to find out how Lila’s doing with sleeping!!!

    • July 24, 2012 3:58 pm

      The paci is kind of a mixed blessing– Lila FREAKS out when she can’t get hers back in her mouth!!

  6. July 24, 2012 5:13 pm

    First, the pasta looks delicious! I just made pasta for the guys for lunch! It can be light, I think, if you make it that way. Love the idea of blended beans for the sauce! YUM!

    Second, we had to do some sleep training with Jay. UGH, that was painful, but we all survived mostly unharmed. He doesn’t remember, but I know I always will. I’m glad it’s working for you guys!

  7. July 24, 2012 11:11 pm

    I love using cannellini beans as a sauce. It’s so stinking easy, gives you protein, and oh it’s so stinking easy 😉

  8. July 25, 2012 12:47 pm

    Glad to hear it is going well! I work with new moms who are always looking for info on this so I’d love to know what books you read to help you? Thanks!

    • July 25, 2012 1:22 pm

      Hi Laura– we read a LOT of books on sleep training, both before Lila got here and after, ha. On our bookshelves, we have: The Baby Whisperer, The No-Cry Sleep Solution, Babywise, and Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. I would say that the last one is helping the most in terms of what we’re doing right now. I guess we’re really doing a lightened-up version of the Ferber method? We don’t actually have any of his books, but based on what I’ve read on websites, we’re doing that!

  9. July 25, 2012 12:50 pm

    I am totally on board with sleep training and I am glad it is working so well for you guys!! As for pasta I love Angel Hair…it is the best!!!

  10. July 25, 2012 8:28 pm

    Your daughter is adorable. We did the same sleep training method with both of our kids. I could never just let them cry for hours. They don’t know whats going on and to abruptly change their way of life isn’t fair at all. We did the same thing with the small amounts of crying, about 10 mins at a time, and it was actually pretty easy. I have a 4 year old and a 2 year old and we still have sleep issues sometimes. I think it will always be tricky 😦

  11. July 26, 2012 1:10 am

    I’ve been eating pasta like crazy this summer too! Light sauces are the key I’m convinced 🙂

  12. July 26, 2012 1:06 pm

    She is adorable! 🙂 Glad things are going well and the pasta dishes sound amazing. I could see it as a summer dish, especially with a lot of bright colored veggies.

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