I've been put through the Lisa Manzo school of parenting. Lisa, as I'm sure you all know, is a reporter here at News 4. She's the mother of a two-year-old and a teenager, a working mom whose work day begins around 2 am, and a former medical reporter. Needless to say, Lisa knows a lot and I pester her constantly with parenting and medical questions. I was talking to her recently about Jude's sleeping issues. Yes that's right, he'll be 5 months on Wednesday and this kid still does not sleep through the night. Not even close, in fact. Lisa, in typical reporter fashion, started asking me questions about Jude's habits. I explained his eating routine and she said, "Afton, you gotta stop feeding the kid at 3 am." "But he's hungry!" I said. Lisa encouraged me to put Jude on a 3 am bottle "detox" program...that's just what we're calling it. Basically, she told me to break him of the pre-dawn eating habit and she checks on my progress every day, so I have to stick with it. It's like having a personal trainer for parenting. Without her, I would have totally wimped out. And so it began.
Like clockwork, Jude wakes up at 3 am. No matter what time he eats, what time he goes to bed, whether or not he has a bath, at 3 am on the nose, Jude is up...and crying, and so am I. So we started a new technique, this is phase 1 of the "detox." We feed Jude before bed at 8 pm, then we wake him up around midnight and feed him again. That way when he wakes up crying at 3 am, I know he's not hungry, so I don't feel guilty for letting him cry it out.
So far, this routine has been working pretty well. Jude isn't sleeping straight through, but he isn't eating in the early morning hours anymore. We finally broke him of that habit. Now we're on to phase 2. That starts tonight. We're going to try putting cereal in his pre-bedtime bottle in an effort to break Jude of the midnight bottle. Hopefully this cereal trick will keep him full all the way till morning. I'm not putting my hopes on it, but it's worth a try. I'll let you know how it goes.