Crib Games. Every night. When Theo was a newborn, I would simply lay him down every night at bedtime and he would magically fall asleep. But as soon as he began to be able to sit up and then stand in his crib, that all changed. Our bedtime routine looks a lot different nowadays. Crib games is usually a two round ordeal at bed time every night.
Round one begins at about 9 pm for us each night. We put him in his crib knowing that there will be a round two. After milk, diaper change, and getting him into his sleep sack, I put him in his crib and then walk away. He immediately stands up and jumps around and cries for us. We usually let this round last a few minutes. We then go and get him, pick him up, top him off with milk, and then put him down again. This is usually it, and we can bank on him sleeping for the next few hours.
Did you hear that? A few hours. Our nine month old was getting up a guaranteed two times per night. Once at 1 am, and again at 4 am (and for months I have been feeding him at these wake-ups!). My husband was out of town two weeks ago, and I decided it was time to put an end to the 1 am wake-ups. This took a few days for him to get used to, but I simply did not go to get him as he called out for milks from his crib. It would take him about 10-15 minutes to go back to sleep, but it worked! A few weeks later and we are now only waking up at 4 am. Which isn't bad.
I hear about babies who sleep for 10 hours straight. Yeah, Theo did this a few times too, and it was exciting to think it would be a long-term habit. But it sure WAS NOT! I know the time will come when he sleeps a little better. Until then, two rounds of crib games and one wake-up it is!