Let me start off by saying, I don't think that his sleeping 12 hours a night at 8 weeks is a reflection of our parenting, rather I think it's a reflection of what a laid back easy baby he is. With that said, I did follow this book to a "T"... almost and it worked. The only thing I still deviate from is his afternoon nap. He still likes to take a 30-45 minute power nap around 5-6ish... so I quit fighting it and just let him sleep... it made no difference.
The book is called "12 hour sleep by 12 weeks old" by Suzy Giordano with Lisa Abidin. It's my kind of book, big letters and few pages. It only took me an hour and a half to read.
Here we go:
Kason wakes up and plays in his bed for about 30 minutes or so between 5-630am, then falls back to sleep. He's just playing, even if he fusses some, I let him be. I think it's good for babies to learn how to play independently and he can soothe himself on his own quite well (he started doing this well around 6 weeks). He also eats, a lot... He's been taking 4 8oz bottles since around 6-8 weeks. I worked with him to eat more in longer stretches, and it worked out really well. It was really hard for me when he was eating every 3 hours, and the book encourages you to stretch your feedings to every 4 hours... so I did.
6:45 (weekdays)/7:30 (weekends): Pull Kason out of bed, change poopy diaper and eat bottle (8oz)
715-830: play, talk, play, talk... repeat
830-9ish: he starts to get tired so I get him put down for a nap (takes about 5 minutes)
9-1030ish: he naps (usually between 1-1.5 hours)
11: bottle 8oz
1230-1ish: he starts to get tired so I get him put down for a nap (takes about 5 minutes)
1230-2ish: he naps (usually between 1-1.5 hours)
2-3: play, talk, play, talk, maybe swim if it's a weekend
3: bottle 8oz
330-530ish: play, talk, swim... repeat
530-6ish: he starts to get tired so I get him put down for a nap
530-615ish: he naps (usually between 30-45minutes) (takes about 5 minutes)
630: bath (I pour lots of water in his face, and I have since the cord fell off)
7: lay down in crib to go to bed
Anytime I lay him down in his crib, even if he starts fussing, I don't pull him out. I try to help him soothe himself to sleep. I very rarely break this rule. In general, he's not real receptive to anything the first time I do it... but if I'm persistent he grows to love it. So for instance, I remember the first time i bathed him in the tub and poured water on his head (I think we was 2 weeks old)... he hated it. So I did it the next night, and he only kind of hated it... so I did it the next night and he tolerated it... and so forth... now he loves it. Same thing happened the first time I took his head under water in the pool (I know, now you think I'm one of those crazy parents... whatever). He still hates tummy time after doing it for 4 months... but we still do it. :)
I try to keep him on his schedule as best as I can... but that doesn't mean that we are left to be at our house all the time. We still go out to dinner, hang out at other's homes, etc. If we do that, I usually just bathe him before we go wherever, and stick to the feeding schedule. I take the pack and play with me or he can sleep on the floor on a blanket or in his carseat. I have found that when we go to get him to take him home, he wakes up, but he just goes right back to sleep when you put him in his bed. We try to stick to his schedule within a 30 minute window... so everything fluctuates +/- 30 minutes.
I try to be laid back with him and not get frazzled when he cries. Yes, he cries. In fact, he's a little off his normal schedule right now so he fought his morning nap for 20 minutes with me this morning... I just let him cry and get his frustration out... then he went to sleep.
Also, I have found that he often wakes up 30-45 minutes into a nap... I used to go pull him out of bed because I thought he was done... WRONG! He was still clearly tired, now I let him wake up in his crib, play and talk and he usually goes back down 5-10 minutes later for another 30-45 minutes. If he's still awake after about 10 minutes, I'll go in there and get him... because that usually means he's not tired anymore.
How do we manage both working and running Kason around where he needs to go... well, we tag team- and then ask his oma/opa and aunt/uncle for breaks when we want some alone time (they usually offer, and rarely do we even have to ask).
I usually pull Kason out of bed in the morning before I go to work so I can see him, then John takes over. John does the entire morning routine and then gets him off to daycare (he changes him, feeds him, plays with him and then takes him to Mary's). I leave work earlier, so I pick Kason up from Mary's and do the evening routine (eat, play, nap, bathe, eat, sleep). It works well for us, because we each get very focused dedicated time with him. John is a great dad and does really well with him. They really enjoy each other. We're lucky because we have family close (and when I say close, I mean CLOSE!). Most people thought I was crazy when I told them that John's parent's were moving across the street... but we love it and it works out great.
I think every kid needs a schedule and does better on a schedule... THIS IS JUST MY OPINION. However, I think every child is different and you have to do what is best for your family. For John and I, it works really well for us to know when he is going to eat, play, nap and sleep. We get a lot more done around the house because of this. So for us... it works.
Again, Kason is an easy baby, and his easiness is no reflection of our parenting skills... We try to be good parents, but that certainly doesn't mean that we are good at it. Let's be honest... we don't know what in the heck we are doing... we just do. I thank God for our sweet natured baby and we really enjoy getting to watch him grow.
Kason's into mush now... he LOVES his oatmeal... and we are trying to give peas a chance.