Saturday, April 21, 2007

More Baby Stuff

Today is Saturday. Tomorrow the little bean is 8 weeks old. It's funny, because SO many people have said just wait until 2 months and it gets so much easier. True. And false. She has steadily gotten easier (less fussy during the day, some predictability). But in other ways she's still tough, like trying to get her down for most naps and for bed time. . . tough. Most people seem to think the big thing with a baby is getting them to sleep through the night. We usually put this one down at night, then when she wakes up (be it 11pm or 3am) I bring her in bed and feed her off and on for the rest of the night while we all sleep. This has actually worked out well and we all seem to get pretty good sleep. I know I'll have to break her of this eventually, but it works for now. So I'm not really too worried about the nights right now, it's the days. And more so the afternoons and evenings. She's pretty good about taking a morning nap, but after that, who knows? When will she go down for another nap? For how long? Will she ever sleep again?

So yes, she has improved in temperament. She can actually be awake for periods of time (while not eating) and actually not fuss or cry. This is a big improvement. Our morning schedule is pretty routine. Wake up--this is usually some of her happiest time. She'll just hang out while we shower/get ready for the day. Then I feed her and promptly put her down for a nap. (I'm trying to start rocking her while playing a lullaby for a few minutes so she knows its nap time). This is the easiest nap she goes down for. And she usually sleeps for at least 2 hours--however I usually have to rock her back to sleep at some point during this nap.

Then the afternoon hits and there's little to no predictability. The mornings are pretty set, but now it seems to be about getting her down for naps easier in the afternoon (without having to calm her down and rock her for an hour) and getting a more fixed schedule in general. Any advice? Did any of you have a fussy baby who eventually would go to sleep when simply laid down in his/her crib? Also, since she co-sleeps with us right now it seems like we sorta wake up whenever. . . but I have tried limiting this to no later than 8:30. However, it seems like the earlier we get up, the longer naps she takes during the day--has anyone else found this to be true?

9 comments:

  1. Yes to your question. The earlier I'd wake up, the longer the morning and afternoon naps were. I was ok with that though.

    Just food for thought: I used to set Ava's night patterns the same way you are (and I'm not telling you NOT to do that), but it turned into a nightmare for me. To this day, she still is a horrible night sleeper. She wakes up off and on throughout the night, and she's got to have something to drink a lot. It took me over 9 months to get her to mostly sleep through the night in her own bed. It was rough.

    Everyone's different though so I'm not giving you solutions, just my own experiences :)

    Good luck!

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  2. That's cause Tiff refused to do cry it out before 9 months.

    I'm just saying!

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  3. Tiff--so you had her co-sleeping as well? Yikes. She usually (or sometimes, I guess) goes down before we actually have her in bed with us. So I'm hoping she'll eventually just sleep loner and longer when we first put her down and there really won't be a need for getting her in our bed at all. Of course if this doesn't start happening by 3-4 months, we'll have to start going cold turkey or something. Azucar--do you co-sleep?

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  4. Our little one is completely in charge of when we get up in this house. And it does NOT seem that she sleeps longer in the day when she gets up earlier. It seems when she gets up earlier it's because she's not as tired. At almost 6 months, the mornings are still the happiest times. I heard that when a baby has a hard time napping, just try to lay them down every two hours whether they go to sleep or not, just to start a routine. We like to read The Going To Bed Book by Sandra Boynton before nighttime or sometimes naptime. She has a pink bunny she sleeps with. It sounds like you are doing well with kind of establishing a routine, just something that the baby will associate with sleeping. At six months, ours sleeps at night for 11 to 12 hours, waking up once or twice. During the day she naps 3 to 4 times for about 3 to 4 hours total. If I mess with the afternoon naps, we are in grouchy land for the evening. But even this is getting better. But each baby is so different (that's the fun of it!). This also made me feel good when mine didn't do the same as others at first. I don't have the heart to let her cry herself to sleep. If she's not tired enough, or refuses to nap, I don't make her. I just try to read her signs. And the signs of a baby change through time, as well as how they like to be rocked or put to sleep. On an amazing day, she will just start rubbing her eyes and want to cuddle with her pink bunny, no rocking or anything. I don't have the same schedule everyday and so it helps me that she is somewhat flexible. As for nights, we started Josie in the bassinet in our room, but at 6 weeks: outta there. We put her in the crib in her own room, and she's comfortable there. I don't want a 4 year old in my bed, but I don't know that co-sleeping actually promotes this. I've just heard stories. Your little one is definitely a sweetie.

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  5. My son is 10 months and we co-slept until 6 months. At this point, he was waking up 2 or 3 times a night and I wasn't sleeping very well at all. At his 6 month check-up, our pediatrician said that a 6 month old should definitely be sleeping through the night on his own--in fact he should have been doing this at 4 months. He recommended a book, "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" by Marc Weissbluth.

    In essence, it is the cry it out method. That weekend, after his 6 month check-up we did it. It was heartbreaking. He cried for 4.5 hours that first night and then finally fell asleep. The doctor said it would take at most 3 days of a lot of crying before he would fall asleep on his own. It took us about a week and a half. He never cried for that long after that first night, but it was still hours of crying and it was heartbreaking. You can't go in while they are awake or it just rewards their crying.

    Now, at 10 months, he falls asleep on his own in his crib within minutes (we put him down at 6:30 pm and he will wake up once during the night for a diaper change and will sleep until 7 or 8 the next morning) We do give him a bottle to fall asleep with in the middle of the night (a girl's gotta get her rest). We are trying to ween him off of that last bottle. But it is so much better than it was.

    Oh, and with naps, Dr. Weissbluth goes through this whole philosophy that sleep begets more sleep. And if you wait until the baby shows signs of being sleepy, you have lost that window of time to put him down for a nap. But read his book for more info.

    Our little one will wake up in the morning, then 2 hours later will go down for his first nap. He'll sleep between 1 and 2 hours. After waking up from his first nap, he'll go down again 2 hours later for about an hour.

    This has been very long-winded, I apologize. But I always feel so bad for the parents and the babies who are sleep deprived. I love me my sleep!

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  6. My sister, sisters-in-law and cousins all swear by the "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" book. Their kids aren't perfect but they do have pretty amazing sleep habits. Seems to work for them.

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  7. I'm a huge Ferber fan (How To Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems.) It has great info for starting good habits, a guide on cry it out, tons of other highlighted sleep issues throughout childhood and teenage-dom.

    I sleep with the baby for the first week--although I can't nurse lying down until he's older.

    After that, they sleep in a bassinet or bouncy chair next to the bed. I put him in his crib during the day. If the crib weren't in the same room as Guille, I would be putting him in there at night at this point (3 weeks.)

    I second picking an object to associate with sleep. I picked a blanket that I always used with Guille and it really helped him transition to sleep when he was a little older. At 16 months he gave up his blanket in favor of a really ugly stuffed dog that I did NOT pick. That was our "crutch" and it totally worked. Great for traveling and strange beds as well.
    (Although if you travel you'd better put it in your carry-on because you do NOT want them to lose your 'lovie' somewhere on the way to Pittsburgh. Argh that was an awful night.)

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  8. p.s. I don't have any problems with co-sleep, it's just that I couldn't sleep with him in the bed with me. In fact, I slept better with him in the next room.

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  9. Azucar--Another question. . . so I'm really thinking about Ferberizing our kid. When did you start? (what age). Did you do this just for night time, or was it the same for naps as well?

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