Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sleep Training Success!

We finally decided to bite the bullet and try to let Miss Holly cry herself to sleep to see if that improved the constant waking situation. It was very hard to stand at the doorway and listen to her wailing, but OMFG you guys it totally worked. It was obvious that every time she was waking up in the middle of the night she was miserable because she wanted to still be asleep but didn't know how to go back down on her own. We've been doing a closely monitored cry-it-out for about 4 nights now and it's like night and day from where we started. The first couple of nights were tough but she has finally figured out how to suck on her fingers to soothe herself back to sleep on her own. We can actually hear her on the monitor wake up, shift around, suck her fingers and go back to sleep. If she does wake up and start crying (and she's not due for a feeding) she will settle herself down in 10-15 minutes. The last couple of nights she's only had to do this one time. It's still hard to listen to her crying but knowing that in 10 minutes she will fall asleep and stay asleep is wonderful. I think I agree with the opinion of the pediatrician-author of Baby 411 who said that months/years of sleep deprivation is more harmful to your baby than a week of sleep training. If nothing else it worked for us and for that I'm grateful.

Here's our progress:
Before: slept 8.5hr, woke 6 times
Day 1: slept 9.5hr, woke 4 times
Day 2: slept 10hr, woke 5 times
Day 3: slept 12hr, woke 3 times
Day 4: slept 12hr, woke 3 times*

*might I add during one of the most intense windstorms I have ever witnessed. It was howling and shaking our room so severely that Steve and I had to sleep in the guest room. All I can guess is maybe she thought she was on a car ride??

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Sleep little darling, do not cry, and I will sing a lullaby


Sleep has become an issue as of late. Our little girl used to sleep almost all the way through the night with one waking to feed, and we smugly bragged about our wonderfully easy baby. Some time around month 3 she started waking up every three hours. Within a week it was every 2 hours. Then it became every hour, and last night we were going to soothe her back to sleep every 30-45 minutes. To be fair, though, last night was the first night Holly slept in her own room instead of in the bassinet next to our bed so we were expecting a rough night (we weren't disappointed).

I've learned so much about infant sleep patterns and needs since this all began. The issues isn't so much that she's waking up than it is teaching her how to go back to sleep on her own without needing mom or dad there to soothe her. I know there are a lot of "sleep solutions" out there and we're just starting to try some options. I'm not a militant opponent of crying-it-out although I'd like to see if we can accomplish our goal with some gentler methods first. First off I really want to get her on a schedule in preparation for me going back to work. Although that sounds fantastic on paper, it's a different story at 6:00 AM after a particularly rough night and all I care about is making sure she can catch up on a bit more sleep. I have tried getting her up anyway and all that leads to is a cycle of cranky, overtired baby who can't nap, then cranky overtired baby who can't stay asleep later and has a rough night, then the decision again the next morning: do I get her up at 6:00AM or just let her catch up on some sleep? Repeat as necessary.

Naps aren't going so well either. Try as I might I can't seems to get her to sleep longer than 30-40 mins at a time in her crib. She's a champion napper in her carseat, however. If I do errands or go on a long walk she will sleep for hours but that's not really going to be an option at daycare. I've tried full swaddle, partial swaddle, no swaddle, dark room, light room, white noise, no white noise, and the result is the same: a 30-40 min catnap and then ready to play again.

I really shouldn't complain. Hell, it's not like I'm the first person in the world to have a baby with sleeping problems. There's a whole book industry about this issue. She's still a very good baby and for the most part while she's awake she's smiling and cooing at everyone around her. Even in the middle of the night she just whines a little bit and it's pretty easy to get her back down again (unless she really looses her sh!t and then oh lordy better break out the boob because ain't no amount of rocking will break through that wailing wall). I mostly just wanted to say hey, this is what's going on with us.

Gah, has it been 40 minutes already?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Yeah ok, she doesn't sleep. Like ever. But she's got mad skillz, yo!

I guess this means I can't leave her on the couch while I make a sandwich anymore.

Friday, October 01, 2010

3 Month Update

On my birthday Holly turned 3 months old. Wow! Is it bad that my first reaction is not "I can't believe she's getting so big" and instead is "I can't believe my maternity leave is almost over"? Seriously, I'm digging the leave. I've got lots of little updates but nothing that warrants a dedicated blog entry so I'll just do this stream of consciousness-style with lots of cute pictures interspersed.

Mommy's little girl

I just bought two kid albums and I love them both. If you're geeky like me I highly recommend going out and getting them. Honestly I think the parents will get more out of them than the kids! "Here Comes Science" is a catchy album with hard core science lessons, everything from DNA to photosynthesis. And who doesn't like BNL with lyrics like, "Raisins come from grapes, humans come from apes. I come from Canada!"
They Might Be Giants - Here Comes Science
Barenaked Ladies - Snacktime

I've gotten a lot of support about the elimination diet I've been on and I wanted to thank you all for the well wishes. We were in San Diego last weekend and I was worried because we hadn't definitively pinpointed what the other allergen(s) is apart from dairy. For the week prior I cut out wheat, soy, nuts, and eggs things looked really good: no blood, diaper rash cleared up, and she even started having fewer poopy diapers each day. On the trip I tried to be as good as possible while eating out and luckily we had no issues. I started to think that maybe her allergy wasn't very severe and that she might be tolerant of small amounts in my diet, but then today she was right back to obviously blood streaked stool. *sigh* The good thing is that she's not loosing weight and is otherwise healthy/happy so it's not a serious medical issue we're dealing with. Still, I'm determined to get to the bottom of this.

3 month compaison to mom's baby pix

We can't tell if Holly looks more like mom or more like dad. Right now she looks like herself and that is perfectly wonderful. I did do a comparison shot to my baby picture at the same age and I think there are some resemblances....

Daddy calls me doodlebug

She just keeps getting more and more fun! Gone are the days of sleepy infancy. We are solidly into wide-eyed, stick-things-in-my-mouth-and-drool-all-over-them territory. We're been reading lots of stories and she loves the rhymes and pretty colors on the pages. Buy mostly she loves her daddy.

Sitting up like a big girl

Head control is a wonderful thing.

With Auntie CW at Steve's b-day BBQ

I've been Netflix'ing this awesome show called Lost; maybe you've heard of it? This plane crashes on a tropical island and all this weird stuff starts happening and....

...well better late than never, right?

Our monkey

Why has our monkey turned into a terrible sleeper? She used to be the baby we couldn't seem to wake up when it was chow time and now it's impossible to get her to nap unless she's in the car or on a walk. Now that I've only got a month left before my maternity leave it up we're trying to be better about enforcing naptimes in her crib but it's been very challenging. 30 minutes is about as much as we can ask for before she wakes up, usually whiny and gassy. At night she used to sleep 6-7 hours at a stretch but lately she seems to wake up every 2-3 hours, and it's much more difficult to get her to settle down. We're hoping it's a phase but maybe it's just our payback for having such an easy time when she was first born.


Viva la crazy atom looking toy thingy!