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?


At 4:30 AM, Blogger Kara said...

I feel your pain! It will get better I'm sure -- hell, we figured out Maren's issues . . . when she was 10 months old. My advice: get a Keurig ;)

At 9:26 AM, Blogger Ritchie said...

A possible different perspective (hate on me if I'm completely wrong): I know you aren't getting much sleep, but if she is happy and ok with little sleep then maybe that is just the way she is right now. Is that bad?
I have no basis for my rational since I have no children, but this made sense to me. If I am completely wrong, please tell me.


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