Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Who Needs Sleep?

Donovan, that's who.

I've become obsessed with sleep. Not mine, his. There definitely seems to be a correlation between the amount of sleep he gets and his moods. So I've found myself getting more and more obsessed-- Is he sleeping enough? How many naps should he get during the day? Is 20 minutes long enough? How can I get him to sleep longer? Am I setting us up for a horrible weaning process if I swaddle him to sleep every time? Does it matter if it still gives me a happier, more well-rested baby now?

He's been sleeping pretty well at night lately, seemingly thanks to swaddling (last night his long stretch was 5.5 hrs, which is pretty good for his age and only felt bad to me b/c a few nights ago he went 8.5 hours, and has been averaging 6-7hrs). He usually does one long sleep stretch, his first of the night, and then depending on how long that one was will do 1 or 2 more 2-3hr stretches before it's time to wake up for the day (usually between 8-9am).

Naps, are a different story. He tends to take one decent (40-60mins?) morning nap about 1-2 hrs after waking in the morning. Past that, it seems to be different from day to day. Sometimes he takes series of 20-30 min catnaps. Yesterday he took at least 3, 45-min-plus long naps. There's been a few times (often when I brought him to bed and napped with him, or let him sleep on me after falling asleep nursing) that he'll stay asleep for up to 2 hrs.

My biggest concern is that a lot of the time (esp after the short naps) he'll wake up and still seem so tired-- eye-rubbing, yawning, etc. Sometimes he'll go back to sleep again, either on his own or after being rocked/bounced around a bit. Other times, not so much. And then he can turn into Mr Grumpy Pants.

And then there's bed-time. We'll probably figure out a consistent bedtime routine to do with him pretty soon. And I probably should stop relying on nursing or rocking him to get him t o fall asleep at night. Though I'm unsure when exactly this transition is supposed to occur-- my books claim that in the first 2 months you should do whatever necessary to get baby to sleep, as they can't do so on their own yet (at least not consistently). By 4-6months they should be falling asleep on their own. They're a little hazy on what I should be doing between 2-4 months, though.

Susan leaves to go back home to the states tomorrow. Once D and I settle back into a semi-normal routine of just the 2 of us I may try to keep track of when he sleeps and look for patterns, and maybe having some sort of semi-consistent daytime nap schedule might help. Who knows.

This morning when D woke back up after only sleeping for 1 hour his last stretch, I felt annoyed and tired. Then we nursed and once it became clear he was not gonna go back to sleep again I opened up the skylight window shade and he and I lay in bed for about half an hour, me watching him smile at me and jerk his arms and legs like crazy, hitting my face and mouth with his fist (I swear he was kinda sorta aiming, too), and the annoyance and fatigue went away as I took in this adorable little creature who's already changed so much that I'm reminding myself to take in his current mannerisms and expressions and habits b/c I know they may be completely different next month, next week, tomorrow.


  1. Anonymous10:58 AM

    Freddy gave me season 5 of Charmed on DVD for Christmas. Last night I watched the episode when their first baby was born (home birth, partially because of the whole magical-baby-would-really-freak-out-the-doctors thing, but mostly because the baby came early and eveil demons tried to kill everybody), and the next episode, when baby is three months old (I think?)

    I kept calling "Bullcrap!" on the details, after reading about your experiences. But then again, the baby probably orbed out of the womb more than it got pushed out, which might have been why labor took about three minutes. Piper was back into her low-slung hiphugging jeans by the next ep, nobody eas sleep deprived, and they had time to make multiple potions and write vanquishing spells and go to the demonic market three times to kill the bad guys... without stopping to feed baby once.

    Oh, she did change one diaper.

    (*sigh* Then again, they are supporting the family - and paying for the massive repairs on the house from all the demon attacks - one Phoebe's salary, and she writes the advice column for a weekly paper... maybe I should not look for such a high degree of accuracy in my witch TV.)


  2. D. is a bit young for it yet (is for 3 mo+) but the book Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child saved my life in terms of napping. Although I didn't take the advice too literally (involves some modified CIO), it gives a great idea of what to expect in terms of how long they should be sleeping for and at what times of day at various ages. I started reading it when Ellie was around two months and I was really going insane and I found his observations to be spot on! I combined that with Happiest Baby on the Block (swaddling, etc) to actually get her to go down for a nap.

    Also, I wouldn't worry about overdoing the swaddling! He will grow out of it naturally and then you can transition to a sleep sack if you want.

  3. PS: I never understood that not rocking/feeding your child to sleep. After six weeks, Ellie stopped nursing to sleep anyway but I still feed/rock her before I put her to bed--she just happens to go into her crib with her eyes open. I say do whatever works, as it's unlikely you'll still be feeding/rocking him to sleep when he's 18--or even 3! I personally enjoy the quiet, wind-down-from-the-day time with Ellie before I put her down to sleep. To take that away now seems like we'd both be missing out on something nice. Maybe that's just me, though. I'm over this constant "drowsy but awake" stuff all the sleep experts are spouting! (Though Healthy Sleep Habits guy I believe says "drowsy but awake" is overrated.)



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