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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Sleep or lack thereof

First of all, thank you Stacey and Shannon for your awesome comments.  That has made both Jules and I feel a lot better regarding the mommy preference.  Seriously, thank you.

Also, Shannon, thank you so much for your coconut milk recommendation.  It's totally awesome and by far my favourite of the non-dairy substitutes out there.

Now on to my favourite topic - Emily's sleep pattern or lack thereof

Here's what I've noticed:

  • She can sleep 1.5 hrs at a time at night without needing to be soothed
  • She's always hungry when she wakes up at night.  For that reason I both breast feed and formula feed her at night to fill her up.
  • She will rarely sleep longer than 15 minutes at a time during the day without needing some sort of soothing to get her back to sleep (whether it is a quick rock, putting her soother back in or changing her diaper again)
  • She is the WORST at self soothing.  She'll be rubbing her eyes and tired as all heck but she just can't seem to drift off by herself.  I've left her for 5-10 minutes at a time to see if she can get the hang of putting herself to sleep but when she gets into the silent scary cry I feel terrible and can't do it anymore.
  • Occasionally she'll go for a three hour stretch in the afternoon or evening.  It's almost always at a time when I can't join her.
  • We currently don't have a bedtime routine established.  Between Jules working late most nights and Emily's need to be soothed by me and me alone, it leaves us doing everything late and before we know it it'll be 10 pm or later before we're going upstairs to start bedtime.  We really need to work on this but honestly it feels impossible sometimes. :(
As I type this, Emily is sleeping against my chest in the cuddly wrap.  This is after being awake for 99% of the time between 8:30 am and 12:30 pm.  She'd drift off in my arms or on the breast feeding pillow and then wake up after I put her down or within 10 minutes.  It is so damn hard sometimes.  Even in the cuddly wrap she fussed for about half an hour before finally falling into a deep enough sleep that I didn't have to be walking around bouncing her or patting her on the back.

I swear, at this point I'd be glad if she had her nights and days mixed up because at least I'd get some decent naps SOMETIME during the day/night.



Stacey Bourgeois said...

Glad to help. It's always nice to hear others' experiences in this parenting game...so hard to know what to expect or what to do sometimes.

Does she sleep swaddled? Some babies need to be swaddled to stop from waking themselves. Riley slept well with a swaddle and soother but Jackson didn't like being swaddled.

Do you have any sort of noise machine? Sometimes some white noise can help sooth them and keep them from being woken by stuff.

I used the Pick Up/Put Down method for Riley when she was a bit older. I like it because it never involves Cry It Out (which I'm not a big fan of personally.) You basically leave her lying there until she starts to cry. When she cries, being 2 months old, you pick her up and the minute she stops crying, you lay her down. Repeat a kazillion times. It's basically to let her know you're there to comfort her but she is to lay down and fall asleep without you holding her. I did this when Riley was older (the rules when they're older change depending on their abilities. Like if they can sit up--you wait until they're sitting. If they can stand--you wait until they're standing to pick them up.) But basically, you have to put her down the minute she stops fussing. I don't know if it'd work for her learning she can lay there and not feel alone but it might help.

I'd at least look into some kind of sleep training if she is not letting you get any sleep. Sine you're using formula, it can't be a milk/hunger issue. And like you said, she wakes when you put her down so it sounds like she expects to be held all the time.

Stacey Bourgeois said...

At night keep the lights down too so she knows it's not wake up time.

I'd really do a bedtime routine. I'm not a scheduled person either so I sometimes suck at the timing of it but if you do it at least in a general time period and do the same thing, it can help. Dim lights, soothing music maybe, night time feed... Same thing every time and then into her crib she goes.

P.S. I rocked Riley to sleep and put her into her crib for a long time. I think I did the PU/PD method when she was close to a year old or sometime after that. :P

Stacey Bourgeois said...

Another quick thought is if she is waking at certain times, you try to go in before and feed her to keep her sleeping. This is a Dream Feed. It was all by Tracy something or other in a book called Sleep Solution or something. I can't recall but you could probably search Dream Feed and get ideas.

Stacey Bourgeois said...

Also, I like Dr. Sears as he is a fan of attachment parenting and that sort of thing (i.e. co-sleeping):


It sounds like Emily gets woken in the usual hour sleep cycle where she should go to a deep sleep but doesn't. See that site for info.

westmaple said...

She does start off swaddled most of the time. The noise machine doesn't seem to affect her one way or the other. We keep the room dark at night except for a night light.

That Dr. Sears link was very helpful, thank you. I think her two biggest issues are related to self-soothing (her inability to do so). She can't seem to drift off on her own even when she's calm and rubbing her eyes and she wakes up as soon as she starts transitioning from deep to light sleep. Since reading that article I've started rocking her for longer to ensure when I put her down she'll at least stay down for an hour. That's something at least.

It sounds like the pick up/put down method is probably what we should try next.

Being dead tired gets in the way of being consistent with any method. :( I wish I could just get some decent sleep so I'd have the willpower and patience to start a training method and stick with it. Its one of those situations where there'll be no relief until the hard work is done but to endure the hard work some relief is needed. ;)

westmaple said...

Forgot to mention, I tried the dream feed but she wanted no part of it. That was disappointing because that would be a great way to drain my breasts (she's become fussy on the breast... the bottle is her new BFF). Foiled again. She's lucky she's so cute...