Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Luxury of Sleep

So, little miss was such a good sleeper the first 3 1/2 weeks of her life. She slept a lot during the day and 4-5 hour stretches at night. Quite blissful, I know. But then, she decided she wanted to cry when we put her down. So she cried and cried. We tried the 5 S's (Swaddle, shushing, Swing, hmm- what were the other two?), but she still wouldn't go down from about 9pm-2:30am, and that is way too long for little miss to be awake. When she did get down, her sleep was very restless. I was getting very grumpy and exhausted- hence why I haven't posted since the weekend.

So we got this book 2 days ago from the library: Happy Sleep Habits, Healthy Child (thanks sooz!) And we've been trying things from it for the last couple days, and it's worked...well, at least it did last night!

The book says that if you have an "easy baby that stops being easy"---the chief culprits could be irregularities of sleep schedules, nap deprivation, and too late a bedtime. So, here's a list of what we tried from the book to get her back to easy:
  • Putting her down after her 6-7pm feeding (we were putting her down after her 9-10pm feeding, but she wouldn't go down).
  • Being consistent. They say either let her put herself to sleep after you do some initial soothing, or soothe her all the way into her deep sleep---but choose one method and stick to it. So we decided to let her fall asleep on her own after we did initial soothing. This means that you have to let her cry at some points for up to 5 minutes. The first night she cried and it took a while to get her down. However, last night we soothed her, put her down with her eyes open, and she fell asleep. She just did this again after her 7am feeding. She was yawning and seemed sleepy. So, I soothed her, put her down with her eyes open. She had her eyes open for about 20 minutes, but I just peeked in and she was sound asleep--no crying, not even a peep.
  • Read her cues. Is she tired or hungry? I think our little one was super tired, but we kept feeding her, even after an hour+ of solid feeding. We misread her cues.
  • Don't let her go for 2 hours without sleep. Babies 1-4 months old shouldn't be up for more than 2 hours at a time. They say start soothing her to sleep after 1 1/2 hours of wakefulness, so they will be asleep before they've been awake for more than 2 hours.

Sadie has started to be a lot more social (as of last week). She returns your smile some of the time, and likes playtime. So I found it interesting that this book ties sleep issues to a babies' social development. She wants to play, so she fights sleep, if it means more play time.

Well, I know that a child's development is in constant flux. And I know that she may seem like she's on the right track now, only to have a horrendous night of sleep tonight or tomorrow. I am going to revel in the fact that I got 7-8 hours of sleep last night, and that I will post on this blog and take a shower before 10am--that's progress.

Today is a good day.


  1. i missed this post earlier- love it. here's to many hours of sleep and lots of smiles too- the best of both worlds!

  2. Hi Rebecca,

    I've struggled with sleep with Jules, and have found the winning formula (for now!) to be catching his tired signs, and popping him into bed for a nap straight away. He ends up napping for about 4.5 hours per day, and sleeps about 10-11 hours at night. The blissful bit is that he usually sleeps from 8.30 pm-5.30 am without waking (or only one time for 5 mins or so)! Wonderful.

    Nissa x