Tuesday, November 2, 2010

sleep update

Here's an update to the post I wrote a couple of days ago.   I think I've figured some things out with this whole sleep thing, but I'm still not sure what to do about what I've figured out.

For starters, last night I was thinking about how well Squirmy used to sleep, then when he slept okay but not super, then when it all went to...well...hell.  Here's a little time line for you.

  • 0-2 months sleeping all night long, waking several times a night but going back, to sleep after being fed and changed, napping okay, always swaddled and held while napping
  • 2-4 months, sleeping through the night in his bassinet next to our bed, waking at like 6/7 and sleeping until 10 or so, still swaddled at night (can't remember for naps), basically always being held for naps.
  • 4-5 months, still swaddled at night, waking a couple times a night, a lot more co-sleeping, started watching another child during the day, still being held for a lot of naps, but not all
  • 5-6 months, swaddling is hit or miss at night (every time I think he's fine without it, I try it again and he sleeps better), started watching a toddler (so 2 kids plus Squirmy during the day), not swaddling during the day, nights and naps progressively getting worse, sleeping in his vibrating chair for naps, spending a good portion of the night in bed with me, moved his crib into our room, took the front off and pushed it up against our bed
  • 7 months...SLEEPING SUCKS!!!  We've gone back to fully swaddling every night, most of the night in our bed.  Naps are a terrible fight, TERRIBLE, and he's consistently sleeping 30 min for naps.
Here's the kicker, though.  A couple of days ago, I started holding Squirmy for his naps again, mainly by accident.  He went from screaming and 30 min to no screaming and 2 hours of sleep.  We went from 5-6 naps a day to 2-3.  AND he started sleeping significantly better at night (longer and more time in his crib/cosleeper).

So now what?  I can't realistically hold him for every nap.  Some have suggested that the vibrating chair has become uncomfortable for him.  Some have suggested getting a mattress for the Pack and Play so he'd actually sleep in it for once.  I've wondered about getting an Ergo so I could "hold" him and still be mobile and have my hands free (jury's out on if he'd sleep in it).  Some have suggested swaddling for naps again.  Some have suggested me sleeping with his nap time toys/blankets to get my scent on them.  Some have insisted I "break" him of me holding him for naps (which I don't think it's a habit since I haven't done it for months).  Some have suggested wean him from nursing to sleep (which he does often but not always).  Some have suggested I always nurse him to sleep.  Some say swaddle as long as he needs it.  Some say swaddling has become a crutch and I need to wean him out of it.

I feel like I'm being torn in so many directions and I don't know what to do.  I don't want to do the wrong thing, but I don't know the right thing to do.  I've been trying to follow my instincts as much as possible with everything we've done with him.  Now I feel like mother nature is out to lunch and left no instructions.

Anyone have any advice?  Any suggestions?  Any connections that you see that I haven't noticed?  Help!


CrunchyVTMommy said...

These phases come and go as you know. It sounds lame but do what feels right. I would definitely not stop nursing to sleep at a young age and thing the Ergo or a Moby is an awesome idea. Could you borrow one to see if it works before spending the money?

Lindsey Muth said...

First off, hang in there, it will get better! Or at least ebb and flow. ::hugs::

I'm with V, the Ergo might be a great meet-him-halfway for daytime naps. I know a couple of moms who wore their babies like that and the babies napped for hours in them. We used a Moby & Otto never napped in it once, so I think if you're going to make the investment, go with the Ergo, people just love them.

Also, the better they nap during the day the better they sleep at night. I read that when Otto was small and it always held true for us.

ps. I'm @OttosMomBlogs from Twitter.

So the only other thought I have is doing a method. As u know we used the baby whisperer's suggestions for Otto and for the most part they were dead-on (for sleep only, we didn't try the book for anything else). The thing about it though, was that the first week was gut-wrenching. The first night I laid him down 100 times (yes, I counted), then gave up. The 2nd night, something like 78, taking a break halfway through to go throw up in the bathroom because his crying was so upsetting. Night 3, 40 laying back downs. Night 4, only like seven. By the end of the week he was a great going-to-sleeper. And because we do sign with him, he was able to let us know when he was ready for bed, which was so helpful that he could communicate when he was tired.

Ahem, until the past week. But for almost a year he's been great, he sleeps in a crib in his room & we did the method just after we'd transitioned him from co-sleeping between us to sleeping in his crib in his own room.

Please keep us updated and good luck, mama! You'll find your balance! <3 -Lindsey

Jessica Anne said...

Thought I'd pitch in my two cents. I have 3 girls. They all slept poorly at around 6-7 mos, waking frequently to nurse, taking multiple short naps. It's age appropriate. Babies go through a phase of separation anxiety at that age and don't understand object permanence yet (if they can't see you, they don't understand you're still there). It's a hard age sleep wise.

After trying a bunch of things with my first two, I came to the conclusion with #3 to just do whatever works to get sleep myself. If that means swaddling, swaddle, if it's cosleeping, cosleep, whatever works for you.

I found it didn't matter what I did, they all started sleeping well again around 9-10 months old. (Just happened about a month ago for #3).

Bottom line, it's a phase that has nothing to do with what you are or aren't doing, and everything to do with development. They just have to go through it. Try not to stress out about it and just do what feels right to you.

Meaghan said...

we had a lot of sleep troubles too, still do but much better. We had a big change once LM started sleeping on his tummy, around 6 mos. He was too jumpy on his back and would wake himself, still is actually. Since he was strong enough I felt pretty comfy with him on tummy but constantly checked on him. not sure if your LO has any interest in tummy sleeping but mine did, as soon as he could roll over on his own.

Gina - Peke Moe said...

we had issues when transitioning from swaddling.. we developed this http://www.pekemoe.co.nz maybe that would help? good luck!

Karen said...

Do what you can to get him to sleep and let you have a break. For awhile, my son only napped in his swing. Then only his stroller. Then swing again. Well, you get the idea. Honestly, some days, the best thing for me was to let him sleep in my arms while I was in the rocker. Anyways, he's starting to do naps better now on his own. I just have let him guide me. Also, I don't have a nap schedule for him. I put him down for a nap at the first sign on sleepiness. Then I don't have to fight him.