Friday, September 30, 2011

Weekly sleep check-in...

Because for some reason I think everyone is as interested in how much sleep I'm getting as I am. Plus, I said that I'd write about sleep when I had positive things to say, and:

*trumpets blare*

I have positive things to say.

At just over 4 months, it seems like we've established a loose routine with Anne. Ha! I say this now, and God will smite me with wakings every 2 minutes for the next 6 months. I know how it goes with thinking that you've got things figured out with kids...

Anyway, Anne goes to bed at 7 pm every night. She's exhausted and cranky at that time, and so into her crib she goes after a nice nursing session. She'll settle in and fall asleep within 15 minutes, sometimes requiring some back stroking and bottom patting and other times needing no intervention at all. She'll then *usually* sleep until between 1 and 2 am, which is 6-7 hours of sleep. This is AWESOME. Really wonderful. Sometimes she'll cry earlier, granted. 2 nights this week she cried at about 9:30 pm. The first night, she started crying hard, so I went in, and she instantly tried to latch onto my shoulder. So I nursed her, and she went back to sleep as soon as she was done. That time, she was genuinely hungry, and I could tell that she needed my intervention right away.

The second time was last night, and immediately I could tell that she wasn't really crying. She was what I call "cranking." I stood on alert outside her door, and within 5 minutes, she had put herself back to sleep. So, overall, I'm really pleased that we've made a lot of progress with getting her to soothe herself. It usually takes 1 to 2 really awful nights (check) but the result is so very worth it. I couldn't live through a year of the every 20 minute wakings.

Then, when she wakes up after midnight, I feed her right away. Sometimes, I'll feel particularly martyr-like and I'll nurse her in her room so that I can put her back in her crib when she's done. Usually though, common sense wins out, and I just bring her into our bed so that we can both just go right to sleep while she nurses lying down. *Most* of the time, she will then sleep til morning, more or less. That's really only 1 official waking, and I can so totally live with that.

Many nights, after the 1:30 am journey into our bed, she'll wake me about an hour or so later with lots of kicking and pinching. I'll try to nurse her again and she won't latch (for some reason, replaying this scene about a dozen times does not make me learn what works and what doesn't, it's all just a blur at 3 am), so I'll pick her up and gently move her to the bassinette that I still have set up next to our bed. And...

she goes right to sleep.


I do think that although she loves to cuddle when nursing (as do I) she does prefer to sleep in her own space where she can shift about and get comfy at her own whim. In her crib, she loves to flip onto her belly to sleep.

So, overall, this is working out pretty well for all of us. I've been through this before, so I know enough now to know that I know nothing, if that makes any sense. No matter how much you try to stay on a routine, there are still going to be bad nights, and many times you may never find out what caused that bad night. I just know enough to go with the flow and not let it get me down.

That, in and of itself, is a blessing.

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