Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Ah, Sleep!!!

Ah, the elusive dream of all new parents - a full nights sleep! I have posted a lot about our sleep training efforts. Some people have agreed with what we've done and some people haven't, but man oh man - it worked!! I've been waiting to post this to make sure things were consistent, but now I'm ready!! If I haven't already told you this, I have kept a log of how much I have slept at night since Isis was 2 weeks old. I've had to take several measures with my baby blues that most people probably wouldn't have had to take. For me, knowing exactly how much I was sleeping really helped me to calm down and not feel overwhelmed. So anyway...look at this...
(keep in mind that Isis goes to bed between 7:30 and 8:00 every night and we get her up between 7:30 and 8:00 every morning)

The night of March 25/26:
Isis woke up once at 4:30am
meaning...
I slept 7 hours, 15 minutes with one long stretch of 5 hours, 15 min!

The night of March 26/27:
Isis woke up once at 5:30
meaning...
I slept 9 hours with one long stretch of 6 hours, 30 min!

The night of March 27/28:
Isis woke up twice at 2:00 & 6:00 (stupid nasal congestion)
meaning...
I slept 7 hours, 30 minutes - no long stretches that night

The night of March 28/29:
Isis slept all night and woke up for the day at 6:45!!
meaning...
I slept 7 hours, 30 minutes all at once - I woke up at 6:15 & freaked out because she'd slept so long! haha

The night of March 29/30:
Isis woke up once at 1:00 (this one was nasal congestion too)
meaning...
I slept 8 hours with one long stretch of 5 hours, 45 min

The night of March 30/31:
Isis slept all night and woke up for the day at 7:30!!
meaning...
I slept 8 hours, 30 minutes all in one stretch!!!

Party!!! With the exception of her nasal congestion issues, she can sleep through the night now!! I also try to feed her if she wakes up after midnight. So, she goes to bed between 7:30 & 8:00pm every night. Lewis and I hang out until around 10:30pm and then go to bed. So with her sleeping so long, I get a couple of hours to myself everyday and then I get to sleep a long time at night!! I'm just waiting for the milk production in the middle of the night to adjust to Isis' schedule because right now - it's uncomfortable.

And for those of you interested in strategies or tips, here's what we've done lately:

If she woke up before midnight, we didn't go in her room.
About 2 weeks ago, we realized that she was consistently going to 2:00 or 3:00am without waking up to eat. So we knew that if she got a full feeding before bed that she didn't NEED to eat before then. And we can tell through the monitor if she's having nasal congestion issues or if she's just woken up. So about 2 weeks ago, if she did ever wake up before midnight, we stopped going in there. We just let her work it out. She woke up two or three nights over the past 2 weeks around 10:30 or 11:00pm. We didn't go in there because we didn't hear nasal congestion and we knew she had gotten full feedings. Finally, one night she woke up around 10:30pm and kinda fussed for about 2 minutes, then fell back asleep. She's done that a couple of times since then, but it's always just a couple of minutes and then she goes back to sleep.

We wait 5-10 minutes before going in her room in the middle of the night.
We were kinda doing this already, but we really started doing it or waiting a little longer about 2 weeks ago. The good thing for us is she won't take a pacifier and instead sucks on her hands. So we started hearing her sucking on her hands in the monitor and when she would do that, she'd be back asleep within minutes. This would probably be more difficult if she was taking a pacifier and not sucking on her hands because she wouldn't be able to get a pacifier and put it in her mouth in the middle of the night. But I don't know? Anyway, the first night that she slept from about 8:00pm to 6:45am, she woke up 3 or 4 times during the night and fussed for about 2 minutes and then went back to sleep. Last night when she slept from 8:00pm to 7:30am, she did that one time.

I stopped trying to keep her awake to eat in the middle of the night.
If she wakes up after midnight, I try to feed her. But about 2 weeks ago, she started cutting back her night feedings by a lot. She used to wake up in the middle of the night and feed from one side for about 17 or 18 minutes. About 2 weeks ago, she cut that back to maybe 12 minutes tops. Then with the days I listed above, her feedings were about 5 or 6 minutes long. So I stopped trying to get her to really eat at night because it didn't seem like she needed it. It seemed more like she was nursing to help her get back to sleep. So now if I do go in there, I'll let her try to eat just in case she didn't get enough during the day, but it's never a full feeding. We'll probably just stop going in there in the middle of the night if she wakes up like that pretty soon. Mainly because the 2 nights she did sleep through the night, her last feeding of the day was actually smaller than normal, so I don't think she needs a big bunch of food to get her through the night like I thought she did.

So there you go!! Yay for Isis!!! I also wanted to say that she turned 12 weeks last Saturday and she is currently about 13 pounds. So if she were younger or weighed much less, we probably would still be having more night wakings. I've read a lot about how it has a lot to do with the baby's weight and age. I also went by her cues. It seemed like something just changed with her about 2 weeks ago (I think this is when she reached 13 pounds), and she started doing different things. So watch your baby's cues. I also must say that when we go get her in the morning now, she's always really happy & she doesn't seem just starving. I'm not sure if she will consistently sleep through the night all the time now, but she's definitely down to one night feeding or less every night! Yay for sleep!!!!

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