Tuesday, December 16, 2008

And he sleeps ...

A lot! During Thanksgiving we suffered a setback, after things settled down Jack had gone back to sleeping 4,-5, sometimes 6, hours a night. Now I know that some "experts" consider 5-6 hours "sleeping through the night," but really, do they spend their summers in Alaska?? I generally like my "nights" to last 8 hours.

Jack was also really fussy while nursing and would cry through his entire nap times, throughout the whole day. It was pretty stressful around here! Finally, I emailed Growing Families International (the creators of one of the "methods" we're following) and they set me up with a contact mom. "Kim" responded right away. She said Jack was overstimulated and needed to be sleeping more during the day. I completely agreed but my problem was that he wouldn't sleep during the day. Apparently, my problem was also me. While I have no qualms letting Jack get in a good cry, I would always go in and check on him after a while, rub his belly, hold him for a few minutes, whisper sweet nothings in his ear, etc., etc. It would seem my 8-week old was smarter than I thought! Obviously nothing was ever wrong, he just wanted to see mommy, because as soon as I went in he'd be fine.

So basically I had to buckle down and get serious if I wanted results. That was Monday. Tuesday was HORRIBLE! I put him down one hour after each feeding, for a two hour nap, then would get him for his next feeding. He cried and cried and cried for nearly the ENTIRE nap time. I felt like the worst mom. By the end of the day Jack wasn't the only one "crying it out." That night was even worse than the day and by 5am both Jack and I needed a good cuddle. But something must've clicked. Because ever since then Jack has been sleeping beautifully for 5 two-hour naps a day, and has been sleeping 7-8 hours at night!

Now some people say you shouldn't base your "success" on whether or not your baby is sleeping through the night, or even that babies this young shouldn't be sleeping that long. But honestly, it's not the 7-8 hours of sleep that make my day, it's how much more calm and content we BOTH are. Jack has been such a delight this past week! Both Daddy and Mommy are enjoying every waking second (there seems to be less of them with all these naps). And Jack has been tossing out smiles and giggles like they're going out of style!
The only bad thing is that I seem to see less of him throughout the day. He literally spends 18 hours sleeping in his crib, but then I thought about how we used to spend our days - me trying to keep him happy, balanced on my arm while typing emails, doing laundry or making dinner. Now, because I know I get a 2 hour break every 3 hours, I can give Jack my full attention during the one hour he's awake. Currently, his favorite activities are bopping to music and working out his calves. This kid really likes to stand! Sometimes, when my hands get tired from holding up Chubba-Wubba, he kicks his little feet against my belly until I stand him back up again. And mommy's lap just isn't good enough anymore. Now Jack likes to practice standing on the floor, like big people do. It's cute, but so sad to see my little baby growing up so fast!

1 comment:

Ocean's Page said...

My unsolicited advice (hehe):

Ocean always got overtired very easily and neither of us believed in the "crying it out" method. That was when we figured out to always swaddle him, even when he resisted it, because he slept better. I swaddled him until he found his thumb (he actually out grew the swaddle blanket at about 6 weeks, so I bought 1.5 yards of long-john material and rolled him in it). When he would get over tired/over stimulated and fall asleep, his nervous system would cause his arms/legs to flail about and sometimes wack himself, which would wake him up and scare him (he was probably thinking, "who would hit me while I'm asleep?") We also would limit a pacifier to the crib and nap/bed time only. He would suck on it to soothe himself to sleep and then it would fall out and he would just keep on sleeping. Once he figured out his hands at about 4 months then I stopped swaddling him and he would suck his thumb. Anyway - I don't know if you care, or if this helps....but if you ever need any baby sleep help - feel free to ask! (I have a "spirited" baby....the hardest to get to sleep according to The Baby Whisperer. He is 8.5 months now and has been sleeping through the night since about 16 weeks...from 6PM to 8AM.)

I bet that one day with all the crying helped Jack get out the over stimulation...his way of shutting out the world. Yes it is weird that they need to sleep so much at first! :)

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