Monday, January 26, 2009

Progress is a Spiral: Jack Throws Mom for a Loop

I haven't written an update on Jack's nighttime sleep in a long time. Partly because, until recently, not much has changed. Jack started sleeping a straight 7 hours at night around 8 weeks, and aside from the holidays, pretty much stuck to it through January. Occasionally he'd shock me with a 8 or 9 hour stretch. And then last week he really threw me for a loop. One night he slept 10 hours, the next night 8, then 6, then 9 again. Every night was like Christmas Eve, not really sure what I would be waking up to in the morning. Really. A little consistency would be nice here. Do you know how hard it is to stick to a routine when every morning is a new situation?
Then I read about "progress as a spiral." How true. Just when I think I'm getting somewhere, I recognize landmarks from where we were a few weeks ago. It's so easy to get discouraged, to wonder if my baby will ever take a normal nap again, if I'll be feeding him 6-7 times a day for the rest of his life, if my mornings will always start at 4-5am? And then I realize, these are the same fears I had 2 or 3 months ago, just not quite as severe. Back then I was afraid that Jack would always require a 2 hour process to get him to sleep, that my entire day would be spent feeding my child, that he would sleep so much during the day that his brain wouldn't get enough exercise ... :)

Progress is definitely a spiral, and 2 months from now I'm sure I'll be wondering about a whole new set of issues, and the fact that Jack doesn't sleep the same amount of time each night will be a laughable event. I'm working with the overall goal in mind - to give Jack peaceful nighttime sleep, enough food to keep him growing healthily and the right amount of fun and stimulating activity to keep his little mind developing - and letting the individual days fall as they will.

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