Sep 3, 2009

Sleep Suggestions #1

Jane will be 3 months next week, it's hard to believe so much time has already passed! Regardless, it's about this time that babies start "sleeping through the night". Pre-baby, I would have taken this to mean sleeping from 10pm to 7am. However, apparently, post-baby "sleeping through the night" means for 6 hours straight or so. As I always say, every baby is different so don't take this as a rule and get depressed if you're still at 3-4 hours and definitely don't start bragging if your baby is one of those 10-7 babies. No one will like you. ha ha ha, joking (kinda). :p

About a month ago, Jane went through a short period where she was sleeping 9-4 - aside from the painful, engorged boobs in the morning - it was fabulous! However, it ended quickly (I have no idea why as I changed nothing) and now she's back to a 5-6 hour sleep followed by a 2 hour period.

What I'm learning quickly is that (1) you should expect NOTHING and (2) you can do everything "right" and still get a crappy-night's sleep! To clarify, never expect that you'll get a good night's sleep as you'll just be grouchy with yourself when, all of a sudden, your babe is waking every 2-3 hours. Go to bed without expectation... or better yet, expecting the worst! Secondly, you can follow all the "expert" tips on how to get your baby to sleep longer and some nights they will work and some nights they're useless.

Jane is still on and off when it comes to sleep. On the nights I think I've done everything "right" and that she will sleep 6-7 hours, she's up every 3 hours (remember - no expectations) and on nights when she's barely eaten before bed, she'll sleep forever! The hardest part nowadays is that she doesn't nap very long during the day so sleeping when she sleeps is nearly impossible. So, I stick to my 9pm bedtime. Some nights I'd love to stay up later and watch tv with Dan and have some baby-free time, but right now, it's not worth the potential exhaustion the following day if she's having one of her 3-hour nights.

I highly recommend early bedtime to new Moms. My first week with Jane I waited until after the midnight feed to go to bed and I was running on fumes. I also found that the 9pm sleep interval is the one that's been extended to 6 hours now. So, if I want to get a few solid hours of sleep, I have to take advantage of that period and hit the sheets early. Eventually, once she's sleeping 8-9 hours straight, I will bump her bedtime back to 8pm and then I will stay up with Dan for a few hours before heading to bed myself... that's the plan anyways!

Check back tomorrow for more tips that are supposed to help your baby sleep longer - and my thoughts on them!

Jen :)

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Meredith said...

I would LOVE even 6 hours of straight sleep right now!

Holly said...

There have been a couple nights this week that I went to bed at 8-8:30 right after a feeding because Sam is on a 2 hour feeding schedule still.

Jessica said...

You're so right - going to bed with no expectations of how the night will go (or expecting the absolute worst) is KEY. I found that it prolonged my patience with things so much if I had my mind made up that I'd be up several times during the night.

Good points!

And hang in'll be getting good nights' sleep very soon. Once you start her on cereal (whenever you choose to do that) it will be soon thereafter. In the meantime, try to enjoy those midnight cuddles - I miss those sometimes!

MommyBrain said...

This is a great post ... so important to remember that every baby is different - as are parents. You can't pick up someone else's way if it's not right for you - even if it sounds better than your way.

My motto: Do what's working for you ... and your baby. If something's not working, then adjust.

And I feel that way about just about everything - no expectations :)

Mike and Kate said...

This post is particularly timely for me today...

My daughter is 3 1/2 weeks old and for the most part she is a great sleeper at night. I set my alarm in 5 hour intervals and I won't let her go any longer than that between feeds, and she usually wakes up a little before the alarm, I change her, feed her and put her right back in the bassinet. Well, imagine how ripped off I felt when I was walking the floor with a wide-awake baby at 3am last night! Definitely can't take anything for granted...every day and night are different! :)

How often do you feed Jane? Do you feed on-demand or on a schedule? Did you ever set an alarm like I do or let her wake up on her own? When did you start letting her go more than 5 hours without a feed?

Sorry for so many questions! :)

Looking forward to tomorrow's post!