Sleep

Munchies has been having some trouble sleeping her standard 9-11 hours straight at night for the past month or two. She has been waking up more often. What used to be a 10 second wake up soothed easily back to sleep with a hand on her cheek is now sometimes a half hour of crying, even with my hand on her cheek, that has been resulting in my feeding her in the night a few times a week. I kept thinking it was just a phase, but now, over a month into it, and with it getting steadily worse, I've been forced to admit it might not resolve itself without some changes. I don't mind waking up and feeding her now, in fact those sweet moments where I pick her up and she instantly settles into nursing so peacefully are some of my favorites. I know I can't let it go on forever though.

After some reading on the topic and a call to the pediatrician I've learned this is fairly common at her age. Sometimes it's teething, but with her I don't think that's the case. Apparently, babies around this age just start waking up more often in the night, some unknown part of their mental development. All she knows about getting to sleep is she gets snuggled and nurses and drifts off. Or, she's in the car or backpack and drifts off. She hasn't ever learned to drift off on her own in a crib. So, it makes sense that when she wakes up and doesn't know how to get back to sleep she would feel tired and upset. My first plan is to try getting her to take naps in her crib, putting herself to sleep. Currently, I'll see she's tired, nurse, and she falls asleep. Her naps are rarely at times where she actually does need to nurse. My first step is nurse until she's drowsy, but not asleep. Put her in her crib, let her fall asleep on her own, offering her my hand and voice as comfort. I just got done trying this out for the first time, and it did take a good 20-30 minutes for her to finally fall asleep. She cried a little, but not hard. Mainly it just took some patience. Within the next week or two as she gets more used to remembering falling asleep in the crib instead of nursing I hope she will get faster and more happy with falling asleep in her crib. I would think this would transition her into being able to fall back asleep during the night.

I also must admit... she still sleeps at night in a crib next to me. I've been meaning to have her start sleeping in her own room, but have been putting it off. This is something I'm going to try in the next week also. I think she may wake up less if she doesn't hear Tim and I moving around. I will update our progress soon!

Comments

  1. Good luck! Kylee was an excellent sleeper until she hit about 7 months. Then she'd wake up every night screaming for at least 2 hours. No matter what I did she wouldn't calm down. I figured out she was actually having night terrors, which Dr's say can't happen at that age, but BULL CRAP! Dallin's never been a good sleeper & at 3 1/2 yrs old still wakes up at least once a night. Sucky part of parenting!

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  2. yeah, getting them to fall asleep where they actually end up sleeping is a big one. they also recommend starting to have the baby sleep in their own room at around 4 months before separation anxiety is an issue. I swear it's already an issue for baby man though. he wakes up at night all the time and looks around with this panicked expression until he finds my face, then he usually goes right back to sleep. he needs the finger at least a couple times a night still too. I'm pretty sure the transition out of our bedroom is gonna be a nightmare...I have to commend your efforts to stop the whole nursing to sleep cycle. it's so hard to stop doing what you know works especially when you actually enjoy doing it. I bet it'll pay off soon though. zoey's a quick learner so I doubt you'll have more than a few rough nights before she gets it.

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  3. I was reading about night terrors, that sounds awful! Poor Kylee. Once a night doesn't sound too bad at least.

    Laura, that is adorable that baby man looks for you at night! So sweet. :) Well, I'm not going to attempt to be too patient and wait it out at night yet. I'll just feed her if she's up for long until I get the daytime napping thing down. After that, I'm hoping the night time thing will naturally get easier for her. We'll see...

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  4. When using the phrase: I think she may wake up less if she doesn't hear Tim and I moving around. Were you referring to you and Tim having S. E. X? (I had to spell that out because it's something the baby doesn't need to know about yet. It's just between the adults.)

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  5. P.s.
    Sorry for being inappropriate. I just couldn't help myself.

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  6. Sammy, I'm so glad you spelled it out. It really would have been inappropriate otherwise, but the way you've done it is very tactful. The answer btw is sometimes yes, other times it's just me waking up at least once a night to pee.

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