Thursday, February 15, 2007

Sleep Habits

Sophie has always been good at knowing the difference between night and day. By 2 weeks old, she was able to go right back to sleep after her middle-of-the-night feedings. Before Christmas, she had cut herself down to 2 feedings a night, including 8 hours between her dinner and her first night feeding.

Over Christmas, she caught a cold, and her feedings went back to her old 'every 3 hours' for a couple weeks, but she was right back on schedule about mid-January.

Then, about 2 weeks ago, she decided she doesn't like that schedule, and she's back again to the "every 3 hours' deal. When she wakes up at 11, we try to soothe her back to sleep without a feeding, but it doesn't work. She's up to eat. There is no outward reason for her change, but we have a couple of theories.

1. She's gassy.
I'm not a believer in gas drops, but she has been so gassy lately, and it seemed like it was waking her up, so we bought gas drops. I don't see a difference in her behavior though.

2. She doesn't have the resources to put herself back to sleep if she accidentally wakes up.
This theory is 2-fold. First, she's still being swaddled at night. We've tried for about 6 weeks now to take away the swaddle, but she just hasn't been ready for it. She has a bad habit of scratching her face and head when she's tired, and so we just ended up with a scratched up baby who couldn't fall asleep. Anyway, with her arms swaddled, she's not able to suck on her hand to calm herself if she wakes up. Jake and I have committed to a one-armed swaddle during naps this week, and if all goes well, that will turn in to one-armed night swaddles too.

(This is Sophie right now in her one-armed swaddle nap)

The second part is that her room is completely dark at night, so she doesn't have anything to look at if she wakes up. To solve this, we bought a crib light that's cry-activated. It works occasionally.

I miss the days of putting our baby to sleep, and knowing she'll stay that way until 2 or so. I was even working with her to limit her feedings to once a night. Now we're at 3 a night, with breakfast about 45 minutes to an hour earlier than it used to be. Is this a phase? Will she go back to how she used to be? Will she improve beyond that?


Kim said...

Welcome to the life-long job of worrying about your child and trying to figure them out.
This may not be a popular theory but maybe she is ready for solid food. I know that is very old-school but it is just an idea.
She is so darling!!

Leslie said...

EVERYTHING is a phase. :)

Mrs. Dub said...

i hope it's a phase because your entry is like a page out of my journal (if i had the energy to write in one these days with the little sleep i get).

the swaddle/unswaddle has plagued us as well. we've gone to the one-armed as well. (though she naps without.) and we're trying to get her to sleep earlier.

but mostly i'm just confused. i guess it's normal.

and everyone on earth got past it ... right?

Stephanie said...

leslie is right. everything is a phase. this one will end, so try not to worry about it too much. my pediatrician once told me that gas drops were about as effective as water. i agreed with him. he also told me that giving your baby solids won't help them sleep better. maybe she is going through a growth spurt. or maybe she just decided that for the next few weeks she wants to wake up a lot. who knows, but i promise, she will be back to good sleeping habits soon. you just have to hang in there.

Lindy said...

i don't know, mine sleeps through the night with an occasional feeding, but she sleeps with me, she also isnt a fan of being swaddled at all. i do have to tell you that everyone i talk to (including my mom whos a pnp) says those gas drops are hogwash

Robin said...

My babies were never good sleepers until 6-8 months old. Just roll with the punches I guess. It sucks going back and forth when you think she's progressed, but like everyone said, everything comes and goes in phases. Good luck.

Leslie said...

one more thing, have you tried sleeping her on her tummy? all three of mine have been tummy sleepers, like we all were when we were babies. it's ok to sleep on your tummy. she should be able to hold her head up well enough now that you won't worry about her breathing, etc.

Jennie said...

Hi, you don't know me. But I visit your blog from a friend's blog. I hope you don't mind one more suggestion. My 2nd daughter had to do the whole swaddle thing until she was 4 months old. I bought a cotton jersey sheet and cut it into 4 blankets to use for her swaddle since she had outgrown the other receiving blankets. But then the time came when she got strong enough to get out. After much contemplation because I heard that you should have babies sleep on their back to sleep because of the risk of SIDS, I decided to put her on her belly. She's NEVER slept better. Being on her belly kept herself from scratching her face and having the startle reflex that would wake her up.

On a side note, you might want to make sure that your milk supply hasn't lessened from birth control pills or whatever. My friend realized that her son started waking up at nights because her milk supply had gone down without her realizing it and he wasn't getting enough food during the day.

Either way, good luck. And don't worry, she will get the hang of it!

Tori :) said...

I was going to say what everyone else said: It's most likely a growth spurt AND have you tried the tummy? All 5 of mine slept on their tummies. They weren't great, all the way thru the nite, sleepers until they slept on their tummies.
I hadn't thought about the whole milk supply thing because I bottle fed mine. But even the bottle fed babies had weird sleeping/eating spurts.
Anyway... good luck and hope you can get some rest. :)

Emily said...

Jonah likes being swaddled and is always wrapped at night, but he usually naps fine without swaddling. I have one friend who likes the gas drops a lot, nobody else seems to. I have two books I wish I had time to read rather than browse Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child and Baby Wise, which both came highly recommended, you might try finding them at the library and seeing what they have to offer.