Friday, August 10, 2012

Sleeping like a baby

Baby sleep: it’s on every parent’s mind (and a lot on the internet too) So here’s an update on how things are going here:

First I have to admit that when I was pregnant and I couldn’t sleep because my belly was huge, I though to myself ‘when the baby is out I will be able to sleep again’. Yes, this shows how little I knew about babies before I had one myself. I also thought babies were supposed to sleep in their cribs in their own rooms, but his changed pretty fast with a baby who has only slept through the night once in the past year.

Back when BlueEyes was 4 months old, the sleeping started to go better. He didn’t wake up every 2-3 hours anymore, but sometimes slept all the way to 2 am (from about 8pm) in his own crib. This was awesome, but just when this started to happen we went on a trip to a time zone 6 hours away. And then two weeks later we went back to be home for 2 days before heading 6 time zones in the other direction. I don’t know if this had anything to do with it, but after we came home from this month in different time zones his sleeping was not improved to say the least. He woke up every couple hours, and putting him to bed was a lot more difficult. So even though in March I said that I wasn’t that tired anymore I think I was just being delusional back then. At that point we would still put BlueEyes to sleep in his own crib because I thought that that was what you were supposed to do. So first I would nurse him to sleep and then we would very gently place him in his crib. Half the times he would wake up and we would have to start over. This was not the awesomest way to spend the evening.

So now I nurse him to sleep in our bed. This takes anywhere from 10 minutes to 1,5 hours and then he just stays there. I put the baby monitor next to him so that I hear it when he wakes up and we sit downstairs for a little bit (I still go to bed around 9pm to get enough sleep). Also, BlueEyes knows how to climb out of bed safely so I don’t have to worry about him falling out of bed anymore. On a very good night he wakes only once to quickly nurse and then go to sleep again. But who am I kidding? This only happened maybe five times in the past year. Because whenever he is teething, has a cold, or has any other kind of discomfort he will wake up anywhere between 2 and maybe 5 times. 

The way to make this a do-able situation in my opinion is to not look at the alarm what time it is whenever I wake up, because not knowing how late it is also prevents me from thinking that I have only slept so many hours or there are only so many hours left to sleep. What also helps, is that whenever BlueEyes REALLY wakes up, Dr. BrownEyes will step in and walk around with him until he falls back to sleep. This is a way that we found works for us and that allows us to be pretty rested most of the days.


  1. The sleep deprivation was/is the hardest part of having a baby. Kiddo didn't sleep more than 2.5 hours at a time until he was 10 months old. And those were the long stretches!

    We don't cosleep, so I don't have any advice for that situation. (I have to add the disclaimer that I don't think anything is wrong with cosleeping, but it didn't work for us. I ended up getting less sleep--I was worried about smothering-- and Kiddo woke up more. I think the latter could have been because Kiddo thought "Hey! The boob is right here! Game on!") We eventually did a version of CIO with checks, which was more like fuss it out, and that has worked well for us. However, I know that doesn't work everyone (see: my friend's child who gets hysterical).

    Anyhow, this long comment is to say that I know how tough it is and I hope that BlueEyes starts sleeping for longer stretches soon. Also, I'm always available for venting sessions. :)

    1. Thanks for your comment! It's always nice to hear that other people have babies that take a while to sleep longer stretches. An it's nice to complain about it on twitter every now and then! I'm glad that Kiddo is sleeping longer now and I'm pretty sure BlueEyes will figure it out one day too ;-).

  2. Hm. I'm glad to know my baby's not an extra-weird one because he's not even thinking about sleeping through the night at four months, but I'm kind of scared to think of it continuing so much longer. Oh well--we'll get through it.

    Pretty much just like you said, I've tried getting him to sleep and then carefully putting him into his crib, only to have him wake up immediately...I don't have the energy to keep doing that, so I revert to what works, nursing him to sleep in our bed.

    Whatever gets you a little rest, I say. He wakes up more often to nurse now that I'm back at work (4 times a night, average), but at least with him in the same bed, I don't have to get up and stumble into another room. Sigh. It's not forever, right?

    And I have wondered if it might just be a "hey, the boob is right here!" kind of thing, but he really nurses heartily every time, not just like a little snack sucking ('snucking'?), so I assume he's actually looking for the nourishment.

    Yawn. Not forever. We'll get through it.

    1. Yup my mantra is "it's a phase, it's a phase, it's a phase" ;-) I think that just accepting that this is how it is and trying to sleep as much as you can under the circumstances is what works (at least for me). I hope your baby starts to sleep a bit longer soon!