6 November 2009
baby sleep revisited
You may recall a while back I was reading every baby sleep book under the sun due to Audrey's inability to not so much sleep through the night but remain settled for longer periods of time at night (and not irritatingly call out for me just as I had sat down with a lovely cup of whatever). Up until a few days ago, Audrey's routine was:
6:15am: Wake, Milk, Solids
8.00am: Morning Nap for 2 - 3 hrs
10.30am: Wake, Milk, Solids
12.30pm: Nap 2, for 2.5 hrs, sometimes less
During the evening/night: wake! wake! wake!
Waking at 2.30pm left a long period of wakefulness unless we put her to bed at 5.30pm. She nursed often during the night (at best it was twice-three times after going to bed until morning, and worst she needed resettling every two-three hours).
Having been driven absolutely bonkers by all this night activity, and probably more by her unpredictability in the evening (we rarely go out at night because I'd just be too concerned whether she would wake or not, and as I breastfeed I'm the only person fit for the job) I went back over some notes I kept from some of the baby books.
Now we follow this schedule (from the book Save Our Sleep) pretty strictly (this is the routine for a baby from starting solids up to the age of 9 months, a slightly modified routine follows on from 9 mths):
7am: Wake (wake up if still sleeping), milk feed
8am: Solids (two courses, savoury & sweet)
9am: Morning Nap
11am: Wake, Milk Feed
12pm: Solids (savoury & sweet)
1pm: Afternoon Nap
3pm: Wake, Milk Feed
5.00pm: Solids (savoury & sweet)
6.20pm: Bath / Top to Tail wash
6.40pm: Milk Feed finished at least ten minutes before bedtime
10.30pm: Dreamfeed (only if they aren't sleeping through the night)
What is good about this is that it makes the day more predictable (which helps when running errands and meeting people) and also it does away with demand feeding. Plus I think we are feeding her more solids per meal now and I wonder if that was the reason for her night waking. Was I starving my poor child?
With demand nursing she was probably never really going to eat a decent solids meal, much like snacking throughout the day leaving you not longing for a decent meal. This is why this routine allows a reasonable amount of time between milk feeds and solids.
I hope this brings a bit more sleep into our nights. Audrey is a vision of plump deliciousness. I, on the other hand, could almost blow away in the next southerly.
I know many mothers protest at the weight gain that sometimes goes with pregnancy/babies, but is anyone else in the same boat as me, i.e. finding weight a real chore to keep on? My mother is writing me emails saying my arms are resembling Angelina Jolie's (not in a good way). I'm not even going to mention what Brendan is saying. He thinks I am crash dieting for the wedding, but it couldn't be further from the truth. The pictures of women I most admire are those with athletic bodies and rounded edges, not angular hips and concave legs. All my skinny jeans are loose now, sod it! And I really do mean sod it. I know some dear friends have rolled their eyes when they hear of my weight issue, which I find quite offensive. I think being at either end of the spectrum has its problems.
Anyway, a bit of a report back on this new sleep routine:
1st night - bedtime at 7pm, woke at 10.30pm for feed, then at 2pm for a small feed, then stirred at 3.30pm.
2nd night - I did away with the dreamfeed to see how long she would sleep for, and she woke at 3am! Then it was a half feed, she stirred at 4.30am and woke around 6.15am.
She goes down well for her day time naps, but fusses a little at night so we still have to work out the best time for her bedtime. And because this routine is written down, Brendan can easily follow it too. He comes to me reporting that "it's time for Audrey solids", and ''and keep feeding her until she turns her head away'. Okay!
This is the first time ever that she has slept that long through the night, so eating more solids and following this routine seems to be making a difference in a matter of only days.
I can't wait to see how things are a week from now. I am so hopeful!