Friday, March 5, 2010

this is how we sleep now.

Today H and I took advantage of the 60 degree weather and went on a walk around the neighborhood. Last night he slept six hours straight, which meant that I was able to get four hours of uninterrupted rest. This is extremely rare these days due to stuffy noses. When it does happen though I feel so good the next day. If you had asked me to do anything on four hours of sleep before H arrived, I would have told you that's impossible. Now four hours of sleep is considered good. Really good.

Two weeks ago we started organizing Henry's day into a more predictable routine. He was having a hard time staying awake during the afternoon, which meant that the majority of his sleep was happening between five and eleven pm. By the time we were ready to sleep, he was wide awake and ready for social interaction. A lot of the material I read suggested putting your baby on a strict routine and sticking with it, no matter what. However, I felt that a lot of the information assumed that all children are the same. What works for one must surely work for another, right? WRONG.

We had H on this crazy schedule that was extremely exhausting for both sides. We were starting his bath at 9:30, followed by massage time, then feeding, and then sleep. Something just didn't feel right about it. By the time 9:30 rolled around, H was a complete wreck- crying over everything and then falling asleep in the most awkward positions. Then throw in the fact that he was soooo exhausted by the time he had to eat that he would skip fourth meal and wake up two hours later to get it instead. I was going crazy. Stick with it! Don't give up! The articles told us.

I called my mom and friend Jenny one night, completely at a loss. The advice they had made much more sense to me....Stick to a routine but be flexible according to the needs of your baby. So 9:30 wasn't working? Try bath at 9. If that doesn't work, try 8:30. We immediately started adjusting everything, reorganizing our night around the signals Henry had been giving us the entire time.

Because the hardest time of day for him were those 7-9:30 hours, we bumped everything back by an hour. This eliminated the whole hour H had previously spent overly exhausted and way too stimulated. He fell into a schedule of his own during the day, napping usually around 12 and then again around 5. We keep him super alert and awake in between with tummy time and tons of movement.

We now do bath at 8:20, followed by baby massage, eating, and then into bed by 9:30. This schedule has been working extremely well for us. H sleeps at night from 9:30-12:30 (sometimes even longer!), wakes up and quickly eats, and then sleeps again until 5-6 in the morning.

I could take credit for finding a schedule that totally works for the three of us, but the truth is Henry had been trying to tell us that this is what he needed from the very beginning. I truly feel that if I had only shut up, stopped following everything I was reading and just listened to my kid, we would have figured this whole sleep thing out ages ago.

Sure we miss episodes of Lost and we will probably not be able to go out for dinner together for some time and yes, I totally agree that being in bed by 8:45 is pretty lame mom-ish but hey, these are small prices to pay for a good night's sleep.

This set up is called the overprotective mom. Sure it's 60 degrees out, but hey. Better too warm than too cold, right?! Uh. Right?!

Everything is blooming here and the streets are lined with flowering trees and creepy old Spanish moss. I am so excited that Spring is finally on its way!

This is what a baby looks like after a good night's sleep!


Anonymous said...

Look at those eyebrows! Look at that clear eye contact! He has changed so much. He just keeps getting cuter and cuter. I know I'm his grandma, but really, just completely handsome....zoe

Kelly said...

I agree with Zoe. the guy is sooo handsome!!!! AAAHHHHH!!!I am in serious need of some Henry hugs!!!!And just look at what Henry is speaking with those soulful eyes..."Gimme some G'ma time!!!"Seriously, there is suffering on both sides.

On another note, I have thrown myself into the G'ma roll by crotcheting little Baby Henry hats. It's ridiculous.So do me a favor and measure his head-seriously!!!I finished a lady bug hat (I hope that Henry doesn't find ladybugs too feminine) and I will send you a picture.Gotta go. I'm starting a bumble bee hat.

alliehallmarr said...

We have to get this guy some grandma time!!! mom, can't wait to see the hats...i'm sooo excited! thank you so much!

Mariel Torres said...

ahhh! he has the most gorgeous eyes :D

alliehallmarr said...

Thanks Mariel! Hope you are having a great weekend!

andrea said...

Sleep is one of those things that your'll find yourself struggling with over and over and over again. It is such a difficult part of parenthood. It does get better, but we are still not sleeping through the night and it's been a year.It looks like Henry is a good sleeper, though (Bresho woke up every 2-3 hours for the first three months!!) so maybe it is just a matter of time before he starts sleeping through the night. In any case, try to be patient :)

Anonymous said...

awwwww look at those big blue eyes!!!! you have yourself a seriously cute baby!!! glad to read that you are falling into a routine!

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