Thursday, October 16, 2008

On Sleep and Preparation

It's been awhile since I posted on our sleep progress.

First off, I want to thank those of you that posted ideas or e-mailed me with suggestions. That's the great thing about motherhood - getting some expertise from other moms in the trenches.

I did tweak a couple of things to Will's routine, including:

Putting a blanket underneath his crib mattress to "prop" him up a bit.

Reading this book by Marc Weissbluth (found it fascinating and flexible to whatever method of sleep training to want to use, anything from family bed to extinction cry it out) - and turning Will's swing off after he had been fully soothed to sleep.

An extra formula "topper" at the 10 PM feeding - 2 oz. of formula after breastfeeding and immediately before bed.

I also think it is no coincidence that Little Man is now 8 weeks old, which is when some sleep experts say that things start to smooth out a bit in that arena (others, including Dr. Weissbluth, say not until the 12 - 16 week mark, when melatonin is produced by the baby's brain). But the good news is that we have a bit more of a "routine" now, including a nice morning nap of about two hours and a four hour stretch (10:30 - 2:30) at night. Of course, it all changes a bit day by day, and just when I think we're on to something, we're not really. But it's all a bit more liveable than the 1 - 2 hour wake ups we were having all night.

Though I am by no means an expert, I do feel as if I have some advice which might help you when you reach this phase. For the still pregnant:

1) Know what sleep method you want to start from birth (no matter what book I choose, all of my reading shows that consistency is the best that you can offer your baby).

2) Read all of the books that you can on whatever sleep method that is and write down pertinent facts that you want to retain (time after baby will be more precious and your mind will be foggy).

3) Get your spouse on board (and possibly get him to read the same material).

4) Know that it might all change, based on your baby's temperament and your own feelings about those methods once you are employing them on an actual baby.

5) That you are not alone if it's hard. And it it's easy, then count your lucky stars!

And one not related to sleeping - if you are planning on breastfeeding, have a variety of button and zip up tops/sweaters/lightweight jackets to wear. Trust me, when the baby is here, you will not feel like/have time for shopping for clothes and trying things on, so it's good to have some of those things handy in addition to nursing bras. Get one size larger than your prepregnancy size and they should fit once the swelling goes down (which took about a week post-partum for me).

I hope this helps!


Jen said...

Yes! Very good list, I shall write it all down.

Joy said...

Very awesome advice! And you're definitely right--- once you get one thing established, it usually changes. But that's a good thing in a way, because that means baby is growing and expanding into new territory.

Awesome post!

I totally missed your post yesterday for the candle-lighting. I miscarried in 2006. ;-( Oh well, I can light one tonight!

Tracy said...

great tips!!! i agree.

Fertilized said...

sounds like you are finding your comfort level

Geohde said...

We just shove in as much food as we can during the day and it seems to work for us :)

Fortunately the extreme-sports sleep deprivation does improve :)