Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Routine of Routine

I am such a better mom when Will and I both get a full night's sleep. Unfortunately, Will's cold kicked off a series of weeks in which a full night's sleep was a joke and more than four consecutive hours of sleep was a rarity.

It didn't help that just when he was getting over his cold, we had to travel for Christmas to my in-laws. Then a week later, we headed to my family to belatedly celebrate the holiday. With hours-long car rides and later-than-usual nights, and everyone wanting to hold the baby for his naps, the routine which had just been starting to form when he got sick, was blown out of the water.

So, by the time we arrived home this last Sunday, I was pretty exhausted. Worse than that, so was Will. In the strange catch-22 that is infant sleep, the more tired a baby is, the harder it is to get them to sleep. . . and stay asleep. He might fall asleep very quickly, only to startle awake less than twenty minutes later.

Sunday night was probably the worst night of sleep that I have had since Will was eight weeks old. He woke up six times. And it was worse than when he was eight weeks old. At that point, I would just pop him on the boob and he would eat and then go back to sleep. I could lie there, half awake, half drowsing, watching mindless t.v. Now, at the advice of our pediatrician, we are not feeding him during the night, unless it has been over six hours. I had to spend a full half hour soothing him back to sleep each time that he woke, which means that I am fully awake and on my feet. It was awful. When he woke at 3:20 and it was over the six hour limit, I was grateful to be able to breastfeed him.

Monday night was not much better, but anything is better than six times. I think it was four times.

However, last night, he woke up once, at 4 AM. I fed him, he went straight back to sleep. Ahhh, bliss.

And it was all because we finally got back into our routine. At four and a half months old, Will is starting to switch from the "up two, down one" nap schedule that he had been in, to the 2-3-4 routine that so many of my friends swear by. That is that he naps about two hours after he wakes up in the morning, goes back down about three hours after getting up from that nap, then goes to bed about four hours after getting up from his last nap. It isn't flawless, and he still is probably getting a bit overtired to make it four hours at night, but it seemed to work last night.

Let's hope that I didn't jinx us!


Tracy said...

Hmm...2-3-4, never heard that one. I'll have to take a look at our schedule (newly modified, so still in the training stages, to try and get us closer to a breakfast-lunch-dinner schedule) to see how it conforms to that.

And re: keeping them on schedule for more/better sleep? Amen, sister.

Road Blocks and Roller Coasters said...

That's great! I'll need to give the 2-3-4 routine a try!