A Schedule is Emerging-*Updated

Life is good, but busy over here.  AJ is just so much fun! He is cooing and making all sorts of sounds, smiling and laughing, doing his little crunches, putting everythign in his mouth (he almost got his paci back in the other day by followin a short paci clip!), he is very mellow (but when it is bedtime, you had better book it!), he loves to stand on your lap or play on his back and he rolled over from tummy to back yesterday!  Today he seemed to be humming himself to sleep-so cute!  Charlie was a super late teether, but AJ has been really gnawing rather than sucking his hands and I've been wondering.  Today I saw a familiar "turtle face" where they suck the lip in, so I think he's feeling something.  It still could be a long while.  Charlie continues to be gentle and love his brother.  You can tell he is teething himself (he is getting the 4 incisors) because he will argue with you when he has no idea what he is even arguing about, lol.  Dad is trying to get more actively involve with putting AJ to bed-since he was getting a lot of pushback we both realized I need to share more :)  That's the fun stuff.  Now wanna hear how bad its been over here?!  If not, just scroll down for cute pics including Charlie rocking out in a diaper and frog galoshes.  :)

Well, it has been rough goings at night since about the 20th of Feb.  Just in time for major dissertation deadlines.  AJ just decided he was very interested in continuing to eat throughout the night.  He totally did a 180 and was eating every 2-3 hrs through the night.  It.was.rough.  I wasn't used to waking that often anymore.  And it wasn't just waking to eat.  He would go down and then wake about 10 minutes later.  I suspect some of it had to do with him falling asleep nursing and then waking up because he realized he wasn't nursing and didn't have a paci.  Didn't bother him before, but he was getting older and maybe that association had developed/he had become more aware.  I definitely think a growth spurt was part of it as well.  Can I just tell you how much I despise falling asleep for ten minutes and then getting woke?  I was a zombie.  AJ was doing that plus waking from 6am to 7am playing in bed (during which there was no way I could sleep), then he'd go back to bed in time for Charlie to wake.  Charlie was/is teething and therefore would wake crying once or twice a night, my dh was snoring (something he only does when he was sleep deprived).  Add to that me eating constantly because I was producing all this extra milk, then peeing constantly...did I mention I was a zombie?  I am not complaining.  It was just fact.  I have never been that tired in my life-not even when either boy was a newborn.  One night I made the mistake of drinking coffee too late.  Ugh, we were both up from it, but it was not productive awake time! 

Things are better now. I'd like to say that AJ is back to eating once or twice, but he is not.  However, several things improved are situation, so I will list them here since there are several babies in the group close to AJ's age.  Maybe they will help someone. 

First of all, realizing it was truly hunger helped me know to feed him and not try to otherwise pacify him. Pacifying him was hard and it didn't work for long (he'd sleep another hour max).  Plus when I fed him, he acted hungry and stayed awake eating for most of it, so I knew he was truly hungry.  I am big on knowing if it is real hunger or not because if it isn't, then I can send in the big guns (daddy) to comfort while I sleep-haha!  Knowing this also allowed me to let his sitter know to feed him more during the day and I made great effort to feed him where it was more quiet and make extra sure he had his fill (as opposed to being squirmy due to a burp or whatever).  I began always feeding on both sides every feeding around then.  All of this was possible because we increased his prevacid, which I think, allowed him to drink bigger amounts more comfortably and he kept it down better.  I knew 2.5 oz per feeding (what he took per the sitter) was not typical for his age.  He began to take more and also was able to move to more like 3 hrs between the feeding (which is one reason I understand that he is still needing to make up some at night, but I am okay with that-it helps that I have accepted it for now and am going to bed earlier to compensate). 

Another thing I did was block out the sun in his room.  He has never showed any day/night confusion and I figured his internal clock was pretty well set.  However, the sun rising earlier was making everyone in this house rise earlier and I was not ready for that.  I do very well waking at 7am.  Not so much before.  And what is good for mommy is good for everyone :)  Plus, AJ waking from 6-7am and then sleeping from 7am-8am wasn't working well at all with daycare dropoff, which happens at 7:30am usually. 

Oh yes, and probably the biggest thing I did was move his bedtime earlier.  At this time, they usually move from more adult like bedtimes to more infant bedtimes (6-8pm) and since AJ always went down at 8pm (early for an infant), I had forgotten about this.  Rereading (Sleeping through the Night, No Cry Sleep Solution, and Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child-my favs) I recalled this and now he goes to bed between 6pm and 7pm.  It's true what they say, earlier to bed later to rise.  Whether it is this or the darkening, he is sleeping more now.

I also have a little trick if your infant is a light fusser or a happy talker and you still need some sleep.  AJ sleeps in the room next to ours.  If he is fussy and it isn't time to eat (and I mean light fussy, not full on cry), I open his door and ours (normally both shut) and then turn off the monitor.  This way I can sleep through the little noises much easier and I am confident I will hear him if he gets really upset. I've only had to do this a few times, he is usually asleep when I leave the room from nursing and stays asleep, but just lately I've had to do this and he puts himself back to sleep nicely.  It is so easy to underestimate them, or in our sleep deprived state pop up and tend to them quickly.

Also, AJ is a good sleeper, and knowing that he can take long naps encourages me to give his paci back rather than just get him up and it usually works.  And then the sitter knows to expect this too because he can look wide awake and then go right back to sleep. Infants amaze me with things like that!

I also read that the morning nap is starting to develop around 9am and I see that to be the case.  It's funny, but there is something about starting to put him on a schedule that results in one emerging rather than the other way around.  Not that I don't base the schedule on what I've seen from him, but getting the ball rolling with a wakeup time or a common sleep time and going from there...esp when you see a pattern with the timing of the first nap, then every day starts off the same, so then they vary less.  So, even though we aren't sleeping through the night, the schedule that he's been on the last week is definitely doable.  Here it is, if anyone is interested.  All times are approximate. 

5:30am feeding-about 4oz each feeding per sitter
wake about 7:30am
8:30am feeding
nap about 9am for 1-1.5 hrs (he no longer gets swaddled, we eased off it at the beginning of Feb, but I will swaddle his legs or do a sleep sack; our routine is simply to change diaper, add blanket, and rock 1-2 min or until sleepy and put in bed awake; he has heart beat cd and his room is now darkened with towels over windows)
11:30am feeding (nurses10-20 min total)
nap about 12 for 1.5 to 3 hrs (wake if more than 3.5 hrs-yes, we've had to do this 3 times-he likes sleep)
2:30 pm feeding
nap about 3pm for 1 to 1.5 hrs
5:30pm feeding
Bed between 6pm and 7pm (he goes to bed with paci, but I don't replace it in the night, he falls asleep either nursing or usually when I hold him upright for ten before putting him back in bed so he can digest the milk so I just put him to bed without paci and don't replace it).
(for now we are doing two more feedings-about 11:30pm and 2:30am-I am confident they will drop down soon, but don't mind since he goes down so early and sleeps so late and doesn't wake btw for paci, etc or from 6-7am anymore; once he starts sleeping through them mostly or spitting up from over feeding I will send daddy in to soothe for one of the feedings.  Also, I can slowly move the 11:30pm to before I go to bed and then if we skip the 2:30am, I will only actually be waking to go in once-won't that be nice!)


Second Chances said...

Oh man! I'm sorry you went through that night waking stuff again. That's the pits! Dominic has been waking up during the night too ever since we went on an overnight trip and he didn't sleep well. I'm hoping we go back to one feeding at night versus two cuz it's rough!

I'm soooo jealous of AJ's long daytime naps! We're not even close. Dommie sleeps 45 minutes to the minute every time! So he takes 4-5 naps a day. It's a bummer. But I've tried rereocking and feeding and putting him back down and nothing has worked. I should try darkening his room more. That's a good idea. I thought of that a few weeks ago and forgot to do anything about it. Thanks for the reminder!

allyouwhohope said...

Wow! I don't have any idea if there is any pattern developing in my house, haha! I'm pretty much just hanging on by a thread every day and I put him down when he seems sleepy/fussy. Then I pray he actually sleeps! And about half the time he doesn't! Nights are very tough in our house. I hear ya on feeling like a zombie and how hard it is to get back up after falling asleep. And I think it's so much harder now since he had gone a few weeks sleeping through. What a tease that was!

I am in awe of how on top of it you are! I can't even answer the pediatrician when she asks how often he nurses! What is wrong with me?! Haha.

Natalie said...

Goodness! I hope you are not a zombie for much longer. My youngest wanted to stay awake for the joy of staying awake at night so we ended up just leaving him in his bouncer or swing with music playing in the living room for about a month. After that he would stay in his crib all night. I'm like you, I don't get up before 7 and my boys go to bed at 7. I really hope the sleep and eat situation works out because a happy momma is a happy home. =)

WheelbarrowRider said...

AYWH, I should clarify that a) I can't remember anything, let alone when I don't get sleep, b) I am a data nerd, its my job and I can't help but write everything down and c) I was the same way with my first one with my pediatrician coaxing it out of me (does he eat about every three hrs, how often does he wake at night to eat, etc) and we would figure out the # from that. Also, I can totally relate, SC, to short naps b/c Charlie woke at 35 min every single nap until 7 months. And he had 4 or 5 a day. It was likely (in his case) b/c he couldn't sleep through the first sleep cycle/put himself back to sleep. In his case, I resorted to the sling/carseat too often and he wouldn't sleep in his bed past the sleep cycle. As a result, I vowed to do different with AJ and put him in his crib almost exclusively and always awake when he goes down. He is a great self soother now, but some of that could also be innate. I don't think I can take credit for it all, and I can def feel your pain with Dom and short naps!

Awaiting a Child of God:) said...

You are such a good momma. So alert and aware of everything! Although my time hasn't come yet, I will be drilling you when it does!!

Nicole C said...

That last pic is priceless!

Second Chances said...

Dominic does put himself to sleep though. That's the weird thing. He's a good self soother. We always put him down awake, never asleep. Well, except for the one middle of the night feeding because he falls asleep while he's eating. But never any other time. I let him fuss for a bit but I'm not good at letting him fuss for a long time. Maybe I should try to let him fuss longer?

Little JoAnn said...

I love when they emerge. Yeah! I am a schedule a'holic. We live and die and breathe by a strict schedule. It's the only way I can make it. It makes me happy and Toddler A amazing. People tell me she is never fussy, never in a bad mood. Well, only during her scheduled time. Ha! Just joking...but, actually it's sorta true.

St. Benedict knew somethin' about life when he re-introduced schedules back into Western Civilization.

Schedules are HOLY and Divine.

Love learning about your guys' routines.

So interesting.

Katie @ Persevere in Prayer said...

How interesting! I definitely need to purchase that book and prepare myself for my baby's sleeping/eating schedule.