Friday, September 7, 2012

Sleep Update 2

You can read about our sleeping troubles, and sleep update 1.

Our journey to better sleep continues! I have heard from many other mamas of high need babies that even their two-year-olds don't sleep well yet. This is both good and bad news; bad news being that this journey could be a very long one; good news being that I'm not alone and November's interrupted sleep is normal AND it WILL get better!

Sleepy Time Success: It has been much easier {MOST} nights to put her down for naps and night time, so it no longer feels like 'one step forward, three steps back' every night; it feels more like 'three steps forward, pause' or just 'one step back' on a fussy night. I think she is getting used to her schedule, and understands when naps and night are coming. That doesn't mean we don't have nights where she fights it, but most nights are OK! She still cannot fall asleep drowsy-but-awake, and I've come to accept that about her as a high-need baby. Lots of other moms deal with rocking their HN babies to sleep for a long time. Of course, we won't give up, and continue to encourage her to fall asleep on her own, but we don't stress it, and don't drag it out; we watch her cues and see what she is willing to do. Usually, the rare occasion where she falls asleep without being rocked happens when she is fully tired (but not over-tired), calm, and happy to snuggle. In these instances, I can sometimes get her to lay her head on my shoulder or chest while I'm laying down, and we snuggle to sleep. It's wonderful! It doesn't happen often, but I love when it does! Spencer is particularly good at this. We still nurse back to sleep for middle of the night wakings, but there are nights where I feel like she isn't waking quite as often (I say feels like because I try not to watch the clock/count for sanity's sake). This isn't saying much, considering she was waking almost hourly when this journey started.

What we have learned/changed: After watching November's 'sleep cues' we were able to more closely hone in on a (mostly) consistent daily routine. She started falling asleep earlier and easier, and then waking up earlier as well. Unfortunately, sometimes she wakes up as early as 5am (gasp!) but most of the time it's closer to six. She always falls asleep before 8pm, and falls asleep between 6 and 7 almost every night. We moved her naptimes, mealtimes, and pre-bed routines to accommodate these time changes (of course we always follow her cues above all else) and it turns out this new schedule also flows much better on days when she is at my mom's, therefor making those days less 'thrown-off.' Here is her new daily routine:

6-6:30 wakey time, changed, dressed, breakfast
8-8:30 nap time
9-10 wakey time
11:30-12 lunch
12-1 nap time
1-2 wakey time
3:30-4 dinner
5-5:15 bath, calm time
6-7: asleep

In other findings, she hasn't become too attached to her owl lovey, but instead associates her super soft blanky with sleep. Works for me! We have streamlined and honed in on a calm time routine. It now starts with a bath, quick coconut oil massage, and jammies (I can't exactly call any of those activities 'calm' but she knows they mean night time) followed by nursing in our bed in the dim room, reading her specific night time books, and then we let her explore the room and quietly play until she shows us her tired cues (rubbing her eyes, shoving her face into my chest, getting clumsy.) Then we do whatever gets her to sleep; rocking, walking, or snuggling...usually a combination of all three!

What we need to improve: We just need to be patient and continue to work toward less night wakings/nursings. I still don't always stay awake during night wakings in order to separate myself from her and move away, but that means I'm falling back asleep really quickly, which is nice! I think we are making great {slow} progress and I'm so proud of my baby girl! We are considering trying to sidecar her crib to our bed to make a co-sleeper, but I'm not sure it will work because she seeks me or Spencer out at night to snuggle closely with. Also, I love her nursery set-up, and don't really want to re-arrange things. But it's worth a shot, if we ever get a chance to do it!

So there we are, still tired, still waking, but overall feeling better! Good night!

No comments:

Post a Comment