CALLING ALL INTERNET PARENTS WITH BABIES!!!
SHOWER ME WITH YOUR WISDOM!
So, I’m going back and forth on what I should do here. Harris is 8 weeks…9 on Tuesday. Over the past couple of weeks his sleep has gotten a lot more organized and the times of day are pretty predictable. He wakes-up for the day around 7:30-8, his current awake time is about 45 minutes before he’s ready for a nap, and his nap needs to last at least 2 hours or more for him to wake-up feeling rested. He’s ready to go down for the night around 7:30-8:30, depending on when his last nap ended. His naps are still nothing to be proud of, he still wakes at the 45 minute mark almost every time and even when I give him a few minutes to work it out on his own, he has yet to go back to sleep, so I’m still doing a lot of work to get him back to sleep and stay asleep. BUT. He really is getting SO much better at going to sleep more quickly and staying asleep when I put him down. (For the most part anyway.)
I figured-out that all his screaminess is 100% related to sleep. I mean, I knew that definitely was factored in somewhere, but I didn’t realize how much. Apparently, he’s just like his big sister and is extremely sensitive to getting enough rest and gets overtired very quickly. If he’s rested, he’s a happy, content, calm, smiley, adorable little guy. When he’s tired—watch out!!!! (I mean, if he hits his tired time while we’re in the car on a nice loud freeway, does he drift-off to dreamland like any normal baby? No, he just starts screaming. Until we get home. Until I get a boob in his mouth and he drifts-off. I mean, what infant isn’t lulled to sleep in the car?!) So right now I’m focusing on getting him the long naps he needs and preventing overtiredness even though it often takes a lot of intervention and maintenance to keep him asleep. I’d rather his night sleep improve, which it can’t do if he’s overtired from bad naps, and when he’s older and his patterns are more established I’ll work us out of the butt-patting rut I’m in.
ALL THAT TO SAY. So, when he goes down for bed around 8-ish, for the past couple of weeks I’ve been waking him up to feed him before I go to bed if he hasn’t already woken-up. His longest stretch of night sleep has been three hours (whoo-hoo!), so I was waking him after 2.5 hrs. (which is how long his naps often are) so he wouldn’t go ahead and get that 3-hour stretch out of the way and hopefully do it after I go to sleep. A couple of times that actually happened, but mostly it just hasn’t worked. He’ll still wake-up 45 minutes later or an hour and a half later. I’ve tried feeding him without waking him up all the way and I’ve tried changing his diaper to wake him up a bit and then feeding him. His first stretch of sleep is pretty solid, we haven’t been hearing a peep out of him, but after I go to bed it’s pretty bad. Earlier this week he would only have one 2-hr. stretch and the rest of the time he was up every 45 minutes or less. Even on a good night, he’ll have a couple of 2-3 hour stretches, but from 4-7 a.m. he’s up literally every hour on the hour. He’s done that pretty much every night since I can remember.
So I started wondering if by waking him up I’m just screwing with his natural sleep pattern and maybe I should just leave him alone. With Evelyne I never woke her up after I put her to bed, so her longest stretch of sleep was naturally the first part of the night. So even after she started sleeping decently long stretches, she went to bed so early that I wasn’t getting hardly any benefit, she’d still wake-up about two hours after I went to bed and I’d be up twice a night. That’s why I wanted to try it differently with Harris, because if it works, I could get way more sleep way earlier than I did with her. So two nights ago I just didn’t wake him up. He slept for FIVE hours! I was astonished!!!! Last night I did the same thing and he slept for 4.5!!!! (Both nights from about 7:30-12:30) I’m totally thrilled beyond belief because even though I only slept a couple of those hours, I’m very encouraged that there’s actual progress being made! I was really afraid that he was stuck on 3 hours and wouldn’t ever progress. So the fact that he went from 3 to 5 means that sometime in the future he can go longer than five. (And the little booger didn’t even seem that hungry when he woke-up!!!)
When I went to bed last night he had been asleep for exactly 3 hours and I heard him barely stirring in his sleep so I knew it was a light phase of sleep. Now I’m wondering if I fed him after 3 hours of sleep instead of 2.5 when he’s naturally in a light stage of sleep that he would be able to transfer that five hours to the second part of the night and I might actually be able to—gasp!!!—sleep for five hours! (I haven’t slept longer than 3 hours at a time in two months, people!! But I’m kinda nervous that if I do that I’ll screw-up his good pattern and the rest of the night will be bad because I didn’t let him get fully rested or something.
SO. I know a lot of people do the wake to feed before bed thing, so tell me how you did it and how it worked. Did you go at a certain number of hours after they fell asleep or just whenever you felt like going to bed? Should I just let him do his thing and not wake him up? Advise me, people. Either way, YAY Harris for five long hours!!!!
Oh, and Happy 2 Month Birthday!