Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Sleepless Summer

Don't be deceived by the cute sleeping baby in the picture, Caleb hardly ever sleeps any more. The picture was taken back when he was two months old. Back when he still used to sleep.

Now I'm lucky if I get even one nap out of him in a day. He has no sort of schedule whatsoever. I'm baffled at how other people do it. So if you have a baby that sleeps, please let me in on the secret. Tell me how you do it.

Caleb and I went down to California in June for my niece's blessing. While we were there, Caleb was so good. He'd nap in Sara's swing without being fed first. He'd sleep in his carseat, his stroller, whatever. One night, he slept for seven and a half hours straight. Two nights later, he went eight in a row.

Then he got a cough and was up every two hours (sometimes sooner). The cough went away weeks ago, but he's still getting up every two to three hours. The only way we can get him back to sleep is if I nurse him. It probably wouldn't be so bad if there was another way, but this kid just loves to eat. He also only naps if he nurses to sleep. If he had his way, he'd never stop eating. All babies do is eat, sleep, and poop, right? Well, as Caleb can attest, you can sleep and poo while still eating. I think I'm gonna go out of my mind one of these days real soon.

The only reason I'm still sane is that he no longer needs to be held all the time. He can lay on the floor and play with his toys for a while so that I can get stuff done. That's been nice. Because as much as I like cuddling with my baby, he's getting awfully heavy these days. And after having that bout of pleurisy the other week, it's really hard for me to carry him around.

Anyway, enough complaining. I'm getting used to never sleeping. Sometimes I miss those 12 hour nights I used to sleep when I was pregnant, but I'd rather have Caleb in my life than sleep.


Mr Jo Bloggity said...

Don't worry, I'm a professional. I've got some advice for you.

If you need references, I can point you to my very satisfied customer, Ethan.

What you need to do is get a schedule. Start watching when it seems like Caleb is getting tired and then put him to bed just a little before that. Babies don't sleep well when they get over-tired.

We had Ethan taking naps every two hours when he was a real little guy. Though by Caleb's age, he can probably go longer. But, start getting him into a routine of naps.

They'll help his sleep at night time too. The greatest feeling was when Ethan started sleeping through the night and we got to get some rest. We put him down for bed at like 6pm once he started sleeping through the night. That lasted until he was about 2 years old. Then we switched to 7pm.

You'll figure out what works for Caleb. Just remember that he's still too young to know what's good for him (that advice applies until he's 18 and probably longer)

Laura said...

Yeah. I agree. Just force the kid to take a nap. It's for your own good and his too. You certainly will go crazy if you don't get a minute to yourself. I have no great advice for sleeping through the night. I think I've prayed more for Agnes to be able to sleep than any other plea I've ever made. When Agnes was three months old I stopped nursing her to sleep and started bouncing her on the bouncy ball until she fell asleep, then I'd nurse her when she woke up. That was good until we moved. Then I was lazy and went back to nursing to sleep. Only just the last two months has that changed. But yeah, I agree with the schedule. It's okay to change it around a little, but I think you'll find it helps the days go better when you have more of a set feed, nap, bathe, play schedule.

Ethan's Mom said...

John is close, but not quite. Right now (4 months) is the best time to implement a sleep schedule.

The first thing is way more naps than you think. We followed the 2 hour rule. We never let him stay up for more than 2 hours, usually a little less. It's amazing how much more easily they fall asleep when they aren't overtired. It ends up being quite a few naps at the beginning, but before long goes to about 3 a day.

The naps will naturally fall into a regular schedule and allow you to set a bedtime. The before sleep routine was the other big thing we did. Whether it was nap or bedtime, we read a book, sang a song, nursed, and then into his crib. (It's easier to establish if he can be at home in the crib as much as possible. It's really the consistent things that signal him to fall asleep.)

Anyway, that's what worked for us. I highly recommend the book Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Weissbluth. -Mia