Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Sleep with one eye open

OK, I give up. Since I've been home now for nearly 10 weeks with BabyT, I really don't have much of a non-baby-related life to write about. So excuse my descent into "all baby, all the time" posting. Sigh. I didn't want to become *that* person. I'll try not to be that annoying in person. At least with the blog, you can choose not to read it.

T is a pretty mellow baby (and I knock on wood every time I say this!), and we've been grateful. Around 4 weeks, she started the Period of Evening Wretchedness, which started around 7 and ended at 9 or 10 when she'd go to sleep. This is pretty common, it seems, and is known as the newborn "witching hour". Fortunately, she'd only get this way about 50% of evenings or less, so I did think it might be something we were doing/not doing to cause this.

Having been trained as scientists and engineers, TJ and I naturally look for cause/effect and solutions. I'm thinking this doesn't always work with babies - they seem to have their own reasons for doing thing, not all of which are easily discernible or predictable.

Anyway, the Evening Wretchedness was supposed to peak around 6-8 weeks and get better after that. I sort of noticed that she seemed to be fussy on days where she didn't sleep much during the day, but wasn't really tracking sleep vs. wretchedness.

Until last week, when we had a particularly awful day where BabyT napped for 1 hour the entire day, had a long period of Evening Wretchedness and then woke up twice at night. Except for her first 2 weeks at home, she *never* woke up more than once to eat at night. That was a bad night for us, and a bad next day for me. (I do not handle limited sleep very well.)

So I put out a request to my "Caltech alumni parents" mailing list to find out what other people did regarding naps and tiny babies since all the "expert advice" seems to say not to do anything with a schedule for 3-4 months.

I got some good information back, most notably, that if I get her to sleep more during the day, she'll sleep more at night and that if we put her to bed earlier she'd probably sleep longer at night as well. The biggest thing was to look for her "tired signs" like eye-rubbing, baby zombie eye, and yawning and then try to put her in the crib.

So for the past 4-5 days, I've been tracking her sleep on my handy iPod, using the awesome TotalBaby application, to see if there are any patterns. We've also been trying to get her to sleep before 9:30pm, and during the day, I try to get her to nap if she's been awake for 3 hours.

And OMG. I thought our girl was sleeping great already - 7 hours of sleep a night, plus another nap of 2-3 hours in the morning is pretty awesome at 9 weeks, and she's been doing that for a few weeks now, waking up to eat once about 50% of the nights. We thought we had won the baby lottery. (I'm sure that we have.) So I was skeptical that we could really make things better, though I was really hoping to avoid tired Evening Wretchedness.

Guess what, for the past four nights, she slept 10-11 hours and didn't wake up to eat(!!!) Of course, babies are unpredictable and things will change, but this is amazing. She also takes about 3-ish naps during the day, for 45 min to 2 hours. And there has been no Wretchedness.

But of course, this is a work in progress. Today she and I went out to Redmond Town Center, an outdoor mall, that also has a nice walking trail behind it. We started our walk on the trail and then walked for a while in the mall portion. She napped on and off in the stroller, but I think that threw off her sleeping chi.

Once we got home, she alternated eating and sleeping for the next couple of hours, and it has been pretty difficult to get her to sleep. Here we are around 10pm, and I think she just fell asleep. So it remains to be seen what happens tonight. I've got my fingers crossed that it'll be an uneventful night, and that she might even get 10 hours of sleep, but who knows? These babies, so unpredictable!

And of course, another cute baby picture. Baby Eeyore is sometimes happy!

We got this outfit in the giant bag of baby clothes I bought from someone on Craigslist. I wish I had remembered it at Halloween, but with a baby, it's never too late to play dress-up!


  1. That's a great picture. =) Good luck with the sleeping. I didn't realize how good I had it with Brianna until I had Gillian. B was a great sleeper, and still is. G didn't sleep all the way through the night consistently until she was almost a year old, and even now, she wakes much more easily than B.

  2. Yay for awesome sleep! Don't feel bad, there is a reason people become consumed with babies. Nature's way of making sure the parents are involved enough to keep them alive and growing well.

    I had to laugh at your facebook Weissbluth comment bc I feel exactly the same way. Good info, terrible writing!

    Happy thanksgiving!

  3. When they sleep through the night for 10 hours it's like heaven!! So 4 yo DD still wakes up sometimes and I am way, go back to bed...mommy is not getting up at 4


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