Posted by: birdsandsquirrels | March 22, 2010

sleep

Wow, where has the time gone? It seems that I only have time to blog at night when Miss Birdie is asleep, but blogging (or doing other productive things) conflicts with me getting some sleep. Right now she is sleeping across the room and my typing seems to be bothering her. I need to learn to type quietly.

Sleep is something I am getting used to not getting. Birdie will give us stretches of 3 hours fairly often, 4 hours once in a while, and the very rare 5 hour stretch. She will also give us 1 and 2 hour stretches fairly often, especially in the past week. I think she is going through a growth spurt. She is nursing ALL OF THE TIME. The other day it seemed like all I did was feed her, eat food myself, and pee once in a while.

She had been sleeping mostly in her bouncy seat or swing for the first two months. I felt like such a loser for letting that pattern start, but that was the only place she would sleep for more than half an hour at a time. She slept great in the swing. After reading Happiest Baby on the Block, I didn’t feel so bad about it. Then she started sleeping on her back in the snuggle nest in the bed next to me. Now I have started putting her in the snuggle nest in the crib. Baby steps.

At the end of last week, I put her in the crib on her back. She only slept for twenty minutes. The next night I swaddled her and put her in the crib and she slept for close to 2 hours. We were making progress until this weekend when I was worn out, exhausted, my nipples were killing me and I had nothing left to give after feeding her all day. We gave her some formula and all hell broke loose. Sad baby with an upset, gassy tummy, crying in pain. The snuggle nest came back in the bed with me so I could soothe her.

I think I finally convinced S that she has those particularly bad nights the few times we have given her formula. He’s fairly quick to suggest that we supplement (‘she’s crying so let’s give her some similac’ seems to be his thinking), and I am more reluctant because I suspected it was making her fussy, plus even with all of the breastfeeding challenges we have had, I don’t want to give up. I know that supplementing is a slippery slope. So, I don’t want to be giving her formula often, but if we do need to supplement, I want to have some on hand. Maybe we should try a different formula. Does anyone have any suggestions for a different formula to try? I hate to even bother because I really don’t want to have to supplement. How do you find something that works for you if you barely ever have to use it? So far we have used Similac advance early shield ready to feed 2 ounce bottles.

How do you put your babies to sleep for the night? I need some help. She is almost 3 months old now and I want to be smart about establishing a bed time routine. For now, she mostly falls asleep while I nurse her, side lying in the bed in her nursery. Once she is really out, I move her to the snuggle nest or the crib. If I am lucky, she stays asleep. I have rocked her to sleep without feeding her before, but that takes a good hour. It seems like nursing is the one sure way to end up with a sleeping baby within a reasonable amount of time. I save the swing for when nothing else works. We haven’t used the bouncy seat at night for a couple of weeks now. She doesn’t seem as comfortable in it anymore, perhaps because she is getting taller.

She is quite happy most of the time, and I am thankful for that. We have started venturing out with her more, and for the most part she is good. When my mom visited, we took her to a museum and she was great. The other day we took her to a restaurant we go to frequently and when our favorite waitress bent down to smile at her, Birdie SCREAMED BLOODY MURDER. Oh god it was loud. And embarrassing. I scooped her up and took her outside and walked around until she calmed down. Thank god it isn’t freezing and snowy anymore.

My mom’s visit actually went really well. Normally we are at each other’s throats within a day or two, but the entire 7 day trip went great. She was helpful! I was patient! It went so much better than I expected.

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Responses

  1. I’m looking forward to hearing skeep tips – mt baby has done better the last two nights be sleeping on my chest. I hop I haven’t killed any chance of getting her into a bassinet or crib!
    Congrats on a nice and long visit with your Mom. Mine emailed me yest to tell me I needed to supplement for a 6.4% weight loss at 4 days old, which I know os well within normal limits. Ah well, I’ll just ignore her…

  2. Hi there!

    Here’s my routine (Which we started doing at 2.5 months, and still do at 5 months old now):

    – Carry her to her room, saying goodnight to her toys, etc.

    – Turn off the lights (turn on a small lamp)

    – Turn on her fish sound machine (Fisher Price Aquarium) – she also has a fan on at all time for white noise (it doesnt make the room cold, like I thought it would and it’s great for blocking out noise)

    – Change her diaper and put on pjs

    – swaddle her using the escape proof swaddle (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5K4VdZxwsu4&ampπŸ˜‰ – seriously this has been a lifesaver

    – put her in her crib, awake.

    – give her a paci.

    – walk out of room

    That’s it! (We do this same routine – except the pj thing – for every nap and at bedtime.)

    Sometimes we have to retrieve and reinsert the paci once or twice, but she 99% of the time falls asleep with not an ounce of crying, and in about 5-10 minutes.

    The key is really to put her down awake, so she falls asleep on her own and in her own surroundings.

    My baby used to “hate” the swaddle, so we quit at 2.5 weeks old. When we tried again at 10 weeks old using the escape proof swaddle this time, she fell asleep so fast and on her own in her crib.

    Try it, what can it hurt?

    Also, we pay attention to her awake times. If she’s up much longer than she should be, she’s difficult to get to sleep. This awake time is the total time they are not sleeping between each nap (which includes eating, burping, diapering, and the time it takes to fall asleep!)

    Guideline for Awake time for babies
    Newborn 50-60 mins
    1 month 60 mins-hour and 15
    2 months 1 hour and 15 – 20 mins
    3 months 1 hour and 20 – 30 mins
    4 months 1 hour and 45 – 2 hours
    5 months 2 hours – 2.25 hours
    Late 5 months/early 6 months 2.25-2.5 hours
    6.5 – 7 months 2.75-3 hours. Some are getting more.
    8 – 10 months 3 – 4 hours. Some are getting more.
    11 – 12 months 3.5 -4.5 hours. Some are getting more if moved early to 1 nap

    Hope that helps. Feel free to email me: alyssa.gavinski@gmail.com if you have any more questions.

  3. I would recommend a really good swaddle, we have been using The Miracle Blanket and it has helped alot. My DD is the same age as Bird, (born 12/24), and she is my third. I wished I had used The Miracle Blanket with my older two. I also have an Ergo Baby Carrier with the infant insert so I can “babywear”. If she won’t nap I put her in the Ergo and most times she will sleep and I can get things done around the house. I really don’t think you need to supplement with formula. It is normal for babies this age to nurse very frequently, it’s called “cluster nursing”. Just go with it. It won’t last long, one day you will miss the nursing. I know it’s hard to understand that, but it’s true. Just get a good book, or turn on the TV, or have your computer next to you while you nurse. It will help the time pass. I recommend the site kellymom for BF information. Also, look at the La Leche League website to see if there is a meeting close to you. Or they will give help for free over the phone. The hospital you delivered at may also have lactation consultants you can see. If your baby is gaining weight, has plenty of wet and dirty diapers, is happy after a long feed…you probably don’t need to supplement. A book I would recommend is The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, a wonderful read that will make you feel great about nursing. Good luck, enjoy these moments! I always say the days are so long but the years go by so fast. πŸ™‚

  4. I actually co-slept with my daughter (who will be 3 in April). I know it isn’t a popular choice, but we both slept so much better doing that.

    I’ve read on other people’s blogs about using a heating pad on the lowest setting to warm up the crib and then removing it when you put the baby down to sleep. My daughter would do the same thing, we’d put her in her crib asleep and then 15 minutes later she’d be up.

    Did you ask your pedi about a gentler formula? we used enfamil and then switched to similac.

    i hope none of this is a.ssvice. :/

  5. I feel you on the sleep issues. I usually nurse him to sleep and then put him down in the crib. The trick for us is making sure I don’t do it too early and I have him good and full first, or he’ll wake up every 30 mins for hours. We definitely have not perfected this. I don’t turn on his mobile if I want him to sleep cause it way too stimulating for sleep time and he’ll end up screaming after a couple of minutes. He also likes to stare at things in his room a ton and we installed a dimmer with a remote so that I can lower the lights as he falls asleep. I also work hard to keep it bright in the day and pretty dark at night so that he knows the difference between day and night… one dark day we let him sleep too much in quiet darkness and he was awake all night… it was brutal. I will also second what a lot of other have suggested about swaddling, we don’t do it all the time, but their are nights were we couldn’t have done without it.

    The times we have given a supplement bottle we used the similac advanced too (powdered kind). You might try getting samples from different formula makers websites. The gassiness is a big reason I try to avoid the formula too, we’ve got a good thing going with the BFing and I don’t want to troubleshoot formula. And I totally know what you are talking about with the constant feeding during the growth spurt, it’s brutal, but after this growth spurt is over hopefully you’ll have lots more milk to feed her.

  6. yuck. sleep sucks. every baby is different and every parent-child relationship is different. this is something that i can see pretty clearly with my twins πŸ™‚

    they both go to sleep totally differently. M goes down easy for naps, difficult at night. T is so hard to put down during the day, but will generally go down okay at night.

    We still swaddle and they are 6 months. i’m a little nervous about it though and wonder when i should stop….

    from what i’ve read it isn’t what you do it’s HOW you do it…. just do the same thing (or 3 things) before sleeping. we swaddle, put on ocean waves, put them in their cribs.

    can’t wait to read what other people do!

  7. Glad to see your update and that all is well! I was thinking of you knowing your mom was coming…so glad it went well!

    Hope we can chat soon!

  8. We have tried several formulas and have had the most luck with Good Start by Nestle/Gerber (it was Nestle but they just changed their packaging to say Gerber…must be a division of Nestle or something). It’s specifically made for gassiness/upset stomach with these “comfort proteins” or something that are partially broken down and easier to digest. He still gets gassy sometimes but I basically just lay him on his back, rub his belly in a downward direction and then pull his legs up near his body and kind of bicycle them and he is able to get it out. This formula seems to work the best of all that I’ve tried, though….

  9. Make sure any supplementing is in powdered form – the thck ready-made stuff is awful. My daughter would projectile vomit everytime it hit her tummy. The powered Similac gave her gas but we put a few Mylacon drops in the supplement bottles and it helped reduce some of the gas. I also rubbed her tummy and push lightly to make her toot and get some of the gas out if she got fussy πŸ™‚ Good luck!

  10. I have been a lurker on your blog for a while but I thought that I would comment on sleep routine.

    My son is 7 months old and we have been doing this since he was 13 weeks old and it works like a charm for us.

    -Last diaper change and night time lotion and pj’s
    – Read 2 books
    -Prayers
    – Nurse on one side with lights on
    – Swaddle (his arms are out now- basically a sleep sack for him because he gets cold at night)
    – Nurse on the other side with lights off
    – After he finshes I lay him down -sometimes awake and sometimes asleep
    – Turn on humidifier- close door and walk out-
    – He sleeps for 10-11 hours a night straight through now – At 3 months he was sleeping 8 hours.

    Good Luck!

  11. we tried two different sound machines, the homedics classic…
    http://www.homedics.com/home/sensory/soundspas/soundspa-classic.html

    and a conair…
    http://www.walmart.com/ip/Conair-Sound-Therapy-w-10-Soothing-Sounds/9605559

    the homedics definitely had higher sound quality but we ended up keeping the conair because it was cheaper and i wanted one for the living room as well as her bedroom.
    if baby bird has reflux and you decide that you do want to supplement with formula you should try one of the formulas made specifically for babies with reflux, we use enfamil a.r.
    http://www.enfamil.com/app/iwp/enfamil/productDetail.do?dm=enf&id=/Consumer_Home2/Enf_Products/ForInfants/EnfamilARLIPIL2&iwpst=B2C&ls=0&csred=1&r=3447793827

    but i think this one by similac is the same sort of thing if you prefer similac…
    http://similac.com/baby-formula/similac-sensitive-reduce-spit-up


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