oh where oh where has my little dog gone

I feel doggish. Or sheepish. Whatever. 

I've been markedly absent from the blogosphere. Again. I can explain.

See, this whole full-time mom, full-time employee thing is not so easy. Not that I thought it would be, I just expected the challenges to come in forms different than they have. Isn't that the way it goes? We think we can handle a challenge, but we come to that conclusion based on a very specific idea of what that challenge will be. And when it proves to be a different sort of challenge, well....I had a pretty rough week between two irrational, dissatisfied clients and trying to keep our son healthy and happy and still being a loving wife. Ever hear of a camel and the eye of a needle? Yeah. Nuff said.

I was feeling really pressured to "sleep train" Ace so that he could fall asleep without us and calm himself through naps and nighttime. I spent Wed and Friday of last week working on it. The result? A sleep-deprived little baby boy and an anguished, exhausted, guilt-laiden mother. I was as much a wreck as he. Even when he was in the womb I would say he just has a pleasant disposition. Easy-going, quick to forgive. But trying to force something neither of us were ready for turned him into "a colicky baby," which we don't believe he really is. Our pediatrician told us to wait until he was 4 months, but its hard to feel free to do so when surrounded by many good, experienced mothers who say otherwise.

So I prayed (cue Hawk rolling his eyes..."Is this becoming another one of those Christian blogs?"). Hard and in a constant stream. And came through it with more determination to do what I believe is best for the babe.

Warning: I'm about to get specific about the sleep needs of a boy most of you haven't met--I will understand if you skip it. Here's the new plan that we started Saturday: Pay close attention to the routine he naturally falls into, hold him for as many naps as he needs in order to observe his rhythm (for example: why he wakes 45-60 minutes into the nap and if he'll go back to sleep---he will!), and ensure consistency based on his needs. Do this for at least the next few weeks. It'll be easier to transition him into sleeping more independently if his body is allowed to establish a rhythm. Thus far, we've learned:

  • He needs a minimum of 14.5 hours a day. 15-16 is ideal.
  • His first nap needs to start 1.5 hours after waking.
  • He needs at least 4 hours worth of daily naptime.
  • When he runs his hands from the back of his head to the front, it means he's overtired. We thought it was just an indication of beginning drowsiness. Instead, it means he's getting worked up.
  • He likes a lot of conversation, singing, and easy-going stimulation when awake.
  • He's got to be burped after every feeding.
  • He likes a very specific hold to fall asleep to. This one hold worked with the previous training efforts, too, so I see it as much for transition as for sleep.
  • His body wants him in bed at 800p, and he wants to be "up" around 800a. We love that schedule.
  • He's taken to eating apart from naps, but he'll wake 1 hour into bedtime to eat again. This may be due to the typical 3 month growth spurt.
  • Getting him into stage 3 sleep is worth every minute spent on the way there.
  • and more...
The good news is that he was way more alert this weekend and putting him down for the last 2 nights was easy as pie for both Hawk and I. I was better, even happy! Granted, after 11p last night was utterly terrible, but I believe that was due to the fact that I didn't burp him after 2 feedings. You live, you learn.

This is all teaching me about the singularity of each child and even each family. I can't force Ace into a box; I have to figure out who he is. A friend recently said, "All babies are pretty much the same." I'm pretty sure she was joking, so I can say I disagree whole-heartedly! They are SO unique.

So there you go. I have less sleep than lst week, but I'm happier because he's getting more sleep and is back to being the happy, alert little guy we know him to be!

Thanks for bearing with me!


1 comment:

  1. I love, love, love that you have figured out what he needs. That is fabulous! Try not to get worked up about what "others" do. xo


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