Trials

There are a few things going on with this whole parenting thing recently that are causing me a bit of frustration. Hence my post a couple days ago about not loving everything about it. Here are the issues:

Pumping
There are benefits to pumping that suit us: he gets the awesomeness of breast milk but we know how much he’s getting, DH (or someone else) can feed him, and I produce more than he eats so I can build up a supply in the freezer. However, it is a time suck. Basically I’m spending 2 hours a day doing it. So, this weekend I decided to drop from five pumps a day to four, and my plan is to be done with pumping by the time Evan is six months (or earlier if it gets way too annoying). This might mean my supply doesn’t meet his demand and that I will have to supplement with formula — and I’ve decided at this point saving my sanity is worth it.

Daytime Naps
Evan’s napping “schedule” is completely unpredictable. Sometimes he takes a bunch of short naps (20-30 minutes) throughout the day. Other times he has a couple long naps, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. I much prefer the latter, as it gives me more of a break. Plus, he seems to be more cranky when he has shorter naps. He pretty much has to fall asleep in my arms during the day. So, once he falls asleep, I try to put him down. On bad days he wakes up and fusses every time, on good days he’ll stay asleep. I really would like to get him napping in his crib, but because of his erratic napping and waking up and fussing when I put him down, I haven’t tried this yet since I’d have to walk upstairs. Thankfully he’s a champion sleeper at night. Usually he goes to bed at about 9:30-10pm, falls asleep all on his own, wakes up at 4pm for a feed, goes back to sleep on his own easily, then up at about 8am for the day.

Transition from Bassinet
The last issue, which isn’t really an issue yet but is on my mind, is how and when we’re going to transition him from sleeping in a bassinet in our room to the crib in his room. We’re both fine with having him in our room, but he might outgrow his bassinet soon. So, that might force us to put him in his crib soon or buy something else to go in our room. I’m not sure if I’m ready to move him into his room yet, especially since he has never slept in his crib (another reason why I’d like to get him to nap there during the day).

I have a plan for the first issue, but not really for the other two. Any advice or suggestions would be appreciated!

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Comments on: "Trials" (11)

  1. Anonymous said:

    On the napping issue — Evan is still too young, probably, to have a predictable nap schedule. But around 4 mos, he likely will have a routine. I recommend “Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child”, for all of your sleep questions explained. It is poorly organized in places, but there are some gems in there.

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  2. I agree with the book suggestion, although unfortunately you have to wait to really implement anything for another month.
    We had no issues with the transition to the crib in his room so I wouldn't worry too much about it- just move him when you feel comfortable. Daytime and nighttime sleep are to some extent unrelated so if he sleeps well at night in the bassinet the chances are good he will sleep well at night in his crib as well. Whereas if he has trouble with daytime sleep it will probably take awhile for him to sleep well in his crib during the daytime as well.

    My biggest advice at this age is don't worry about creating bad habits- he is still too young for that to happen. So if he sleeps awesome in a swing during the day for naps- use it until he doesn't fit anymore, etc.

    Also remember that the first few years are full of phases/stages good ones and bad and sometimes you just have to stick it out for a week or two or three and things will naturally improve but in the meantime there is relatively little you can do to affect the situation positively or negatively. Even though you will be wondering what in the world happened to your perfect sleeper/eater/bath taker/etc and what you can do to get that baby back:D

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  3. I third the suggestion on the book…we love it. The biggest thing I'll pass on from it is that daytime sleeping really doesn't start to get organized until 3-4 months. Monkey's morning nap (the first to develop) is fairly well established now – about an hour or so after he wakes up at 7:30am. But his afternoon nap is highly variable, and he only sometimes takes a late evening nap. I know it's frustrating, but the good thing is you can look forward to it getting better (I know – I'm sick of hearing that too!)

    As for the bassinet to crib transition, I really have no good suggestions myself. Instead, we're relying on daycare to help us out. The teachers actually got Monkey to sleep in his crib a couple of times today, so we're hopeful we can mimic what they're doing. I figure we're paying them enough – might as well make them earn their money. πŸ˜‰

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  4. Anon – thanks for the book recommendation! I'll have to look into it.

    Ash – thanks for your advice! It's nice to know that they do go through these stages and they (hopefully) don't last long.

    MDO – thanks for passing on that tip!

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  5. Hi! I followed a link over from Dr. O's place. I hope you don't mind if I chime in. I have two daughters- my oldest will be 4 in April, and my younger one is 15 months old now.

    Anyway, on the naps- the earlier posters are right, most babies won't have a daytime nap routine until 4 months old at the earliest. My first settled into a routine around then. She was hard to get down for naps (often requiring a walk), but if we didn't get her naps at the right time the day would go pear-shaped pretty quickly. My second, on the other hand, had the loosest of routines by 6 months old, and only settled into a reliable routine when she dropped down to one nap a day, at about 1 year old. She never seemed bothered by the lack of routine. She'd go down pretty easily when she was tired and that was that.

    If your baby is a routine loving baby, you could try the 2-3-4 rule. I first saw it on AskMoxie.org (which is my favorite parenting site, because Moxie is wise and the commenters chime in with their ideas so you get lots of different perspectives, which helps since no two babies are alike). Anyway, the idea is that you put the baby down for the first nap 2 hours after he wakes up for the day, then down for the 2nd nap 3 hours after he wakes from the first nap, and down for the night 4 hours after he wakes from the second nap. This was basically my first daughter's schedule from 4 months to 1 year old.

    I think the book the others are recommending is the “cry it out” bible, which is fine- from what I've heard, it works for a lot of families. My first daughter wasn't a good candidate for cry it out sleep methods, so I never used it. The one piece of advice I wish I'd gotten on sleep when she was young was that no sleep book will work for every baby. I spent so much time feeling guilty because I surely must be doing something wrong, since my baby didn't sleep the way the books said she should! Well, as someone wise once said to me: your baby doesn't read the books. So if what the book says doesn't seem to fit your baby, listen to your baby not the book.

    FWIW, my favorite sleep book is called “Bedtiming”- it is more about what's going on develpmentally and how that might effect sleep than a “how to” sleep manual, and that suits me better. I also got a lot of good sleep ideas from AskMoxie. For instance, her construct about babies being tension increasers or tension decreasers when they cry really helped me understand why my night went to hell if I didn't get to my baby RIGHT AWAY when she woke up.

    OK, that was a bit of a novel. Really quick: you baby probably won't outgrow the bassinet until he's close to 6 months old, unless he's a really big kid. But if he does outgrow it before you're ready to move him to his room- do you have a pack and play? We used a cosleeper, which is a lot like a pack and play, just a little smaller and with a side that drops down.

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  6. Hi Cloud! Welcome to the blog! Thank you so much for your comments and suggestions. I'll definitely look at the AskMoxie website for some more ideas. I really do have to keep in mind that all babies are different, and what's working for Evan is…well…what's working! We do have a Pack and Play, so we could definitely put that in our room.

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  7. Anonymous said:

    This is Anon again. “Healthy Sleep Habits” does include cry-it-out methods, but that is only a small part of the book and is intended only for the small percentage of babies who simply won't sleep at night. The majority of the book is how to establish healthy sleep habits from the beginning, so that exhausted parents never have to resort cry-it-out. We followed the book's advice from the beginning, and never once had to let our daughter cry. She usually *asks* to take a nap!

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  8. Thanks for the additional info, Anon! I'm going to see if the library has it.

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  9. Agree with Anon. He talks about multiple possibilities when it comes to sleep from CIO to family bed and nursing on demand. He also has the research to back up his claims which I find really nice:)

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  10. I'm a huge fan of the Baby Whisper. She's all about establishing routines and cue that let baby know what is happening. I discovered her when monkey was 8 weeks and was able to establish awesome sleep and nap rountines within a couple weeks. The best think I liked is she recognize that there are different types of babies and gave a “quiz” to figure out if what “personality” your little on has. Like any book, I didn't follow her to the letter.

    email me if you have any Q's. you're doing great by the way. So impressed that you've pumped this long. THat is amazing.

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  11. Alyssa – I am sure you have gotten a lot of advice already. Personally I didn't like the book Healthy Sleep Habits, but that's just me πŸ™‚ It doesn't work for us.

    As for transitioning, what we did that is starting to work, is putting a rolled up sheet under the crib sheet to create a little nest in a U shape. I think you have seen me talk about it on IV.

    Good Luck with everything and know that you are doing what you need to do for you guys to be the best parent you can be. and I LOVE LOVE the pictures you posted on the 3 month post!

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