Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Sleep [dream feeds, waking up crying, & naps]

Seeing as it's 5 AM, I was thinking a post on sleep might be in order.  Lia is three months today (hooray!) and here's how sleeping typically goes throughout the day.  All times are give or take half an hour.

4:00 AM - Early morning dream feed.  (For those not familiar with it, the concept is to feed your baby when they're still asleep to get them to sleep longer and/or move their longest sleep stretch to when Mom and Dad are sleeping.  It really refers to a feed a few hours after the last one of the day - 10:00 or 11:00 PM or so - to get baby to sleep through until morning without another wake up.  But, for various reasons, I've started to do an early morning dream feed.  More on this later.)
7:30 - wake up for the day
9:00-9:30 - early morning nap
12:00 noon - another nap
Then the afternoon has no nap schedule whatsoever.  Around 6 or 6:30, she'll often catnap for about 20 minutes.
8:00 - bedtime

The "dream feed" is happening mainly because I need to pump once a day right now (need a freezer supply of milk for a few upcoming trips), and the best time is in the morning.  Naturally, some mornings she wakes for it on her own, some mornings she sleeps right through to 7:30, but most mornings she wakes up hungry around 6:00, then can't get back to sleep, so we're up for the day.  The uncertainty was painful for me on those great nights when she slept all night (but how useful is it to have a baby who sleeps all night when you're up at 5:00 staring at the ceiling because your boobs are about to explode and die?), and the 6:00 wake-up mornings left Lia really tired.  Plus, I still need to pump after the first feeding of the day, and it's much easier when the baby's asleep rather than wide awake and demanding attention.  So I decided to try taking charge, and now I go in when she's making noise (assuming that's a lighter part of her sleep cycle) and feed her.  She usually doesn't even open her eyes, but she nurses like a champ.  She falls back asleep when she's done and she's back in her crib 10 minutes later.  Then I spend half an hour on the computer with the pump (bleh).  And then I try to get back to sleep for another hour or so when I'm done.  This has left me more tired than the longer, uninterrupted stretches I was getting before (duh) but I think I also need to make more of an effort to go to bed earlier.  During our first trip, I'm going to ask her grandma to let her sleep all night if she wants, and see if she's ready to start sleeping through the night on a regular basis.  If she is - fingers crossed - I'm going to work on eliminating the need to pump in the mornings and hopefully we can all be more well-rested soon.

Another sleep issue that's confounding me is that she wakes up crying from her afternoon naps.  Literally, she's asleep one second, then her face scrunches up and she starts wailing, usually 20-30 minutes after I put her down.  At first I figured she doesn't like transitions and that's just how she wakes up.  But it's definitely more common in the afternoons vs the mornings, and she's frequently fussy/angry in the evenings, so I thought maybe she's not done sleeping yet and that's why she's mad she's awake.

-Oh hey - look at that - done pumping!  Sorry, but I'm going back to bed.  I'll finish up later.

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