So I’ll come right out and say it. I hate sleeping. I know, “Oh my goodness!” I can hear you gasping at that statement. I like to sleep…but yet I hate it. I have trouble getting to sleep because my brain just doesn’t shut off. I keep thinking. Mostly about what I could be doing instead of sleeping. Sometimes I think about what I could be making, when am I going to find my dream house, are we going to have to build again, how am I going to get the crayon off the little table in the kitchen….see my brain just goes and goes. Writing helps. Hence the fact that I am writing this at 12:00Am!
This brings me to the sleeping habits of my girls. With Lil’ A, I was so concerned about everything. (Aren’t we all with number one?) But she slept well and anywhere…and for a long time too sometimes…usually the afternoon was about 4 hours. I know. 4 hours. Why am I saying anything about the sleeping? Well, because for the first month I thought I was never going to sleep again. It took us running a hair dryer on cool hung on the side of the dresser for her to sleep (Baby Wise and most other “Baby Whispers” call this ‘white noise’.) Well, whatever you call it, it worked. She still sleeps with music. It seemed like forever running that hair dryer. We later got smarter (or maybe we weren’t as sleep deprived) that we recorded these white noises onto my mac and then onto the iPod. Oh, boy, can you say life saver?!
Lil’ A takes a while to fall asleep now. She likes to ‘read’ and we always find her asleep in bed with books everywhere. It’s pretty cute. She quickly out grew the “hard to get to sleep” thing and by 3 months, it was over. However it seemed like a lifetime.
Now we have Lil’ E. She slept great right out of the gate. I am pretty sure it is her calm nature. She likes to move still and doesn’t really love being swaddled, but we quickly learned that this is the fastest way to get her to sleep. Those little legs and arms kept getting in the way! But still without being completely swaddled, she goes to sleep. She rarely cries. I am really sorry if you are wanting to click to another page…but don’t! Here’s what I’ve learned now having a second.
I relied on the Happiest Baby on the Block DVD and Baby wise when I had lil’ A. However since then, I learned that the guy who wrote Baby Wise wasn’t even a doctor…and I learned (and actually have read) that there are a bunch of misleading medical claims in the book. I can’t remember the various sites I visited in the early days of Lil’ E on the topic, but there were many.
The Doctor on Happiest Baby on the Block is correct in talking about the fourth “trimester”. And the 5 S’s were a life saver both times around. It’s worth a read or watch (we watched the dvd a few times.)
So without the Baby wise book, I was thinking, “How on earth am I going to get Lil’ E to sleep the night?” Well, I picked up a copy of Baby Whisper at my local “Once Upon a Child” and there lied the secret. Treat her as a little person. Give her respect. She can’t talk yet, so crying is her way of saying she needs something. Babies don’t cry unless they need something, even if it is just comfort (they won’t be that small for very long!) Give them a soother, nurse them, hold them, cuddle them with them on their side, slightly rocking them to the sound of white noise and I guarantee they will fall asleep. When I read it, she really made sense. Don’t let baby cry it out. Instead, when they cry, go in, pick them up to calm them. Once they stop crying, put them down again. She gave example after example of doing this with people she’d worked with in the UK. She’d go in over 100 times the first night, 25 the next night and maybe 3 times the 3rd night.
So with Lil’ E around 3 weeks she started fussing more to get to sleep. We got out the swaddler wrap and started by using that and the soother, with the white noise of course (which once again started out with the blow dryer on cool!) I was kindof at my whit’s end about it all, and my husband graciously took her and went down with the routine.
It seriously took about 20 times the first night of going in, calming and putting her right back down. The second night it was half that. And the third night it was once. Lil’ E is now 2 months old and goes down at 10pm and wakes up at least once at night and then again at 8am. She does cluster feed in the evening, which is difficult at times-however, I would rather that than her be up multiple times at night. I did however start cluster feeding her, because I knew a fuller belly means more sleep for everyone.
I’m not saying this to brag at all. It’s just what worked. I wish I would have found Baby Whisperer when I had Lil’ A, because it was a struggle. I do have a more calm baby the second time, but she is still active. When she is awake, Lil’ E is awake and moving, just like Lil’ A was. The difference is Lil E doesn’t fuss as much. She just goes with the flow. She likes to know what is going on though, so once she was getting past the newborn stage more and noticing Lil A bugging her-she wanted to see what was happening! So getting to sleep was tough.
I’ll wrap this up by saying, my girls are like me. They like to see what is happening. They like to be moving and doing. They don’t like to sleep. But when they do sleep….they love it. I sense late night sleep overs in their room and late morning lounging in my big, comfy, king sized bed coming!