Saturday, May 15, 2010

First Time Mother Seeks Advice, Understanding Through Blog

There are several common questions that you get when you take your new baby out in public. The first is usually "How old is she?" This is followed by "What's her name?" And then they hit the homer with "How is she sleeping?" or, phrased more annoyingly, "Is she sleeping for you?"

Is she sleeping for me? For me?

What does that even mean? "Gee, mommy. You look like you could use a shower/nap/change of clothes/walk around the block. I think I'll just go lie down and drift off to sleep for you."

I suppose the answer is yes. What baby doesn't sleep? The real question is: Does she sleep through the night yet? And the answer to that is a big, fat NO. Every night Brian and I say to each other, "Tonight is the night." We even sing "I Gotta Feeling''" by the Black Eyed Peas during bath time.

Maybe it's jinxing us.

Darn those Peas.

The little darling still wakes up two, sometimes three times a night. Every once in a while she'll only wake up once a night, but I don't know how to make that a consistent thing. We swaddle her tightly because she pulls her binky out and then gets mad, or yanks on her ears or scratches herself.

Yesterday we tried keeping her up for a super long time (two and a half hours), and she did sleep for six hours straight after that, but I tell you, she was absolutely miserable while we were keeping her up and so were we. We won't be doing that again.

And then there's the napping. She will usually only nap for 35 minutes to an hour at a time and then gets tired within an hour or so of waking up. My days consist of getting her up and putting her down for naps. Again, I've tried keeping her up longer, but she just cries and cries until I put her down for her nap, and it has'nt lengthened her naps so I consider this option neither helpful nor worth the struggle.

I have noticed that she's started staying up slightly longer in between naps over the last week or so, but the naps are still short.

One thing I will say for this little angel is that she is extremely easy to put down. I swaddle her, give her her binky, put her in her crib awake, and she's usually out in less than a minute.

Also? She looks like this:
So. You know. Things aren't all bad.

I'm more concerned about her daytime sleep than her night waking. Has this happened to anyone else? We're talking five short naps a day, people. I don't feel like I can even leave the house when she's awake because I know she will get tired very quickly and I will have to rush back home.

I would call the pediatrician but the nurses would probably just laugh at me again.
Help? Anyone?

Oh, and here's one for the road, taken on her first patronage to Ray's Fruit Stand.


Jocelyn Pehrson said...

When Lydia wakes up in the middle of the night do you feed her? Have you considered trying not to (even if she cries and cries and cries). More often than not they get in the pattern of , "oh! middle of the night means mommy time!" But they aren't necessarily hungry.
Here is a technique to try if you want:
Try letting Brian get up (they associate mom with food and comfort) and putting a binky in her mouth if she wakes up. (Don't pick her up). Give a little kiss re-swaddle if you need to and then leave. Let her cry 5 minutes (if she does) then go back, put in the binky, kiss her forehead then leave. 10 minutes later come back and repeat (binky and kiss) then 15 minutes etc. Add 5 minutes to each time you leave. It does end up being a long night (MAYBE)(But get some earplugs just in case). BUT they finally learn to self soothe, which is what gets most babies through the night. The ones who sleep through the night have learned to soothe themselves back to sleep where as the ones who don't, EXPECT that Mommy or Daddy will come get them and feed them or hold them back to sleep. I know you wanted advice about the naps, but I honestly think, once she gets the night sleep down, then the naps become less often and longer.
Also, it may be 2 or 3 nights of that, but it is a miracle when those days are over.
There are my two bits. Hope it works. Cause our baby was not a self soother either.

Heart Family said...

When the twins were babies I go a book called The No Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley. This book helped so much that with in two weeks the babies were sleeping eight hours at night and taking two naps a day adding up to 15 hours of sleep total. The babies were six months old. Good luck

Adam and Tara said...

Being a new mom-- I'm not entirely sure I know what I'm talking about but here's what our Doc said. Rhea was still so tiny (at month old) and needed to be eating much more than she was. He suggested I feed her at night and about 45 min after the last feeding (usually around 10pm) we gave her a bottle of 2-4oz of formula. Not only would she fill up but it would knock her out for the whole night. If you're opposed to formula, try pumping earlier in the day and then giving that to her at night. Hope this helps!!

Kimba said...

So I haven't even read the other comments yet, so if I repeat them, sorry. I'm just lazy. :)

First off, I know the feeling. The worrying, the wondering, the sleeplessness of it all. It sucks. But? Remember, she's not that old yet, for the night portion of your question. I know not every baby waits as long as Wy does, and some even go longer, but just keep in mind it might take a bit. If she's going right back to sleep after you feed her, take heart that when she gets older she'll learn to sleep through it. If she's waking up at consistent times, but sometimes not others, maybe ignore her cries for a bit during the times she wakes up at an unusual hour. She'll eventually sleep through them all. :) All night long.

As for the day sleep, Wy went through this same phase, and Amelia did that this week too. I think you should just keep on keepin on, and she'll eventually sleep for longer stretches. You can try keeping her up if you want, but in my experience that just makes it worse. I promise, Wy went through this for probably...a month? To two months? Honestly, he didn't get into a regular sleeping schedule, with longer fairly consistent naps, until 5.5 - 6 mths. I know that might not be awesome to think about, but at least know it's not going to last forever. She won't be doing this at 2. :) Or 1.

Feel free to ignore this, if you'd like. :) Just my experience and opinions, and clearly, there are a bajillion.

Also? Adorable. I can't get over her.

Eric and Lindsay said...

I can't give any advice on the sleeping thing, but I can say that she is so adorable!!! Her cheeks are getting chunky and I love her hat!

Mellanee said...

I have to say the hat and the dress are just the cutest! My motherly advise, "This too shall pass." You're doing a great job.

JC and Aim said...

I love reading your posts! Since Lydia is older than Carl I cheat off what you have learned so far. :) Hope you don't mind. I love getting that question too of "Does he sleep through the night?" Usually it is followed up right after I tell them how old is he. So, usually I panic a bit inside and wonder if my seven week old baby should be sleeping through the night. But then I realize nope, Carl is fine.

I do hope you find an answer though, but one piece of advice that I have received that has helped me is; your baby will work everything out. No matter what we as moms try to do for their schedule or get them to do, they will get there on their own time and on their own terms.

Tanya said...

i am not sure how old lydia is...but both of my kids at about 4 months old went through about a month of like no naps. it was crazy!!!

the other day i was with a friend and she had a new little one who wasn't taking naps during the day either...i said "hey is she around 4 months?" sure enough she was! i think at 4 months they just go through a change where they are just so excited about life...then they get past it.

good luck! she sure is a sweet little peach!

Abby said...

Jocey, after reading your comment I tried this out. The first night I put her binky back in and she went back to sleep, only to wake up 15 minutes later. I did this for an hour, with her waking up every fifteen minutes, before I finally gave in and fed her and off to dreamland she went. The second night she ate at midnight, and then woke up again at 3 (not a usual feeding time) so I put her binky in and to my AMAZEMENT, she went back to sleep and slept until 6! Amazing! We'll keep trying and see what happens. Thanks for the insight.

Abby said...


Yes, she will be four months old on the 27th of May. The only thing is, she's been doing this for the last month and a half or more! ARgh! However, it is so helpful to hear that others have gone through this too and that their kids eventually snapped out of it.


Martha Lee said...

So cute!!!!!!
She is getting so big already.
It sounds like you might have the answer. So good. Both of my kids just started sleeping through the night on their own. For Joe it started the night after he went to Disney Land so you could try that.

We did have to retrain Joe at about 6 months with the putting the blankets on not picking him up and letting him cry. Chris hated this so I usually did the retraining the nights he had to work over night.

Love you, Miss you.

Chase and Leah said...

I am a first time Mom of a 11 week old baby boy and he has had issues with naps too. I just tried something new that has been working WONDERS! Its easy so its worth a shot. I slanted his mattress slightly up by putting a few blankets underneath. Something about the angle makes him sleep SO SO Much better. good luck, I know you you feel! P.S. Lydia is darling

Leslie said...

Ok, I didn't read everyone' s comments. I just read Jocelyn's and I 100% agree with her. It works. My last 2 kids are living proof. And they are STILL really good sleepers. Sometimes it takes a while for her to get used to it but once she knows she is ok she will sleep well.
Just don't expect perfection in two days. I swear it works though.
The naps in the middle of the day? Not sure how to help with that one. It has been too long and I haven't experienced the 5 short naps a day. Maybe try the same thing w/ the binky (minus Brian) and see if she will sleep longer.
Good luck! She is certainly the cutest little thing!

heather said...

My simple advice... enjoy her. Enjoy her quirks. Enjoy the lack of sleep. Because unfortunately (and yes I mean unfortunately) this too shall pass.

You should listen to a song called, You're gonna miss this" by trace adkins

when people ask me if Chelsea is sleeping for me yet, I say 'not always, but I love it.'

Nick and Stacy Stevens said...

Oh Abby. I feel for you. I really do. First naps: I watch the clock like a hawk. Amelia doesn't like to be up any longer and 90 minutes at a time. Once she is ready for a nap I swaddle her and put a binki in her mouth. She will nap anywhere from 45 minutes to 3 hours. It just depends on the day, noise, etc. As far as sleeping through the night, she didn't until she was 4 months old. Even then it isn't all the time. My doctor has told me that most babies don't sleep through the night until about 4-6 months. Don't fret. It will happen. I know it's so hard though to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I really promise you it will happen. If you need anything please let me know. One book that I swear by is the 90 minute Baby Sleep Program. I think it is the reason that Amelia is doing as well as she is. Just some thoughts.

Jocelyn Pehrson said...

I am SO glad I could actually be of some help! I feel like I was the only mother who had a baby who never wanted to sleep at night and was asleep constantly throughout the day. I tried so many different ways to get him to sleep, and eventually what I told you, that worked for me . Although it is a continual battle with his changing habits.
I just want to let you know that Tal is almost 6 months and for the past few weeks he has been waking up a couple times in the middle of the night for no reason. I think maybe they just go through growth spurts and that messes with their sleep. But he is already getting back to normal again. The doctor did tell me at 2 months, 4 months and 6 months most babies have growth spurts, so hopefully thats all it is with Lydia (and Tal).