Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Notes on Sleep

Of course, since I have had this post ready to go for a while now, and was all ready to hit "Publish" aka, "show the world how well I have done!" my little angel has decided to change up her sleeping. So, here is the edited, up to date and real version, rather than the "We have conquered sleep shaping" post I was originally excited to share.

She really is doing well. As I noted in some previous post that I can't find right now to link to, we did/are doing/have done the "Sleep Lady" method of sleep shaping...

This method involve establishing trust with your kiddo as you move further and further away, physically out of the room, and teaching them to self soothe. You are down for a rougher path (maybe) if like me (idiot new mom)  you nursed your baby to sleep for the first six months of her life. You know, because you loved the feeling of that warm little body curled all up against you, drifting off into blissful dreams, and hey, look! no tears.

Oh, but there were tears aplenty when we started this whole self soothing, going to sleep in your crib and not in our arms thing. Maybe if your kid will take a pacifier, he or she will cry slightly less than our angelic Evelyn. But, she will not even look in a pacifier's direction. So, that's that. Also, the girl who was sucking her thumb five minutes after exciting the womb, suddenly realized that her thumb did not equal boob, so that one was out too. In other words, we had tears.

But, we persevered and followed the program, and hey! Guess what?! It worked!

Our girl was going down after bedtime "ritual" started at 7 (bath time, feeding, reading a little book with Daddy, singing a short song and then into the crib), somewhere usually around 7:45 or 8...and sleeping straight through until 7am the next morning. That is 11 hours my friends. 11 blissful hours!

I now get to hang out with my husband and talk grown up talk on the couch, and occasionally peruse the interwebs in the evenings before hitting the hay at a (sometimes) reasonable hour myself.

AND, she was taking two naps a day. At least.

Naptime was a little harder for us, as was noted in this post. She just does not want to miss anything! We have been working on nap time, which I think is pretty natural, considering, hello, it's light outside. I even felt bad (even though she is a BABY and needs a nap or two or three a day) making her go to sleep because I had flashbacks to when my parents used to make me keep my 8pm bedtime in the summer and it was still light outside and HEY MOM! The neighbor kids are still out riding bikes!! What the heck?!

Note: Clearly not my kid. 

Anywho, she really was doing well with the napping, usually going down about an hour and a half after waking up in the morning, sleeping for an hour and a half, then up for about 2 and a half to three hours, then back down for a nap, and then up until bedtime...with sometimes a quickie third nap thrown in between.

We had a great little schedule going on. She was off the few times we traveled, of course, but she would slip right back into it within a day. No biggie.

Lately though, she has been fighting going down to sleep for longer than usual at night, AND waking up earlier. Oy. I blame those damn teeth, which have STILL NOT CUT THROUGH. 

I can see you teeth. I am watching you.

I had a chat with a girlfriend from grad school last night (hey Jill!) about this very thing, because her baby started waking up earlier than usual, doesn't take good naps, etc. Yay! It's not just us!

The thing is, they swing back. Yesterday Ev slept until like 7:30. Yowza. Love it. This was after going down at 7:30 at night. Yayyyy 12 hours. Granted, today she was up at 5:30.

My theory is that this whole sleep thing is a roller coaster. Little tykes are just going through so.much growing and development that things change, all.the.time. You just have to roll with it and try to establish that pattern of predictability I was chatting about yesterday. And while, I am on that subject, please also do not think for a second that we took the Sleep Lady thing as Bible.

I still bring Ev in first thing in the mornings to cuddle in my bed and give her her first feeding. The Sleep Lady would probably not approve. I also (SHOCKER) from time to time let my baby nap in the car if we have to be out doing errands and she falls asleep. I don't do this NEARLY as much as I used to, but every once in a while - you need to get some grown up stuff done. Just know that chances are you will pay for it later.

We still do a pretty "squishy" schedule regarding sleep - you gotta look for the sleepy cues in your kids - so that we aren't driving ourselves crazy by not being able to do anything, ever, because of the precious "schedule", but I am talking we stick to the schedule to within 20 minutes on either side, depending what's going on.

And Lord help you if you let them get "overtired". Ours gets Grumpy McGrumpypants if that happens.

My best advice to those of you embarking on this journey - try to keep you and your partner both sane and realistic about it. If you see your partner getting frazzled, take one for the team and jump in to let them have some cool down time. A and I found that we did really well playing Uno on the iPad (Yup, it exists!) when it came time to be sitting at the door of Ev's room soothing her from afar. And then after the baby goes down? High five each other and pour some big old glasses of wine.

Or you know, whatever you like to drink. But I think wine works best. Maybe a cookie. Or a bowl of ice cream.

We are really healthy round these parts after the baby goes to bed.

Evelyn Rae is seven months old

...and she wishes everybody a very Happy Valentine's Day today!

We got these two cute shots (in what very well may be the same outfit she is wearing in her 7 month photo shoot. Ooops!). Before this happened...

...and that's how the cookie crumbles. 
Happy Valentine's!


  1. Thanks for the blog shoutout! :) Last night Corey fought us for only 40 minutes rather than her usual hour and a half before she settled in for the night, so we are making progress!

    1. Yay! Good for you guys! Ev has been up almost every day this week before 6am. So that's fun. Clearly, I tempted the sleep gods by publishing this.

  2. it is always a roller coaster!and you aren't a bad mom for nursing her to sleep for 6 months. There are nights that I still walk the floor with zelda to get her to sleep and she is two! as long as it works for you it works! :)

    I LOVE that book though. My favorite sleep book hands down.

    1. It really is a great resource. Thanks for the recommendation lady!

  3. Amen to all of this! Schedules are pretty important and spouses definitely have to balance each other out. :) Her outfit is precious!

  4. Your baby is so cute.. Loved the article. My baby takes so much time while sleeping, So i have to do a lot of effort daily. But I love doing all the effort for my little one.