As a follow-up to my earlier post I have decided to update you on our sleep progress. I am trying out a suggestion from The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems. Basically, Hogg offers the possibility that a baby around 4 months old can go longer stretches between eating. This in turn will make for fuller meals and more fatty hindmilk in baby’s belly. It makes sense for us right now because Oscar hasn’t seemed as hungry when he eats during the day. I think if he went a little longer he would take in more milk each time he nurses and then get better sleep as a result.
For 3 days, we stuck to our normal routine and wrote everything down. He has had 3 awesome days and nights! He only woke once each night the past 2 nights and I fed him and we all slept until 7am. Yes! Today I fed him at the normal time in the morning and let him stay up 15 minutes longer than usual. This is the beginning of the stretching process. You do it in small increments so he has a chance to adjust. His nap was short as a result of being kept up longer and he woke up cranky. Bummer. He ate well and we went for a nice walk. Second nap was also short, so I fed him and he played for a while but was obviously tired so he is back down for nap #3. He went down for this nap so easily. I am hoping it will be nice and long. **it ended up being 2 hours yay!**
This is the kind of thing I am keeping in my log. It has been SO helpful in troubleshooting to write everything down. I know I can’t fix everything and I don’t want to try. But having it written down reminds me that it wasn’t ALWAYS perfect until today. I can look back and see, hmm…he never seems to eat well after his 3rd nap. I wonder why. Or, he never sleeps more than 45 minutes if I put him down too late. Things like this are huge in my life right now.
Personally, I don’t think babies are that unpredictable. I think they have a language and I just need to learn it. In general, they need know Mommy will help them get the food, sleep, play time and love that they need. It might not happen at the exact same time each day, but it will happen. I enjoy trying to figure out how I can best provide these things for Oscar. It’s a constant guessing game for me, but I think it’s my responsibility. Oscar can’t really google “screaming my head off every time I chew on something” and say Oh I must be teething, this too shall pass. So it’s up to me to figure it out.
Thankfully, Oscar is very agreeable and really doesn’t fight sleep. When he wakes up, it’s usually because he is hungry. He wakes up happy most of the time and if he doesn’t, I know immediately that he is overtired or feeling bad. It’s all about trial and error. And I just want to say to all the mamas out there, don’t feel bad about the “error” part! We are doing the best we can and sometimes you have to trip on the answer in order to find it. Do what works for you. And if it stops working, try something else.