Monday, June 05, 2006

When's this baby gonna sleep?

Hanna will be 4 weeks old in 2 days. Which begs the question, "When's this baby gonna sleep?"

I have come to realize that with an infant there are no two days alike.

One day, she sleeps, eats, sleeps, eats. (not such bad days as there is plenty of time for me to get some work done.) Other days she eats, sits quietly making nice faces, eats, sleeps. (again not such bad days.) Then there are days when she eats eats eats eats, screams, eats eats eats, dozes, eats eats eats, screams (we're having one of those days today, and they are not such great days. Luckily daddy just came home and is trying to appease her for a while) So I have come to the conclusion that there is no rhyme nor reason in this infant sleeping business.

Which is unfortunate because I am a rhyme and reason kind of girl. So I went on a hunt today during the one nap she took to get some info on helping my little angel sleep, which means at times mommy gets some sleep too.

Here's a couple things I found, that I hadn't realized in the front of my brain yet.

Help baby distinguish day time sleeping from night time sleeping.
  • let baby take daytime naps in well lit room, with noises of the day around
  • make night time sleep in a dark, quiet room
  • give baby a warm bath before night time sleep
  • change baby into sleeping clothes before night time sleep
  • give baby a massage before night time sleep.

Keep an eye out for signs of tiredness:

  • eyes closing
  • quieting down
  • losing interest in people or toys

Your baby may have others, so keep an eye out for them. If you notice these signs and put your baby down right away it will be easier to get them to sleep. Remember your baby can't put themselves to sleep, so they need some help from you, some snuggling, singing, rocking.

The more tired a baby gets the more difficult it will be for them to fall asleep.

Babies make sleeping sounds:

This was a big one for me, that I only started to realize in the last couple of days/nights.

When a baby is asleep, they may grunt, whimper, or even cry, and they are still asleep! It's important to distinguish these noises from crying due to hunger or other needs not being met. If you resond to their sleep noises by picking them up you may wake them and this may upset them further and make it more difficult to get them back to sleep.

I just realized this recently with Hanna. I assumed that because she was making noises in the middle of the night she wanted to eat. One night it took me a minute to wake up and stumble over to the crib, and by the time I got there she had quieted down and was sleeping again. So the next time she started making noises I waited and sure enough she settled down and went back to sleep.

Sometimes she even wails pretty loud. Those times I get up and put my hand on her back or on her head before I pick her up. Sometimes she quiets down and sometimes she doesn't. When she doesn't quiet down I realize she is telling me she is hungry or wet and we get her diaper changed and nurse.

If I get to her quickly she doesn't wake up all the way and she goes back to sleep quickly and easily, making it easy for me to get back to sleep as well, because, I'm not quite all the way awake either.

So I'm going to try some of the suggestions that I have found today and see if we can make some sense out of this newborn sleeping. If not, I've heard it doesn't last forever!

Until next time,

Remember, You are Remarkable!

Jackie Lee :)

30K in 30 Days

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