Monday, November 18, 2013

Let them sleep, for when they wake, they will move mountains

Sleep. It is a beautiful thing. For me, it is a needed thing. 7-8 hours preferably.  When I got pregnant with Gianna I knew right away that getting her to sleep was very important to me.  I am not a big book reader, but I did my fair share of google research on different sleep methods and learned what I was comfortable with.

When she arrived, I went through the normal sleep deprived period and it was rough. Rough was an understatement.  I was struggling with breast feeding and feeling anxiety from that.  She was dropping weight, she had reflux and colic and it was rough.  Did I mention that? Well, the thing was I was going back to work when she turned 3 months, so I needed to get her sleeping better so that I could get some rest too. So after about a month of serious tiredness, I started getting into somewhat of a schedule, just starting out slow, basically with scheduled feedings rather than on demand feedings.

After a couple weeks of scheduled feedings, I started a little more of a routine.  Eat, play, sleep.  So after meals, I would spend time sitting up for the reflux, then back and tummy time, then sleep time.  During day time sleeps I would try to keep the majority of them somewhat lighted and somewhat noisy, so that she would learn the difference between day and night.  I would also try to stick somewhat closely to her eating schedule, offering a paci between feedings.

As this was going well and her night time sleep was progressing I decided at nine weeks to move her into her crib. We would keep her in the room with us until her 10:30 pm dream feed, then transition her to her crib for the remainder of the night.  She did amazing with this, she was sleeping through the night within a week. 7-9 hours!  Around 11 weeks we started adding baths to the night time routine.  Not every night, but almost every night before bad we would give her a quick bath.  I was prepared {somewhat} to do the cry it out method in order to get her to self soothe and start sleeping before I went back to work, but I am so thankful that she decided she liked sleeping as much as mommy and did it all on her own.

Since then, she has been the most amazing sleeper.  No. Complains. What. so. Ever.  She sleeps great!  She has slept through teething, through colds, through sicknesses, while traveling, you name it.  She is a true trooper.  So having my second, I thought, "oh gosh, we are going to be cursed, there is no way we will have another great sleeper."  Wrong.

Miles sleep pattern took a little different spin. He went from only sleeping 2-3 hours at night to BAM. Sleeping through the night.  When he started, he wasn't even 10 pounds, which I always thought was some sort of magical number for sleeping.  Gianna had more of a gradual transition.  I don't think he is going to be quite as amazing as she was, he does wake up when he is sick some right now, but hey, I understand, he is still so, so, so great!  We will see if I am saying the same thing in a year after teething, etc, but so far through sickness, growth spurts and traveling, he has done a pretty great job.  I am also writing this after a night of waking up every hour with him because he is sick, but that's ok, because he is sick and it is rare and he doesn't keep you up long, he just wants his paci. I am hoping as he starts rolling and being able to grab his own paci his sleep will get even better, hoping.

I am so thankful for my two beautiful sleeping babies.  I hear horror stories and they freak me out. Literally.  So yes, I would love to snuggle up in my bed with my kiddos every night, but that is one of the sacrifices I made to get them into a routine, get them on schedules, sleeping in their own beds and enjoying it. Zzzzzzz.

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