When I was pregnant people would tell me "get all the sleep you can now"! I would smile and acknowledge the remark, but I had no idea how good that advice was until Stella arrived! We've had some ups and downs when it comes to sleep, and right now we are in a "down" phase. Let me start from the beginning…
When Stella was born, she stayed with me and my husband in our hospital room in a bassinet. I felt so guilty on the second night when I wanted to hand her over to the nurses so that I could sleep for 2 hours. I literally hadn't slept since the night before her birth. Stella wasn't the slumbering newborn I'd heard about from friends, read about in books, and envisioned for myself. She was wide-eyed and CRIED off and on through the night. I was good at comforting her, but it left me exhausted and frustrated. So, on that second night, I asked my nurse to take her for a couple of hours, and she agreed thankfully! On day three I was sent home with Stella, and the nurse said she couldn't come home with me. L
During weeks 1-4, Stella ate every 2 hours or so, since she had lost some weight post-delivery and we were getting her back up. Those nights were pretty rough. I remember having one of those moments when I thought Stella and I were the ONLY 2 people on the planet that were awake. Luckily, around 6 weeks old she started to eat a little less often and sleep for 3-4 hour stretches at night! It was like Christmas morning when I rolled over and it was 7am, and I had been asleep since 3am. I felt like a new woman!
Around 3 months, Stella started only waking once to eat at night! She would take a 1-2 hour morning nap around 9am, then a couple short naps in the afternoon. We were on a nice schedule for a while there, and this helped me with returning to work. Then the inevitable happened… She decided to change things up on us. For the past week, she has been waking 2-3 times per night and not sleeping as well during her naps. We think it could be a growth spurt (she is almost 5 months old) or maybe an effect of the vaccines. This has been really tough on me and my husband, since we started to count on her sleeping a good bit at night and taking long morning naps. The morning nap issue is the hardest for me, because during those naps I'd get things done around the house, get a workout in, or just have some me time before work. She went from giving me about 1.5 hours every morning, to only about 20-30 mins. I'm hoping she returns to taking longer morning naps soon.
I've done a lot of reading about sleep training/scheduling, and it seems to be a really good thing for infants. However, I don't like the "cry it out" approach. I'm trying to find that happy medium between rushing to her the instant she cries and letting her cry for an hour. I'd love to hear from you about how you got your kids to sleep through the night, how you established a nap schedule, or if you even believe in schedules and sleep training! Email me at Kendra.firstname.lastname@example.org or comment on the FB posts or here on our site. I'll read them all!