Saturday, February 12, 2011
I can't think of any part of raising a baby where there is more controversy or theories than sleeping. It's probably because that's the part that parents miss most...a good night's sleep. I've gotten a lot of advice over the past few weeks, everything from "don't worry about it for now" to "let him cry it out." I didn't feel terribly comfortable with either side of the spectrum. To just say, "eh, I'll worry about it later" kind of stressed me out a little bit because I just kept thinking of all of the horrible habits I could instill in my child at a young age and would have to deal with later--namely things like letting Hyrum always fall asleep in my arms or only putting him in his crib after he was asleep. On the other hand, cry outs at such a young age seem really extreme to me. I think he's far too young, especially in those first few weeks when he doesn't know yet that someone will be there for him when he needs them. I think this time of life is crucial to establishing a trusting relationship between babies and parents.
Anyway, now I'll get off my soap box. Here's how I've resolved to handle the controversial sleep beast:
The pediatrician has instructed us to keep Hyrum upright for 30 minutes after feedings because the sphincter muscle at the top of his stomach doesn't close correctly yet. This is preferably done in someone's arms and she instructed us not to put him in a car seat or a bouncer at night. During the day we have at least 30 minutes of playtime after each feeding so it works out splendidly. Then, when he's showing signs of being tired (the cutest little yawns!!), I swaddle him up and puts him in the crib. I'll usually give him the pacifier because I know he still has a major sucking reflex (even the nurses in the hospital commented on how much he just wanted to suck). The pacifier will fall out from time. If he's seeming content, I'll just let it stay out. If he starts getting anxious, I'll go pop it back in. Now, this could be one habit I'm instilling that needs to be broken later but I figure 1) it's one I don't mind dealing with and 2) it's a lot easier to take the pacifier away than it is to take fingers/the thumb away so why not keep it to something removable? Result: usually Hyrum will go to sleep on his own, in the crib. Success!!!
Now, nighttime is another issue. Since I have to keep Hyrum upright but I also want him to differentiate between night and day, we don't have playtime after he eats. Instead, I'll just let him fall asleep on my shoulder or chest, and then stick him in the crib after 30 minutes. I figure it's better he learn to differentiate and associate nighttime with no playing rather than worry about keeping him upright for 30 minutes, waking him up, and then stick him in his crib. So, it's not ideal but I think we're doing pretty dang good considering the circumstances.
Results? For the most part, Hyrum knows the difference between night and day!!! He'll usually perk up after feedings during the day and conk out after feedings at night. AND, last night he slept for 6 hours straight!!! I actually woke up in a panic at 1:30am because he normally wakes up by then to eat (I try to put him down about 8 or 9pm). But, he was totally fine and fast asleep. Yup, I'm a good Mommy :)
Posted by Amy at 8:42 AM