Baby2 is amazing. Somehow, despite my inconsistencies with following my own baby sleep rules, she has managed to cross the threshold to lengthy nighttime sleep. She’s been riding a minimum five hour stretch of sleep every night for the past two weeks! At six weeks she started sleeping six hours, then a couple five hour nights, now this week I’m getting up to seven hours some nights! I love Baby2. I love her so much.
The timing couldn’t be better since I’m back to work starting Monday. Saddest face ever. But I think we’re both ready. I won’t be able to sleep until 10 like I did sometimes during maternity leave, so I am super grateful for these long stretches of sleep that Baby2 is giving me.
So how did she do it? I have no clue. I have been trying to follow our Babywise routine as much as possible, but it has been difficult to get good naps during the day because we’ve been so busy. With people in town for a month, keeping Kiddo1 entertained and otherwise completing outside-the-house obligations we haven’t really put her on a set schedule per se. We do follow the eat/play/sleep routine but sometimes she’s got to eat and then it’s car seat time for a hour while we run around town. She’ll stay awake for a bit but this baby cannot fight the jiggling, sleep-lulling goodness of the car (or the wrap if we’re walking around). She’s too much like her daddy. Right to sleep she goes. And who could blame her, really? Full belly, cozy seat (or wrap), jiggling. It’s a recipe for a great nap if you ask me. There’s no stopping it.
If she isn’t being jiggled into dreamland then she seems to have a hard time giving herself over to sleep during the day. She’s just so alert a lot of the time now! Which is great, but when it comes time for a nap she will just fight, fight, fight. She doesn’t cry about it much, she’ll just be playing with us or laying around in our arms and her eyes will get droopy but then they’ll pop back open. We’ll put her in her crib and she’ll cry a bunch. I’ll let her cry for a few minutes but I end up giving in after a few rounds of put down, cry, soothe, cry, pick up and soothe, put down, cry, soothe, cry, blah, blah, blah. At that point she’s probably not going to nap. Eh, it is what it is.
Sometimes we can get her to nap in her bouncy seat though (we call it her chair). I think she wants to hang out with us so bad that she just can’t stand going to her crib. I’m making this up for her, of course, but I think it’s a reasonable explanation, right? So she sleeps in odd places, but most of the time that’s okay (and I kind of like that she is able to sleep anywhere!). The only problem is that she doesn’t nap very long. She’ll get to that 45-minute mark and start to stir. She has trouble moving from one sleep cycle to the next. We will give her a few minutes to see if she’ll get back to sleep but mostly it’s a no-go. So I’m reading about that right now to see how we can help her get full 90-minute naps.
Daytime naps, hit or miss. But nighttime, oh nighttime, she is a dream. Sometime between 8 and 9, depending on when she took her dinner feeding, I’ll start her bedtime routine. She gets fed again, then a new diaper and changed into her pajamas (babies look so incredibly cute in those little sleeper pajamas with the feet – like a little lump of amazing baby cuteness). Then we get the room all dark and walk around in it together. I pat her back and hold her close while she lays her head on my shoulder. I hug her and generally savor every moment of being able to hold her like this. Insert contented sigh. Then, and here’s where I hope I don’t jinx myself by disclosing this, I put her down in her crib, give her a little pat and walk away so she can quietly close her eyes and get herself to sleep. And lately that’s been working about 80% of the time. I’ll take it. Then she sleeps for that solid five to seven hours, wakes around 3 AM, gets changed and fed and goes right back to sleep for another three or four hours. Blissful sleep. Joy.
Overall, I couldn’t be happier about Baby2’s sleep progress. She doesn’t always make it to the crib for daytime naps, but I believe she is learning to self-soothe and we have been really good about not rushing to her if she wakes mid-nap. I’m interested to see how my return to work will change her sleep patterns. I am reading a bit about sleep regression, too, to keep myself from surprises around four months when apparently most babies turn their backs on their sleeping norms. I will probably have lots to update next time then! Happy sleeping!