The Sleep Game   Leave a comment

I wanted to call this post the Sleep War… but that seems really hostile. And I don’t want to feel hostile. I want to savor this time I have with my daughter. I love nursing her. I love the closeness and how her body melds to mine. I love her little soft sighs and the noises she makes.

I love how in the middle of the night it seems to be just the two of us cuddled close in the dark. I truly love lying in bed with her in my arms, looking over to see Steve asleep and to think “This is my family and I am so blessed.”

Of course, this is how I feel when LA sleeps more than a few hours at a time. When she is up every one to three hours my thought process goes more like, “LA… what are you doing to me? I are you trying to kill mommy? We will so not be able to do walks tomorrow if you don’t let mommy sleep! Without sleep you won’t like mommy very much.” And other various unpleasantness.

I hold her in a sleepy haze and I don’t enjoy it as much as I want to.

At around 2 months of age LA started sleeping 3-4 hours a night and by 3 months she was going 5-7 hours. As outlined in another post she would go to bed about 9 or 10 and sleep until 1 or 2 then she would wake up for about 15 minutes and then sleep until 4 for another feeding. Around 7 she would wake to get in bed with me and then sleep until 11 or 12.

That was going pretty steady until around her five month mark. Her period of sleep stayed similar but before when she would often skip one of her night feedings she was hitting them all. Also, before I could give her a binky occasionally and convince her to go back to sleep that would not happen now… it was nurse or nothing.

Then last week hit. We started LA on solid foods. Now, everyone has been advising Steve and I to give her a little cereal or solids…. “To make her sleep better.” I had read in a ton of books that this advice wasn’t true…. but I was hoping it was.

So the first night we went to bed and I waited. Well, it didn’t take me long to realize that I would not wait long. LA woke up nearly every 2 hours and demanded to nurse. She seemed a little gassy than usual so I thought that in the excitement she had swallowed more air than usual and was a bit uncomfortable. It has now been a whole week and she is still sleeping in 2-3 hour blocks and she will not be pacified with a binky.

I’m tired. The best sleep I get is when she gets in bed with me around 6 30 and then sleeps until about 9 30…. but since we can’t really have her sleep with us I feel like it would be a bad precedent to do this more than we already do.

I don’t think she’s teething although it is possible that she is experiencing a growth spurt.

My other concern is that I’m not making enough milk so that she needs more at night… this may be irrational but it’s what I’m worried about.

But I think my best guess is that she’s getting to the age where she has opinions about things. Strong opinions. And one of these opinions is that she wants to be close to mommy at night. And while this is flattering and I love it too…. mommy needs sleep.

The other night I tried for about 20 minutes to get her to sleep without nursing because I knew she wasn’t hungry. I tried patting her, singing to her, rubbing her back… at one point she reached down and patted me back as if to say “Oh is this the game we are playing?” I thought I might be able to slightly win this round if I could nurse her to near sleep before laying her down.

So I nursed her until she was almost there and then laid her down. She rolled onto her side like she usually does before settling into sleep. I slid into bed and prayed. It lasted about ten minutes before I heard her cry out…. this round to her!

I’m hoping things go better this week as she adjusts to solid food… but if not I have a plan! (I hope!)

Enjoying our first feeding…


Posted March 9, 2011 by etainl in Life, Mommy-hood, Sickness & Health

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