Monday, September 2, 2013

Infant Sleep Update

As I type this, Tate is fast asleep on my chest (in the Moby Wrap, which frees up my hands for typing). That pretty much describes how I spend many hours a day!
Tate is now two months-old, and now seems like a good time to update you on how our routine is going.
Around 7am, Henry wakes up like clockwork and Matt helps him start getting ready for the day. Tate is also usually ready to eat at this time. If he happens to still be asleep, I wake him up to start our day together.
After about 20-30 minutes of breastfeeding, Tate is ready for awake time. I typically put him on a mat in our bathroom and let him look at the black-and-white cards hanging from his wooden arch while I shower. I try to shower quickly, so that I can pick him up before he gets fussy.
By the time I'm dressed, Tate is usually ready for an activity change. I typically bring him out into the living room and set him up on the couch. He likes to look at the dark beams on our ceiling and to generally be part of our morning family time. I then have a few minutes to eat my breakfast with Matt and Henry.
When Tate gets fussy a second time, it generally means he's tired and ready for a nap (around 8:15). I put the Moby on and settle him into it. We usually sit on the couch together. He typically falls right to sleep with a pacifier and a few pats on the back. I get to work for about an hour and 45 minutes. If Tate starts to rustle during that time, I will help him fall back asleep by putting the pacifier back in his mouth or patting his back a few times. He falls asleep nearly instantly, which is how I know he needs more sleep instead of food.
I could transfer Tate to his bed if I wanted to, but I'm lazy. I would rather have an hour and 45 minutes of uninterrupted work time. If he were sleeping on his bed, he would be much more likely to wake up between sleep cycles or wake himself up from farting.
Since Henry refused to nap anywhere but the Moby for the first three months of his life and then later became an awesome independent sleeper, I'm not worried about the situation. I'm actually relishing it. I love feeling Tate snuggled against me and kissing the top of his head. Once we move to our new house, I will probably start working on my bed and putting Tate to sleep next to me during naps. That way, I can respond quickly when he starts to wake. Around three months, I will transition him to his own room for naps.
Our day pretty much repeats itself. I generally feed Tate every three hours: 7am, 10am, 1pm, 4pm, 7pm, and 10pm (obviously each of those times is + or - depending on when Tate is hungry). He generally naps for the last hour and 45 minutes of every 3-hour cycle. His afternoon nap gets interrupted when we have to go pick up Henry. However, once we get home and he goes back in the Moby, he falls back asleep.
After his 10pm feeding, we put him on his bed (which is a crib mattress on the floor next to our bed), and he typically falls asleep. He recently outgrew the Moses basket that he was sleeping in. We're taking a different approach with Tate than we did with Henry. Henry slept in our bed for the first two months of his life. Although I loved feeling his warm little body snuggled in my armpit, I didn't like how poorly I slept. It was a relief to put him in his own room on his Montessori floor bed (i.e., crib mattress) at two months. However, it wasn't that fun to breastfeed him on his bed in the middle of the night.
This time around, Tate only slept in our bed for one night. Then we transitioned him to the Moses basket next to our bed. We all seem to sleep so much better! When Henry slept next to me, he would root around for the breast constantly. Tate tends to wake up twice in the night (around 2am and 5am). I pull him into the bed to feed him and then put him back on his mattress. If he has trouble settling back to sleep, Matt will give him his pacifier and pat his back.
Now that we've hit the 2-month mark, I'm trying to see if Tate can go longer between feedings in the night. The pediatrician said he should be able to go 6-8 hours without milk. Last week, for example, when Tate would wake up at 2am, Matt would try to soothe him back to sleep with the pacifier first. If it didn't work then we knew he was hungry (as opposed to just waking up out of habit).
I haven't talked to Matt about it yet, but I'd like to keep Tate on his floorbed in our room until four months. That's when the pediatrician recommends we start sleep training. For now, it's so much easier to have him right next to us for nighttime breastfeeding. Maybe we'll transition him to his own room around four months and then start sleep training a few weeks after that to give him time to get used to the transition.
The sleep stuff is so much easier this time around. When Henry was an infant, he struggled to fall back asleep after nighttime feedings. We would have to walk him around in the Moby to get him to fall asleep. Then when we tried to transition him to the bed, he would wake up and we would have to start all over again. I have fond memories of Matt raking leaves in the backyard or cleaning the baseboards with a toothbrush with Henry in the Moby in the middle of the night.
It's still hard and I'm still tired, but it's easier knowing that the hard stuff doesn't last too long.
I'm incredibly thankful that we've been able to get Tate into a routine like we did with Henry. He gets his needs for eating, activity, and rest taken care of, and I am comforted by the consistent structure and time to take care of my needs.
Hopefully Tate will follow Henry's lead on the sleep stuff. Henry still sleeps through the night (approximately 11.5-12 hours) and wakes up at 7am. He struggles to fall asleep for naps on the weekend, but everything else is pretty smooth.

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1 comment:

Betsy said...

Thanks for sharing your schedule I'm expecting my second and enjoy to read how other moms are balancing another babe.

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