Thursday, July 5, 2012

Trouble with Sleep

  One of the best things about mothering the third time around is my mommy confidence.  I still second guess myself a little, but I find myself much more self-assured in what I am doing as a mom.  Its so much easier to cuddle, dress, change, wash, feed and generally deal with a baby after having done it twice prior.  I remember my super caution when Lilly was born, being ever so gentle with her, afraid she might break.  Now, I am much more at ease with myself and my parenting. I know all babies, and all kids, are different, and we have already dealt with two starkly contrasting personalities with Lilly and then Ryley.  I know Avery will be different still, but it is nice to have been down this road before. 

  That being said, I could use some advice from my mommy (and daddy!) friends out there.  My pediatrician is a tried and true believer in the "Ferberizing" method for sleep.  It seems really extreme, but when you actually research the term, it isn't about totally letting baby cry it out for an endless amount of time.  Instead, its about helping baby learn to soothe themselves to sleep.  My pediatrician recommends waiting until baby is about 4 months old.  He says this is the perfect time to help Avery learn to soothe herself, and that it will get harder to break bad sleep habits if you wait until after the 6 month mark or so.  Don't get me wrong, I am actually a little sad about it.  I like cuddling her, letting her fall asleep in my arms.  It's just that during the day, I have trouble getting her to take a nap on her own.  I rock her to sleep, put her down.  It is always 20 minutes or less, and she is awake, crying, and still tired.  At night, she sleeps like a dream.  Twelve solid hours a night.  But during the day, she consistently wakes up, still tired.  If I hold her, she sleeps.  If I put her down, she wakes.  Without fail.  I don't remember ever having trouble with the other girls napping as a baby.  I've been wondering if trying to help her soothe herself to sleep will help her sleep more soundly during the day.  Sure I could put her in my sling and cart her around while she sleeps, and sometimes I do.  That is just not an everyday solution.  At least not to me it isn't. It would be really nice to get Miss Avery into a better sleeping routine for daytime!  Any ideas? 


  1. I don't know what your schedule is like day to day, but this is what I did with Oliver and with Lydia, the baby that I "sit". I got the advice from the "Baby Whisperer" but have seen other variations on the theme since. Basically, just watch her for a couple of days to see when she wakes, eats and begins to get tired. You may find that you see a pattern emerging and that you're trying to get her sleep too early or too late, which always brings its own host of problems.

    With Oliver, I'd put him in his crib, turn on his humidifier and start his mobile about 10-15 minutes before his sleep time. Most of the time, he'd fall asleep watching the mobile or babbling to himself. Once he was mobile, he developed the bad habit of jumping in his crib until he gets tired and then he falls asleep. You can imagine how that's a problem now that we're trying to get him to sleep in his crib turned toddler bed!

    With Lydia I had the exact problem that you're describing with Avery. She was always tired at my house and wouldn't nap long. At home she'd developed a habit of being held by a parent while sleeping and that's not something that I could do here. She's teething now and was off schedule today, but her usual pattern is to be awake for about 2 hours, nap for two, etc. She also "outgrew" her willingness to be rocked a couple of weeks ago because she would take her paci out, and push against me to sit up. She'll be six months old in a couple more weeks.

    Anyway, I think if you just watch her you might find that she's giving you signals that you're missing just because you're also taking care of the older two plus house stuff. Also, I run the humidifier when both of them sleep because it also acts as white noise while helping with their allergies. I'd like to get some room darkening curtains to help Lydia nap. I think the sun wakes her early sometimes.

  2. One thing I used to try at the daycare was to catch them as soon as they kind of started stirring around and to gently pat their backs or put their paci back in. Sometimes this was all they needed to fall back asleep for another hour or so.

    But I am not the one to be giving sleeping advice since my son slept in his swing for the first five months of his life. I just wanted to stop by and follow you back.