Sunday, August 15, 2010

Chronicling Babywise- Week 5

(This is #5 in a series chronicling our Babywise routine with our fifth child. CLICK HERE TO SEE: Week One, Week Two, Week Three, Week Four.)This week was another one that went by very quickly... I'm learning and doing some new things with my free time and enjoying that a great deal. It was a great week! Moses is growing so well (we had his one-month pediatrician's visit, and he's well over 10 pounds now), and is more and more alert and interactive. He's started smiling at multiple family members, batting at toys on his bouncy seat, and cooing at anyone who sits with him long enough to listen. It's so fun to get to know this new little soul, created by God, and watch him learn about the world and our family.
As far as Babywise goes, it was also an excellent week. Moses is now quite accustomed to the daytime routine, and only (maybe) once a day do I either have to rouse him because he's slept too long or hold him off a few minutes if he's woken up a bit early. And I'm often still helping him to sleep, but that is not burdensome. I love to snuggle with him and it only takes a few minutes of snuggles with a pacifier for him to fall asleep.

(I will say, this is the first time I've done this-- holding/helping a baby to sleep in my arms-- so frequently, and a lot of it is due to the weather and our situation here... we do not have A/C as we did with all 3 of our other June & July babies, and it is not cold as it was with our March baby... so I can't swaddle him like I did with all of them. He already has a heat rash and I just don't want him to sweat or be miserable all wrapped up when we're all dying of heat.) Anyway. With the other babies, swaddling helped significantly to teach them to sleep after a short waketime, and he does too in the cooler hours of the day.

One very exciting piece of news this week is that he jumped up quite a bit in his nighttime sleep this week!!! Tuesday night, he slept 5 & 1/2 hours before waking (I was shocked!). Wednesday night, he did 5 hours between feeds. Thursday, we went to the doctor and he got a vaccination and was a bit fussy for the rest of the day so he reverted to the every-3 & 1/2 hour- feed throughout that night. But Friday night, he slept 5 hours & 45 minutes (yes, I'll count even those extra 15 minutes... those were like a balm for my weary body!), and last night (Saturday night), he slept just over SIX HOURS! I couldn't believe it!

He's been very happy and content throughout the day and night, and he's gaining weight well, so this is obviously good for him too. And I'm over the moon. Even if he reverts at any point (we are about to hit the 6-week mark so that may mean a growth-spurt and need to feed more often again to boost my supply), this jump in the amount of sleep I'm getting is such a gift, and felt so very needed!
Like I've said before, there is NO crying-it-out in this scenario. He is sleeping this length of time on his own because he is getting the calories and waketime he needs during the daytime hours. He is in the room with us and never cries longer than the few seconds it takes for us to hear him and get him from his bed. And because he knows the gig (that he will eat right away after waking up), he stops crying very quickly and waits to latch on.

Last week. a commenter asked if, at nighttime, I nurse laying down or sitting up. I've done it both ways. And fallen asleep both ways, LOL, only to find myself holding or laying next to a baby wanting to nurse hours later. If we're in bed, I find that I don't often achieve the full feeding, because it's just too easy to fall asleep (for me).

So, I tend to go ahead and sit up, prop my pillows up against the headboard, and around me so that I can nurse easily, and sit up for the 30-minute-or-so time it takes to feed. At first, I do it easily. Around weeks 1-3 I get really exhausted and can hardly stay awake.

But I've learned that it's worth it to work for full feedings (whether it's me or the baby I have to work to keep awake!). The longer we fool around with half-feedings and snacking in the middle of the night, I'm essentially working against myself in the goal of helping them achieve nighttime sleep. The more consistent I am, the more easily, and often more quickly, we'll achieve that end goal of blissful sleep for all parties involved. Doug's iPhone has helped with staying awake. :) I can grab it and browse the web while nursing... and I also try to find exciting books to read for those feed times, so that helps. Now that Moses is just waking up once a night, it's quite easy for me to stay awake for the full feeding and tuck him back into bed for our last few-hour-stretch of sleep before morning.

At this point, here's what our days/nights look like, as far as Moses' schedule goes:

7am-feed, longer waketime, lay down around 8:30/9am.
9:30- feed, shorter wake time, go to sleep around 10:30.
12 or 12:30- feed, wake time, lay down
3- feed, wake, nap
5:30- feed, longer waketime, short nap
8/8:30- feed, short waketime, sleep
10:30/11pm- feed (no waketime) and then right to sleep
4am- feed (no waketime) and then right back to sleep

All said, we're now waking up just one time a night, and he's growing and content. All of our weeks with Moses have been delightful, but this one was particularly nice for me because he surprised me with the unexpected gift of lengthier sleep. Thank you, Moses, and thank you, Babywise!

[Here are links to this whole Babywise series: Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, Week 5, Weeks 6 & 7, Weeks 8-14]


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