I read somewhere that 12 weeks and/or 12 pounds is the key to your baby sleeping through the night. Well, Zeke is now 12 weeks plus, and he’s edging up to 13 pounds. And no, he’s not sleeping through the night. I’m not sure where these baby myths come from, and I would say they’re evil except that the *idea* that he may sleep through the night at 12 weeks/12 pounds gave me a bit of hope when he was, say, 10 weeks and 10 pounds.
I will say that nap time has gotten a lot better recently. More than once, he’s yawned a few times, we’ve swaddled him, put him down in his crib or co-sleeper (trying to put him in the crib more often to get him used to it – though he looks so tiny in that huge bed), and he’s asleep within minutes – for at least a half hour, often longer. No crying or complaining. He even seems to welcome it. And he still sleeps well in the car or stroller, though it can be tough if he doesn’t get a long enough stretch before we get where we’re going. We’ve definitely circled the block a few times in hopes of extending his car naps.
Evenings are still a challenge. We’ve played around with the time we put him to bed (still between 7-8pm) – hoping that if we wait a little later he’ll fall asleep a little faster, to no avail. I don’t understand why he fights sleeping at night when daytime naps are so pleasant for him. We try really hard to keep the time before bed very calm and quiet – a nice warm bath, a song or two, some bouncing… and he still writhes and fusses and cries for at least 30 minutes (sometimes an hour) before he’ll finally fall asleep. It’s exhausting for us and I’m fresh out of ideas to make it better. We’ve tried a pacifier. We’ve tried putting him in the co-sleeper drowsy, but not asleep. We’ve tried shushing. We’ve tried patting and rocking. The swaddle is a given. The only thing that really works right now is time. And honestly, after 8pm, I want some time to myself – ideally a little bit of time where I’m not sweating and frazzled from trying to calm a crazy little monkey named Z.
Once he’s asleep, we still get a good 4-5 hours before he wakes up for his first night feeding. He’s up between 12 and 1am, and then, on a good night, he’ll sleep again until 4:30am or so. This would be fine if he ate and went back to sleep one more time. But recently, this 4:30am waking turns into nursing followed by a couple hours of writhing and grunting and complaining and lifting his legs up and slamming them into the mattress WWE wrestler style. I can only imagine that he has terrible gas pains, and again, I have no idea what to do about it. I try to burp him and lift his little legs in the air to help him out. I rub his belly. Sometimes he’ll go back to sleep in my arms – holding him upright seems to help. But at 4:30am, this is not ideal.
Sometimes Dave will take him into the living room at 5:30 or 6 am and get him back to sleep in the swing for another couple hours while I catch up on some sleep myself, but again, not ideal. And once Dave starts school again (next week), this is really not going to work since he leaves around 6:30am and I can’t hear Z in the living room if I’m sleeping in the bedroom. Either I’m going to have to learn to go to sleep at a more reasonable hour (instead of 11pm-12am like I’ve been doing recently) or we’re going to have to find a way to get Z back to sleep in the co-sleeper in the early AM.
A lot of things will have to change once Dave goes back to school. I’m nervous about it, especially since I have my own work to do now and it’s been really hard to find time to do it when Dave is here. I’ve thought about a nanny share a couple afternoons a week, but the thought of giving Z up to a stranger for any amount of time at this point makes my heart hurt. Lots to think about as he reaches the 3 month mark.