Monday, February 22, 2010

The light at the end? Or the eye of the storm?

When it comes to our sleepless nights that is.

Ambrose has changed so much recently, and while I know that's to be expected the past couple weeks have brought about some very welcome changes. He's much more giggly and social, very happy and bubbly. And patterned! So very patterned!

His days remain the same pattern pretty much. His nights too have settled into a pattern. Right now 24 hours in our home looks like this:

(__) = optional

12:30 am - fuss briefly, back to sleep
2:30 am - big fuss, move to rocking chair.
4am - small meal, back to bed
(4:30-5:30 am wake up and go downstairs with Ambrose)
6am - Ambrose up,prilosec, mommy back to sleep
6:30 am - Ambrose asleep
7:30 am - Ambrose awake, mommy awake, feeding
8 am - daddy goes to work
9 am - leave to take Paxton to school
10 am - Ambrose nap, usually while mommy takes a walk
11 am - Feeding
(11 am - 12 pm - lightish nap)
12 pm - leave to pick up Paxton
1 - 1:30 pm - nap in bouncy seat while mommy eats lunch
2 - 2:30pm (depending on when he goes down for nap) - feeding and prilosec
4 - 4:30 pm - Ambrose nap in sling
5:30 pm - Ambrose up, feeding, dinner for mom and Paxton (I usually prepare dinner while he's asleep in the sling)
6 pm - daddy's home! Sometimes we wait till 6 for dinner, but it means no bath for Paxton
6:05 pm - Paxton bath, sometimes Ambrose bath too
6:30 pm - Paxton in bed, lights out, Ambrose bath if he didn't have it earlier
6:45-7 pm - Ambrose asleep in arms or bouncy chair
9 pm - Mommy in bed, prilosec, Ambrose feeding
(9 pm till 9:30 pm - Ambrose up and highly active before conking out again)
11 pm - fussy time, rocked by daddy

Obviously our weekends are a bit different, but Ambrose is pretty much on schedule even if we aren't.

We've started utilizing a couple of strategies from the No Cry Sleep Solution to help Ambrose sleep better at night. I'm not sure if it's working yet but at least we know we have a set schedule, so we know what we're dealing with here. That makes it all seem much more do-able!

Our first "step" has been to separate feeding or sucking and falling asleep. Nursing at night wasn't stopping the fussy phases anyway (though I always offer the breast first and typically wake up nursing him), and it's easier on both of us this way. For me, I can have him sleep someplace other than my arms. For him, he's allowed a slow, groggy wake up while tanking up and is then both rested and full at the same time, leading to a super giggly, happy, alert baby for a longer stretch of time. So that's working very well.

I'm not sure what our next step will be, though I was quite impressed last night. He had his 12:30 wake up around 1am and all I did was rub his tummy, almost without thinking, and he fell back asleep laying on his back in bed! Didn't work at 2am, though.

And ever since that nightmare I've been very fond of sleeping in the rocking chair with him, though I'm making it a point to rock for shorter periods of time. It's annoying to try to remember a goal at 2:30 am when you've already been up a couple times but I think it's working. In fact, some nights he's already asleep in my arms before I get to the chair! And I'm working on taking him to the rocking chair instead of taking him downstairs if he's up at 5am, just to keep from having to turn on a bright light. If he's not going to wake Paxton up it doesn't matter (so if P is already up or A is being quiet, we'll hang out in the rocker).

I don't know for certain, but I think he's sleeping better, and I think I too am sleeping better just knowing what to expect. When I wake up to him fussing, look at the clock and see that it's the same time as the last 20 nights I just kind of shrug my shoulders and roll with it.

If nothing else works, he'll eventually grow out of it anyway... hopefully!

*****

On another note, I'm awful. Well, not tooooo awful, but just a little. I can't wait to try solids! And Ambrose is so interested! So I let him chew on some boiled/gooey organic baby carrots through a mesh baby feeder yesterday. Today I picked up some organic bananas and organic unsweetened apple sauce (only ingredient is organic apples). My goal of course isn't to feed the tummy but rather to feed the interest. Ambrose wants to try out our food so badly! Even if he doesn't swallow anything it doesn't really matter right now. If nothing else it's a safe "toy" to experience taste and texture. And I'm excited! After his 2 - 2:30 pm feeding I'm going to let him have a baby-spoon full of applesauce to try. I can't wait. I'm sure it will be soooo messy!

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