Baby steps…

E. is currently sleeping in the crib. It’s his third nap of the day in there. And this is the third day in a row he’s had three naps in the crib. They have all, with one exception (which was even shorter), been 45 minutes, so getting through the sleep transition is still a total fail. And it takes on average 40 minutes to get him in there (the best has been 20, the worst was a full hour). But still, this has to be seen as progress.

The lightbulb moment was a week ago Sunday when I was aiming for a crib nap. He was SO tired, but every time I got him in, he would startle and his hands would fly up at his face and he’d wake up, and then start to cry because he just wanted to be asleep. So I thought to myself- when he’s in the Moby, he can’t startle awake because he’s all wrapped up.

I dug out the swaddling blankets again. And I swaddled him ultra-tight- including his arms (which was something we gave up doing at night on I think the third or fourth day of his life because he seemed to like having his hands up by his face).

He fell asleep, and I put him in the crib, and he slept for 45 minutes without stirring.

So that’s where we’re at at the moment- the swaddle, the fan for white noise to cut the noise from the rest of the house (including cats and creaky floorboards) and a whole lot of shush-pat to get him asleep. I have managed a couple of times to get him into the crib while he is just very sleepy, and he’s put himself asleep the rest of the way, but we’ve also had several rounds of in and out of the crib before achieving nap success. There’s always some crying, but it’s clearly a mantra, “let me sleep” kind of cry, so I don’t mind it (especially with ear plugs).

With the sleep transitions- he is WIDE AWAKE at the 45 minute mark, and usually kicks the swaddle off. I’m not sure if keeping him in the swaddle would help. He also seems hungry, even if it’s only been two hours, so we could be approaching the three-month growth spurt.

The short naps do mean he’s getting less sleep total in the daytime, which is leading to some evening meltdowns. We’ve tried moving bedtime earlier, but haven’t yet met with much success there. I’m still convinced he’s going to sleep when the light goes, as bedtime has been getting gradually earlier as the days have started to shorten.

Otherwise, all is well here. He’s starting to really grasp and reach for toys, and then try to stuff them in his mouth if he gets a hold of them. He smiles ALL the time at Q. and I. He’s still sleeping well at night, although we’ve had some problems with gas the last few nights, which means he’s in light sleep and fussing from about 4 am onwards- I’m never sure how well he’s actually sleeping at that point.

His personality is starting to emerge. He’s going to be BUSY. We did an infants CPR and choking emergency first-aid course on the weekend with a bunch of the other May/June babies. Most of them spent the course either sleeping, feeding, or, if awake, sitting placidly and staring into space. E. fed, then sat on my lap and waved his arms and legs, cooing at any pauses in the conversation, smiling at all and sundry, and then when he got tired got progressively more and more fussy until Q. stuck him in the Snugli and put his hat on so he couldn’t see anything. Then he slept for 45 minutes and repeated the above performance. He just seems so much more aware/alert than the other babies- even the ones who are the same age or a bit older.

We figure he’s going to run us ragged once he can move independently.

In the meantime, however, I’m cherishing the points in the day where he does get sleepy and snuggly and just wants to cuddle up and be held. He’s still a little baby, but it’s so clear to me that he’s growing up already. I don’t want to miss anything.


Filed under Baby

3 responses to “Baby steps…

  1. Yes, cherish these early days! They are so fleeting and so precious.

    How many times a day is he napping? You could try keeping him up a little longer in the morning. At some point in the next couple of months he will be ready for the “2-3-4” rule — down for first nap about 2 hours after waking in the morning, down for second about 3 hrs after waking from first nap and down to bed about 4 hours after that. We followed that (at the advice of a sleep expert we consulted with) for most of H’s first year and beyond and he is still a great sleeper (although I hear him now — he’s got a cold and when they’re sick all bets are off!).

  2. Sarah

    My little niece is still swaddled at over a year old, lol. It’s comforting! In fact, the most comfortable position for me used to be sleeping on my stomach with my arms down by my sides (until I was married)…which was the way I was put down as a baby, all swaddled up :).
    Isaac is just starting to give me a nap here and there – 30 minutes or 40 at the longest. But he slept 7 hours last night, so again I feel like I can’t really complain too much. I have started swaddling him for nursing sessions, in case he falls asleep after so it makes for an easier transition to the crib.
    We need to take an infant CPR class, STAT! Thanks for the reminder!

  3. Pingback: It Gets Better | Res Cogitatae

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