Thursday 23 October 2008

7 weeks, 2 days old - Sleep Routines

Don't get your hopes up, there is still no real routiCheck Spellingne. However, have learnt a big lessons over the past week. I went from being 'fairly' relaxed about this to being neurotic and really stressed out - all because I made the fatal mistake of listening to an 'expert'!

Most of the time, we've been ok with Callum's sleep patterns (or non-patterns) throughout the day and night but in the evening, he tended to be awake for 4 hours straight. Typically, this will be right when we are eating dinner so one of us would be speed eating while the other would get a cold dinner. For the last couple of hours, you could tell that Callum was over-tired and would then really fight sleep. Often, he wouldn't go to sleep properly until 10-10.30pm when we went to sleep, though he did go down fairly easily.

So, I went to the babyshow at the weekend and there was an 'expert' talking about sleep routines etc. She said that newborns should only be awake for 45 minutes at a time - just enough time to eat, nappy change and back to sleep again and we should do everything possible to get them to sleep whether it was rocking baby to sleep or when things were getting more desperate, a drive round the block. At this age, babies don't have sleep association (they don't have this until about 4 months) so none of the above would cause you a problem going forward.

At question time, I said that Callum was 7 weeks old and was awake for 4 hours in the afternoon. I said that night times were ok, with him sleeping for 3-4 hours when he first goes down and then it will be 2-3 hours next time then 1-2 hours when we would normally get up.

She said this sounded 'classic' and that Callum would no doubt, in a couple of weeks stretch the first sleep to 5 hours, then 6 until he slept through the night but the 4 hour period of him being awake needed to be sorted. She said that he should only be awake for an hour and then we needed to look for the sleepy signs and try to catch him when he was getting sleepy to put him down and if he didn't go down straight away, we should try rocking etc.

So, armed with this new knowledge, Monday was spent mainly in the nursery trying to get him to sleep (I also thought I should be trying to get him to sleep in his nursery). I really struggled to get stuff done and only just got to Sainsbury's for the already overdue food shop as Callum seemed to be awake all day and would cry when I wasn't around or would be crying because I was trying to get him to sleep. I would rock him to sleep in my arms and then as soon as I tried to put him down, he would wake up and cry.

On Tuesday, I needed to go out so let Callum do his thing re being asleep or awake. He often spends most of the time we are out asleep anyway. Then Tuesday night, Stuart tried to put him to bed while I cooked dinner - again, in his cot. We managed to eat dinner but then the crying started and we didn't manage to get him down all night, constantly rocking and feeding. However, every time we put him down, he would wake up and cry again. Eventually, Stuart bought him downstairs and then we put him down when we went to bed (in his cot) and he finally went off to sleep at 11.45pm ish.

It was Stuart's idea to still put him down in his cot because I was feeling down about never seeing an end to sleeping in the spare room! The rest of the night was pretty ok though.

So, after two evenings in tears I decided to relax completely about the sleep thing. We would still try to put Callum down in the evening but if he didn't want to go, we would bring him back down.

With that in mind, Callum was awake for a bit in the morning when we were at our Post-Natal group and then naturally fell asleep in my arms. He slept pretty much all over lunchtime (dream feeding his milk) and didn't wake up again until about 3.30-4pm. I then went upstairs with him at 7.30pm, got him ready for bed and fed him and he went straight down. I was back downstairs again by 8.10pm and he didn't wake up again until 10.35 - Great!

But then after the next feed at about 1.30am, it all went a bit down hill. He woke every hour - grrr. I'm not so worried though and will try again tonight and for the daytime we will just see how it goes. He has been quite grizzly all morning though so far, poor thing - I don't know what's wrong with him!

By the way, on a separate note, we have changed the brand of formula we are using in the hope that he can go to the loo easier and stops crying out in pain - will update in about a week!

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