Sleep at 7 weeks

July 12, 2012 § Leave a comment

I think I’m starting to figure out this sleep thing–or Felix is, either one. Last night he slept from 9:00 pm to 4:45 am, without waking even once. The trick to getting Felix to sleep a long stretch like that is to swaddle him so that he can’t wake himself up with his flailing hands. I also leave the bedroom door cracked so that when I get up in the middle of the night to pump I make the minimal amount of noise possible.

Another little trick to helping Felix sleep through the night is something I picked up from the book Bringing up Bebe. Bringing up Bebe compares parenting in the U.S. with parenting in France, and gives some really great tips on how to parent without losing your self or making your life miserable. While this might sound more parent-centric than child-centric, I’ve found that many of the tips are really about helping your child to be more independent and healthy. The book says that French parents don’t immediately jump to pick their child up when they hear them stirring from sleep–they let them fuss for a few minutes and hopefully transition back into another sleep cycle. Felix and I are currently co-sleeping, but when I hear him fuss in the middle of thenight I just ignore him. If he is really hungry, he will start to cry, but if it’s just fussiness he drifts back into sleep without a hitch.

Day sleep has been a bigger problem for us. Since birth, Felix has required motion to really nap during the day. Whether that’s his Mamaroo, car seat, or while baby-wearing, as soon as the motion stopped, Felix would wake up. But yesterday I decided that his nap times with motion are too short–sometimes less than 1 hour–and I want him to start taking longer naps so that he’s more rested. So the new nap routine is:
-He wakes from a nap and I change his diaper and then feed him.
-We play, which mainly consists of looking at the toys hanging from his play mat, or me reading books to him.
-When I notice that he’s becoming more quiet or yawns, but before he gets fussy, I take him into a dark room, nurse him until he’s drowsy (eyes starting to close), and then swaddle him. If he’s still awake, I give him his pacifier and lay with him until he falls asleep.

I don’t swaddle him before nursing him because I like him to be able to feel the breast with his hands–I think it improves his nursing, which is still a work in progress.

My ultimate goal is for Felix to nap in his crib in a dark room. We’ll keep up the swaddling and pacifier as long as he needs it, but I’d like to be able to just lay him in his crib at some point and have him fall asleep. I think this will be the marker of a truly rested, well-adjusted baby…so that’s our goal.


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