Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Small Victories

I know you all are used to me complaining - and I hate to upset tradition - but what a great two nights we've had! Monday night, I gave Alex a bath and a bottle and put him to bed around eight o'clock. He didn't make a peep until 12:30. That's four and a half hours - the longest stretch he's gone so far without waking up to nurse! He woke again at 4:10, so I fed him and put him back to bed. Still nothing! Instead of waking up at 5am, as usual, he took mommy's advice and slept in until 6:41. We couldn't believe that he didn't protest one bit the entire night!

Assuming it was just a fluke, we didn't get our hopes up for last night. His schedule was off a bit because he had slept in so late, so I ended up putting him to bed around 7:30 instead of his usual bedtime of 8:00. I had to make a Walmart run, so Timothy was left to fend for himself. When I got back an hour later, I made him give me a complete report. He said that Alex had fussed a little after he had been down for ten minutes, so he rocked him for a bit and laid him back in his crib, drowsy but awake. We didn't hear another sound out of him until 12:30. Yup, that's five hours between feedings! Another record smashed! A feeding at 3:30 followed, then he was up at 5:45, but I was still on cloud 9 from another low-stress night and didn't mind getting up so early.

Despite what seems like great progress at night, daytime naps have been a little more challenging. At times he will go right to sleep in his crib without a fuss, but will only nap for twenty to thirty minutes. When he fusses, I assume he his simply done with his nap, but as soon as I pick him up, he calms down and starts falling back to sleep. When that happened Monday, I put him in his swing, where he didn't fuss at all and fell asleep for over two hours. Yesterday, he wouldn't stop crying so Timothy laid him on our bed, where all four of us fell asleep for almost two hours!! I guess keeping up with Alex has exhausted the entire family and we all needed some rest.

So either this crying it out thing is starting to make a difference or Alex is simply growing up and catching on to this sleeping thing. We have been trying to develop a more complex bedtime routine to encourage him to expedite that process. Whereas previously he got a bottle and got sent to bed, I have started giving him a long bath, a quick massage with lavender "bedtime lotion", then a bottle before swaddling him and putting him to bed. The last couple of days, I also put a fan in his room set on full blast, which I'm sure is doing terrible things to his respiratory system but seems to be helping him sleep better. I will replace the fan with a white noise CD as soon as I get one, but I have little faith that an imposter will have the same effect as the real thing...

I am always a bit cautious about getting too excited because baby behavior is so erratic and I don't want to get too discouraged when (not if) he decides to shake things up. I find myself with my ear glued to the monitor (which I hate, by the way) every time I lay him down, waiting anxiously for him to fuss. I find I am constantly on edge wondering when he will cry as opposed to enjoying the fact that he isn't crying. Seriously, I think it is giving me an ulcer. So I am working hard on taking it one day, er, nap at a time and hopefully I will learn to take pleasure in the good times instead of constantly dreading the bad ones...

5 comments:

leah said...

aaawwww.....murph smurph loves his bubba!!!!

Oliver said...

Yay for great victories!!! Thanks for sharing, Sarah - I hope tonight continues the good trend...that's our boy! (I mean your boy, but you know :))
Hugs,
jp

hillarykey said...

It's the little things that seem so big!! I found that a humidifier does wonders. It provides the noise and moisture to help Russell sleep. You are leaps and bounds ahead of us! I hope tonight goes just as smooth. Just know that it is what you are doing--you are conditioning him to the ways of the world. You both are great parents!!

Quinn said...

Quinn loves her fan too! Let me know if you find a good white noise CD because when the cold weather hits....the fan is going back in the closet. So glad to hear things are getting better!

Oliver said...

A suggestion for Sarah and Emily who are looking for "white noise" cd's - I have a sound machine for Oliver, and it is great! I've been using the "rain" setting, which sounds just like the "white noise" setting that is also on there. There are also "ocean" sounds, "birds chirping" sounds, etc., but I like the rain/white noise the best. We use a humidifier when Oliver needs it, but during the times he doesn't, this sound machine has been awesome!