Thursday, December 27, 2007

Calling All Mamas (and Papas)--Sleep Questions

Just wondering about infants' sleep. I have read a couple of books, talked to my doctor, and scoured the Internet, but still have lots of unanswered questions regarding sleep. Samuel sleeps really well at night (like 10-13 hours; he does wake up once or twice to eat), but is not a good napper. He takes 30-45 minute naps, occasionally a bit longer. There are days when he hardly sleeps at all. I feel bad when I try to "force" him to sleep more, and bad when I give in and get him out of his crib after such short naps. Any kind of schedule I try to put him on is thrown off due to him not napping (and his reflux). Lately I have wanted to forget completely about any kind of schedule and just try to take his cues. I know most would say this would not be a good idea. But, I do not know what to do and I am curious about that option. So, I really am wondering about two different things here--no naps/lots of night sleep, and going off any kind of schedule. A few questions: 1. If he is sleeping about 12 hours at night, are the naps all that important? 2. Do/did any of you not follow a schedule, for whatever reason, and how does that work for you and your baby? 3. What time do/did your infant go to sleep at night and wake in the morning? I do not know if anyone will read this post, much less respond, but thought I would see.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is only cause you asked.....I hate giving baby advice and you are about to hear why. Abi had reflux and was a mess. I was trying to abide by a schedule and felt like a failure for about four months. I also had plenty advice and it was confusing and contradictory. So, hear is my best advice: your baby is unique and so are you. If he is sleeping well at night- he may not need long naps- that will not be great for you cause you will be lucky to get a shower, but that may just be how it is. Maybe he can play in his crib before or after naps if you need that, but your baby will tell you what he needs. Before the Ezzo's was mommy instinct and I still think there's something to it....

Jessica said...

Well, Ashley, Nico basically never had a schedule... He just ate about every 2-3 hrs, day and night, so you can imagine what kind of a schedule he was in. He hated sleep, period. At first, we tried to put him on a schedule: nothing worked. Then, we just decided to live our life and if/when he felt like sleeping, he would. So, he ended up taking lots of random naps (NEVER very long)in the car when driving somewhere (never at the same time) or when he eventually became so exhausted that he needed a wink. He did sleep in the stroller, but only OUTSIDE and only if the stroller was REALLY moving (couldn't fool him at all). So, that was Nico. The other three kids were all completely different: Emeline was on a perfect, unshakeable schedule, for instance! So, as the previous posters said, since you DO have a terrific sleeper at night, forget about the naps! When Samuel is tired, he will sleep. And I can assure you night sleep is so much better than nap sleep : ) So, don't get all stressed out about it (you'll make Samuel act up for you, that's just about it) and just live with the minimal naps. You'll get in a routine, he'll progressively entertain himself more, and you'll learn to live life with Samuel as he is, not as the books say he should be : )
Love, Jessica

David, Ashley, and Samuel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David, Ashley, and Samuel said...

Claudia and Jessica, thanks so much for taking the time to comment. Really encouraging as you can imagine. Lately I have been thinking I should just "go with it" more, relax and trust that he will be fine, and take his cues. With that said, if there are differing opinions out there, don't feel like you can't comment. BTW--Jessica, I would love to get your email address. Read your latest newsletter and have been thinking about you.

Jessica said...

Ashley, I sent you my e address to the gmail address on your blog so check that : )
Jessica
P.S. Nico is now 10 and his sleep issues NEVER seem to have affected him a bit!!!

Melissa said...

Whatever you do will be fine and will not ruin your baby. I like schedules and my kids seem to thrive on them (w/ twins, schedules are a must for my sanity)! You and Samuel will work it out...that said, NOTHING is perfect. Love ya!!

MARIA said...

Hey, Ashley, This is Maria Deutschmann Johnson, and I found your blog somehow...but I had a baby maybe two or three weeks after you so I have been interested in your blog.

I have struggled with Lily's naps too. For a while I tried to put her in her crib for every nap and she would cry so much so right now I just let her sleep in her swing or bouncy chair or where ever while making sure that I put her in her crib straight away at night so she is still learning how to soothe herself...it just works for me and I'm staying sane.

Lily too has gone through phases where she will wake up pretty soon after she goes to sleep. Usually those weeks are the weeks where she is pretty hungry and is just eating more, but they have almost made me crazy. So I just try feeding her if she wakes to see if that is the issue. Thankfully it seems like the phase ends after a little bit and she goes back to sleeping for longer amounts of time.

I think you are right to go on instinct, to not force something that doesn't seem right. Remember that there are other new mamas our there, like myself, who are just exactly in the same boat...which is why it's helpful for me to read your blog. So pretty much this isn't advice but just to let you know that you'll make it, girl!

MARIA said...

Okay, so I re-read your post and realized that I didn't answer the questions at the bottom. I'm not giving advice just saying what we do.

So, for the night, I feed her at 8:00 and put her in bed and then feed her again at 10:30 or 11:00 (whenever she wakes up) and then put her right back to bed. At this point she usually sleeps until five or six (or sometimes 3 or 4)...Then I feed her, change her, and put her back in bed. She'll wake up again around 7:30 or 8:00. At this point I feed her, then I keep her awake for at least 15 to 30 minutes after she's done eating (or longer if she stays alert on her own) and then I let her sleep in her swing, bed, seat, where ever I feel like it. I repeat this cycle (eat/wake/sleep) whenever she wakes up. I guess that I don't force her to stay in nap phase longer than she wants to stay there...except at night. If I fed her and she wakes up 1.5 hours later at night then I try to soothe her back to sleep for another hour without food (I don't think this is mean because she usually won't each much anyways).

The naps seem important to me, but they vary in length. Like I said in the last post it seems hunger related just because some weeks she sleeps for a long time and then the next week (or couple of days) she diverts from this pattern to eat more often which means short or infrequent naps. It's funny I had the exact same sort of week you are having one week back and all my relatives with kids got many calls and emails from me; it just seemed that for two or three days all she did was eat and cry, eat and cry with very little sleep; I just tried to let her sleep for a bit, at least in a crib or somewhere out of my arms for 30 minutes. But Lily just sorted things back out a few days later.

Okay, I'm sure I've said way too much.