Everyone knows that with a newborn baby, your sleep goes out the door…that’s because newborn babies need to eat every 2-3 hours and you’re constantly up feeding, changing diapers, soothing back to sleep; however, once they regain their birth weight, pediatricians will tell you to just let them sleep as long as they want at night to establish the circadian rhythm. That sounds great except that babies will typically continue wanting to feed regularly and will still continue to wake up…but eventually, their bodies will start sleeping longer and longer. We think we’ve finally turned the corner and she’s sleeping a bit longer.
Matt and I have worked out a wonderful schedule such that he is “on call” until around 2-2:30am. After that, I’ll take over. Because she’s typically more fussy in the evenings, Matt will usually just stay up until then, keeping her in the bouncer next to him while he either watches TV or hangs out in his office on the computer. This is because she’s been waking up hungry and he’ll feed her and then soothe her back to sleep.
Well, last Wednesday night, he miraculously didn’t have to do any of that. After finally getting her to sleep around 10:30pm, she slept until 6am! A few times in the night, she would wake up but after bouncing her in the bouncer a bit, she’d fall right back asleep. When I woke up and walked into the office, I found Matt sleeping on the floor and Natalie alert and awake but not hungry and angry like she normally is. Instead, I walked up to her and she started smiling at me!
It was incredible. The next night, she fell asleep at 8pm and we expected her to wake up for one more feeding but she didn’t wake up again until 3am. While that was a bit rough for me (as I ended up being up from 3am onwards with a few cat naps), she did sleep and go without needing a feeding for 7 hours.
Last night, I went to bed at midnight (totally my fault–I usually aim to go to bed between 10-11pm) after we were finally able to get her down around 11pm…I naturally woke up around 5:30am and found her awake…alert and happy. It’s sad to say this — but that 5.5 hours of sleep feels so refreshing!
We don’t have a specific routine yet with her—and she only seems to be able to fall asleep “through the night” if we have her double swaddled, in the bouncer and with the vibration turned on. Eeks. This is fine for now but don’t want this to prevent us from getting her moved to the crib later on. Also, while she doesn’t feed during this time, she has woken up here and there with Matt needing to rock her back to sleep. Usually in the early morning, after her first feeding after waking up, I’m usually able to put her back down to sleep in the bassinet…so I know she can sleep on a flat surface. Anyway, if we can get to the point where she goes down reliably at the same time and wakes up at the same time without needing Matt to rock her back on occasion, then we might be able to start getting more decent sleep….and Matt can start sleeping in our bed again! (he’s fallen asleep a few times on the floor of his office)