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2/16/11blog post

to sleep or not to sleep...that is the question every night!

Mary is four weeks old this week – it’s so hard to believe. It’s going so fast! And overall she is doing great – she is holding her head up, enjoys tummy time, focuses on basic objects and is just plain cute!

However, our biggest challenge has been sleep! She loves to sleep during the day (that is why I’m blogging right now) but nights have really been a challenge. She will sleep for an hour or so and then wake up and want to be fed and then it takes some time before she falls back asleep. Once she falls asleep – usually in my arms – I try to move her to her crib but then she wakes up! And we start all over again….

This means that I’m getting very little sleep – at least during the night. Although I try to take as many cat naps as possible during the day – my body is still adjusting to little night time sleep.

The first few nights I was a trooper – I think I had a ton of adrenaline pumping through my veins from the birth – but as the weeks wear on it’s more and more of a challenge. There have been the nights that I just wanted to breastfeed in bed but my husband has listened to the ABCs of Safe Sleep mantra that I’ve been saying all along and reminds me the importance of keeping a safe sleep environment.

And I’ve realized that the sleep sends me into a different world. The times that I’ve taken a nap and just zonked out – even for just 20 minutes. I can see how dangerous it could be if Mary was sleeping next to me since I’m in such a deep sleep.

So what has worked?

  • Swaddling. It seems that the nights we swaddle Mary she does better so we’re keeping with that.
  • Checking in on each other. Although this means that my husband doesn’t always get a good night sleep he checks on me throughout the night to make sure I haven’t dozed off during breastfeeding on the couch or chair.
  • Bedtime habits. As we make room for this new person in our home we’re working on consistent bedtime habits like a bath, a long feeding and a nice change of clothing to let Mary know it’s time to sleep.
  • Time and patience. It seems like this is a phase that Mary will soon outgrow so in the mean time we’re letting time take it’s course and using our patience as much as possible. I know it will come in handy forever!

I have to admit – the past few nights have been better and I see a light at the end of the tunnel. But for now – I’ll keep asking myself every night – will tonight be the night that we sleep?