Jul
03
2011

  Nudging M Towards a Schedule

I hadn't worried about getting M on a schedule or routine at first, I figured I'd just nurse on demand and he'd fall asleep when he was tired and be awake when he wasn't, and everything would work itself out in time.

Well as we were going on two weeks, it seemed to me that things were NOT going to work themselves out to my advantage. On Thursday I paid attention and M's natural inclination went something like this:

He'd wake around 7am, then be awake until 12:30pm. This was way too long for me to stay up without a nap, so I had to nap next to him while he just stared at the ceiling for an hour. But then he'd sleep all afternoon 1-5pm and much of the evening 6-11pm. Unfortunately, he was up every 2 hours or so all night. If I could sleep when the baby sleeps I guess this wouldn't be so bad, and while I can sleep all morning I have a hard time sleeping much in the late afternoon. And it was making me grouchier and grouchier every time M would wake up overnight. So I decided to nudge him gently to a schedule that might suit us both.

Friday I tried to not let him sleep more than 2 hours at a time during the day, and tried to actively help him to fall asleep when he was staying up for too many hours in a row. I couldn't wake him up right when I wanted him up, nor did he fall right asleep when I deemed it naptime, but we did manage to break up the day into more baby-appropriate cycles than before. And Friday night he slept from 11pm when I fed him all the way until 3:30am, and again after that until 6:30am. Yay!

Last night was even better-- again I fed him at 11pm before going to sleep myself. Then he slept all the way until 4am, woke for another feeding at 7am, and we both slept in after that until 10am. Now THAT is a baby schedule I can live with! Getting five contiguous hours of sleep overnight I think will help me get through the day in a much better mood. It's way worth it to get nighttime sleep instead of having the entire afternoon to work on projects while M sleeps-- because who wants to work on projects when they are tired and cranky from being up all night??

So I'll continue feeding M pretty often during the day (every 2.5 to 3 hours, more or less) in the hopes that I'll continue to keep him from being hungry too often overnight. He's gaining weight so quickly I am optimistic he'll be able to sleep through the entire night relatively soon (maybe around 2 months or so). I'll weigh him today at our next diaper change, since I forgot to weigh him last night when he turned 2 weeks old.