Friday, March 8, 2013

All I ever talk about - Naps and Nursing...

In our house, 6am is the new black. For the past two days, my once sleep-till-7 little guy has become a bright-and -awake -at-six one. This equals one sleeeepy Mummy.

This is in part why I am blogging at 8.30am. I have been awake for over 2 hours so I am sadly wide awake and not able to take advantage of the nap Levi is taking right now, but I am also refusing to actually gt up and at 'em just yet. So here I sit. Snuggled under my duvet., writing a blog. It feels like quite the luxury and I am savoring every second.

Things have been changing up around here, slowly and with some resistance but I am hopeful these changes will eventually make life easier.

Firstly, I have been working with Levi to settle him to sleep without nursing him. Since Levi has been sleeping and napping in his own room I have been nursing him to sleep. I am not exactly sure how or why that change happened because as an infant I followed the sleep-eat-play routine and it worked well. I think that when he was napping in the swing he was soothed to sleep by the motion but he struggled to settle at first in the stillness of the crib so I began to nurse him and suddenly we were in a very bad 'sleep association' habit.

Not only has this made settling for naps more difficult because if he doesn't actually fall asleep in my arms, then he startles as soon as I lay him down. He flips over and is rocking back and forth in crawling position before you can say, "just kidding"! Then it is a fight, that often ends in missed naps and overtiredness...for me and him! This bleeds into night time settling because he has forgotten how to settle himself or at least he doesn't prefer to settle himself so he is up 3 times a night to be nursed back to sleep.

Now  sit in the rocker, with his snuggled in his blanket and holding his lovie while we read a couple of stories and sing a sing. The I rock him for a verse of Silent Night (still haven't moved beyond the festive tunes for lullabies!) before I lay him awake in his crib.

It is a big change and he has not always drifted off into a dream state in seconds, but he has done it at least half the time without any other interaction with me. It's only been a couple of days so I am hoping that in time his willingness and understanding will mean it becomes second nature.

The other change, which is very connected to the napping is feeding. I have been demand feeding Levi since he was born and he has often done 3 hour stretches but it has often been broken up because of feeding before naps. I am hoping that by being firmer with the 3 hour stretches in between feedings he will get in a better sleep habit at night because he is actually taking full feeds in the day and getting all his ounces in. I have been talking with a couple of different friends this week with babies Levi's age who have recently stopped night time feedings. I would love to do that sooner rather than later but I need to know for sure he is eating enough during the day first. When he soothes at night he often doesn't actually feed so i am hopeful that with the settling to sleep sans nursing and the bigger, set timed day feeds we could be on the cusp of sleeping all night in the near future...we'll see!!

I am throwing a baby shower tomorrow for my dear friend Marie so I do need to get my behind out of bed and get in the kitchen. This will be a whirlwind day of cupcakes, brownies and to follow.

Happy Friday friends - TGIF!!!!

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