Tag Archives: sleep

Breastfeeding is more important than Sleep

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At least, that’s my assessment of my own values after a recent nighttime incident.

Baby had fallen asleep at 9ish. It had been a long, late week and I was completely wiped. After mad computer work for a few hours, I finally crashed a bit before midnight. When I woke, I wasn’t sure where I was. It was dark, and baby was still sleeping. I checked the clock: 4:30!! Wow, that is one of the longest stretches baby has ever gone for. Sleeping for 4+ hours in a row had already left me more rested than usual, though I still needed many more.

After a quick trip to the bathroom, I tried to get back to sleep. I thought, never wake a sleeping baby. I thought, let her keep this sleep trend going. I thought, I really need my sleep.

I couldn’t do it. My breasts were feeling full of milk, or at least, as full as mine ever feel. Though I keep making milk, it’s not much and I’ve had a few days here and there of quite low supply. Going all night without nursing could make my supply drop off quite suddenly. Worrying about this made it impossible for me to sleep.

So, I moved baby over and brushed her lips with my breast until she woke up enough to nurse. She did both sides, and I was finally able to relax and sleep. She did wake up a few more times after that before morning, but it was worth it to me. I did what I could to keep breastfeeding, and I survived (and still do) and whatever sleep I can get.

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Bedtime?!

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Wow … consistency may work! The new tentative routine is dinner at 6, bath at 6:30, bedroom/stories/nurse at 7. We’ve had her asleep at 7:45, 8:10 and 9:00 tonight. Tonight, we just started late, didn’ get in until around 7. We discussed it and are going to work hard to keep to our plan, even if it’s tempting to be outside later in the day. A sleeping baby is a great thing, and she’s been happier during the day with more rest. Yay!

Endless Summer Nights

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I used to love Richard Marx when I was in high school … so poetic, romantic, great melodies … aaah. Those endless summer nights he wrote about sounded so warm, romantic and dreamy, alone with a loved one, the evening stretching out for hours and hours ….

Essentially, that’s exactly what I’m getting to enjoy lately with a loved one! My daughter, that is. The lengthening days seem to have activated some type of biorhythmic magic in her and she seems incapable of getting to sleep much before 10. Or 11. Or midnight!! Yes, friends, you read that right.

We haven’t changed what we’re doing. We’re still a little bit lax about our routines, but we generally get home 6ish, eat by 7ish, bathe by 7:30/8ish and get her into bed. It used to work. Now it doesn’t. She will bathe (sometimes), nurse, fall asleep, crawl under the covers, nestle in … and after a brief pause to fool us into the illusion that we’ve succeeded, she will bounce up with a huge mischief grin on her face, or yell out “Mama?!”, or start kicking, or something else to let us know that the dream will not be happening tonight.

We try keeping the lights low after that, but to no avail. She will not sleep. The brief rest has given her supernatural powers. After a couple of hours of intense activity, we might try again, and we might succeed or not, but an early bedtime is not to be.

We haven’t yet figured out what else we might try. We still are not sleep trainers. Husband says more firmness and consistency are required. I hear that, I think maybe in some ways, but still, I don’t know. All I know is, without my evenings life feels way too busy and stressful and things I need to get done don’t get done. I also know that she is incredibly cute and sweet and wonderful, and I do kind of love these extra hours with her. Until I crash from exhaustion, that is.

Bedtime insanity

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Wow, 9:20 and crazy baby energy!

It’s been a week of late nights. I blame summer. The late sunsets hype all of us up. I lose track of time (and in any case, get home so late on weeknights), that I don’t think of starting bed until 7, 8 or later. By then, baby has her second wind. Though in all fairness, when we try earlier bedtimes, she bounces back up with renewed vigour and continues to run wildly through the house until she’s done and we’re over-done.

I really do see the benefit of early and predictable baby bedtimes. When I have a couple of hours to myself in the evening (starting at 8:30 at the latest!), life feels a lot more manageable for me. I can get done things that need doing, both paperwork/computer work, and house stuff (dishes, cooking, minor chores). Oh, and relax. And blog!!

When bed is at 10 or later, I start to lose it. Stuff doesn’t get done. Bills unpaid, course untaught and unprepared for, mail piling up, meals uncooked, massive piles of unsorted laundry. Blech. Plus the lack of time for myself – just reading, surfing, organizing, even purging – means I’m more stressed and too busy on weekends.

On the other hand, up late hyper baby is incredibly sweet. She has this new game where she shoves me forward from my pillows on the bed, straddles me from behind, and pulls me back to lean on her. She laughs hysterically as she shoves me from side to side, and I peek at her over my shoulders. Hilarious!! Then there’s running from room to room, laughing, arms waving. She’s so much fun!

And then there’s the constant “mama, mama, mama, mama!!!” This is probably the most tiring. It makes it hard to put any attention anywhere else and can be wearing. On the other hand: I am eternally grateful that my daughter wants me to play with her!

So, with that, at 9:32 with husband having persuaded daughter to let him read her stories, I’m going to sign off. I wonder if this will be a late night, or a very late night …

More Crashing

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This is becoming a habit: falling asleep with baby, waking up late to do things around the house. Husband crashed with us tonight too – our household was down for the count before 9 p.m.

I woke up at 11:30; stepped back in to nurse baby back to sleep; and just finished checking email. I still want to chop the onions for chana masala we’ll be having tomorrow (crock pots rock) so will probably do that and get most of the ingredients into the pot before heading back to bed.

I like getting in a chunk of sleep early in the evening. Sleep before midnight is supposed to be more restful than that after midnight. Plus, I’m usually not up for that long so sleeping early usually means sleeping longer. I’m lucky, I realize, that I generally don’t have problems falling asleep. I used to have quite a bit of insomnia in my teens and early 20s, but no longer. Sleep’s a funny thing.

Just heard another noise from baby in the bedroom. She’s so sweet when sleeping … little mouth still smacking a bit after nursing, hands softly playing with her hair as she falls back into sleep. My big growing still-little angel. Running between us today for kisses; running into us with kisses as our faces collide with her little smiling face. We’re so blessed with our girl.

Wishing you all a good night.

 

Blessed sleep

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Aaah … went to bed with daughter tonight (8:30 ish??). Up at 12-something when husband came to bed. I did a few things (morning prep – hanging laundry) and am heading back to bed. So lovely … 🙂

And tomorrow is the last day of work for the week – lots to do, then 3 days to rest, move to the basement, participate in a conference on women and spirituality. Deeeee-lightful!

One more reason why I co-sleep

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Last night baby woke up at 1-something to nurse. She wiggled and stretched, then latched on and stayed close. And then, rolled back over, wiggled her arms down by her sides, snuggled up under the covers and went back to sleep.

Her next wake-up was at 4-something. She nursed again, on one side, then lay back and relaxed. She patted the front of her diaper. I asked her, “Do you want to go potty?” “Unh!” she said (her word for yes). I asked again, she confirmed again, and then, magically, without ANY fussing, we took off her pants and diaper and sat her on the little potty.

A minute later she was “done” (no pee in the potty – the diaper pat currently signals that she’s just finished peeing) and reached up for me. I held her and she wrapped her arms around me and snuggled in close. I laid her down for another diaper – again, no fussing – and we nursed more. I reached down to touch her foot, and she giggled. She rolled into me and around and wriggled, then was trying to roll over. I helped and she rolled right on top of me. She snuggled in again – head on my chest, arms and legs around me – and I revelled in 30 seconds of being at complete peace with my baby.

She rolled back off, wiggled and wriggled some more, wanted a bottle, and eventually settled for another sleep stretch.

Those magical middle-of-the-night connections: just one of the many reason I’m so glad we sleep with our baby.