I rarely get too personal on the blog, writing is not my forte, nor is speaking for that matter and I usually can’t find the right words to express myself. I kind of always assume everyone is like Rupert and can read my mind or that they just know me. I now know this to be untrue as I’ve read some not so lovely things about myself lately. Clearly those people can NOT know me, right? Motherhood, of course, adds an extra level of judgement (moms scare me) but I am excited to be a part of a conversation that will hopefully build other mamas up and show that there is no one “right” way of doing things. Jen Pinkston recently rounded up a handful of mothers to share their personal experiences on a topic as part of a 3 post series. It will be once a month so don’t worry, I won’t be filling the blog with all mommy ramblings. The first post is on sleep (or lack thereof), so here we go…
I have learned three things about sleep.
1. I prefer a lot of it. Like a l o t. I’m talking 8 hours is the absolute bare minimum. Any less and I turn into a cranky 5 year old beast that should not be out in public.
2. I lucked out with a baby that likes to sleep as well (or at least did until we broke him with a three week trip to another time zone during the 4 month sleep regression. More on that in a min). Well, some might say luck, some might say I worked for it. It is probably a little of both. A few things we did that I think help were… 1. I made sure to nurse just after a nap so I wasn’t feeding him to sleep. 2. I am considered the sleep nazi around the house making for darn sure Archer never skipped a nap and never stayed awake for more than what is recommended for his age. Sleep really does beget sleep! and 3. I always put him down drowsy but awake (again until our Michigan trip). From the beginning Archer didn’t have much of a day/night confusion. He started sleeping in two 4 hour chunks at night from the first week (our pediatrician said it was fine to let him sleep that much as long as I was still feeding every two hours in the day since he had already gained his birthweight + 6 ounces by his first checkup at 5 days old). This was a God send and we made up our own weird sleeping arrangement to capitalize on it, which leads to #3.
3. You gotta do what you gotta do to GET SOME SLEEP. Those first few month were a total blur, I had some extra recovering to do, more than most with a traditional birth, and sleep is so important for the healing process. The first couple nights after we got home from the hospital, Archer slept in our room and that is when the sleep deprivation starting realllly setting in. We were already going on about 72 hours with only a few cat naps here and there and any peep Archie would make, or if he didn’t make a peep for too long, we would both shoot awake just after dozing, checking to see if everything was ok. We realized this was not going to work.
Luckily my sister came to help out which is how we were able to start getting some Z’s. We ended up moving Archie into his bedroom on night 3! And before you think I am already a terrible mother… this is how it went down and how we became relatively well-rested very early on. First a little side-note… I had a catheter the first two weeks so I wasn’t going anywhere in the night. That pee bag, tubes, and me were strapped in for the long haul so Rupert and my sister took turns sleeping in the nursery with Archie. Rupert took the first half of the night, bringing Archer in to me to nurse and then my sister took the second half of the night doing the same. This meant I could sleep knowing he was being taken care of and only had to wake up to feed.
When my sister left, Rupe continued to sleep in the nursery until I got my catheter out. Then instead of moving Arch back into our room we ended up taking turns sleeping in the nursery with him. Rupe would take the first half of the night and I would take the second, switching when Archie fed around 1 or 2 am. Again this meant that for at least half of the night each one of us got a stretch of uninterrupted sleep. We carried on like this for about three months, which seems like a long time not to be able to sleep with your partner but in the grand scheme of things it isn’t that long and it led to a happier healthier household.
So, back to the sleep regression I mentioned in #2. Things were going along swimmingly… at about 7 weeks old Archie made his first stretch of 8 hours of sleep (haaaallleluja) and that continued on, and then that 8 hours turned into 10 hours and there we were, sailing along when we flew to Michigan for three weeks, (three hour time change), Archie turned 4 months old (babies brains change and they start sleeping more like an adult, aka lighter sleep), he was in a whole new sleeping environment, AND he was teething. All of this at once meant one or two or three wake-ups in the night and it threw us for a real loop. I ended up bouncing him to sleep more often then not and guess what?… When we got home he didn’t suddenly think oh I am home, now I will go back to falling asleep on my own and staying asleep. Nope, he decided he realllly liked getting bounced to sleep and while I am at it I am going to take only 40 minute naps. Thankfully he did go back to sleeping through the night 10+ hours but that is where I am now… trying to get back to him being able to fall asleep on his own and trying to get him to nap longer then a hot second.
I don’t know how to end this other than… I need to got to sleep, seriously… it is 10 pm and that is 2 hours past my bedtime. kidding/not kidding. I’d love to hear how any of you mama’s or daddy’s got through the 4 month sleep regression or if you have any tricks to getting in some extra z’s (or maybe you fell asleep reading this insanely long post? definitely a record breaker for me).
Make sure to check out the other mama’s of the series, chatting about sleep today:
Could I Have That
The Effortless Chic
The Refined Woman
A Daily Something
Photo by Connie of The Great Romance