Monday, October 25, 2010

Getting their Zzzzz's

When Keaton was a baby I once mentioned that I was going to write a post about his sleeping circumstances.  But then I chickened out, mainly because I was a new mom that wasn't overly confident in my choices and I was worried about what others would think/say.  I regret the decision not to write this post; I should have just done it, because now I can't remember all the details.  I can't remember how long things lasted and when we tried something new.  I do remember our struggles in sleep led us to try the some of the following:

When we first brought him home from the hospital we had him in a bassinet right by our bed.  This lasted, oh, 2 nights?  Maybe.  I remember spending a week or two sleeping with him on my chest on our chaise lounge in the bedroom.  When he started sleeping too long like that and wasn't gaining enough weight to satisfy the doctors I know we tried a co-sleeper in bed with us.  That lasted for a few weeks before Collin called it quits, at the time we still had a queen bed and there just wasn't enough room for all of us.  I'm not exactly sure when we finally tried the car seat tucked inside the pack 'n play but I do remember thinking with the next kid we won't wait this long. 

This was the key sleeping position for Keaton and he slept in there until he was six months old.  Yes.  Six months.  At six months we decided it was time for him to start sleeping on his back and we transitioned to just the pack 'n play, still right next to our bed.  It only took him a couple of days to make this transition and I truly believe it is because he was ready, we weren't forcing the change on him.  He slept there for another two months before we finally moved him into his crib at 8 months.

When I was pregnant with Hutton I said that we'd try the car seat right away this time.  And then guess what happened?  Go on, just guess. That's right!  We got a baby that hated his car seat!  And so we had to start all over in finding the ideal sleep position.

We hated our first bassinet so while we were still expecting we traded it in for one similar to this, which we loved when we bought it but had no idea if the baby would actually like it.  Thankfully, he did.  But, I made one tweak to it that I think might have been key.  In the hospital the cribs the babies lay in are elevated so I folded a blanket and put it under one end of the bassinet to raise it up just a bit.  That blanket is still there.

We used the Halo Sleepsack provided by our hospital to swaddle Hutt at first and he did really good with this.  Unlike Keaton who fought it from day one (although now I'm wondering if I had his tight enough in the first place).  And when he was a few weeks old I started co-sleeping with him when he woke for his first feeding in the middle of the night.  I was too nervous at first because he was so little, but I quickly got over that fear, and I'm really glad that I did because I actually feel like this is something I missed out on with Keaton.  I co-slept once and awhile with him, but never nightly.  Feeling Hutt's body tucked up against mine is the most comforting thing in the world.  It makes it hard to get out of bed every morning.

So not only do we co-sleep but around one month of age we discovered Hutt likes to sleep on his tummy.  For awhile we were letting him nap this way but always swaddling him and putting him to bed on his back.  This slowly transitioned to him going down for the night on his tummy and me putting him in his swaddle when I went to bed, always hoping he wouldn't wake up during transition.  And now to letting him sleep on his tummy until he wakes up to eat.  He currently wakes up one or two times during the night, sometimes at 1:30 and 4:30'ish and sometimes he skips the 1:30 feeding and goes straight to 3:30 or 4:30, but he always, at some point, ends up in our bed.

And I'm telling you all this now as a prelude to Hutt's surgery story...


CLAREW said...

Ugh! I hate figuring out the sleep stuff! We used a Nap Nanny for Claire and she did ok with it:)We've been REALLY lucky with her sleeping through the night. Its amazing how much more relaxed you are with the second :)By the sounds of it Hutt is changing things up for you again, I hope you get some rest soon!!

Em said...

It takes a lot of courage to write about this topic. People can be so adamant about the right and wrong ways to do things. I'm glad you chose to go back and write about it, and now you have me thinking that I should document our experiences with Lucy, too, for reference. We were so set against having Lucy in bed with us at first, but we soon realized that co-sleeping was the best option for us for the first few months of Lucy's life. I never would've thought we'd be co-sleeping, but you're so right when you say there's really nothing like the feeling of falling asleep beside, and waking up next to, your baby. Now that Lucy is sleeping in her crib, I have to admit that I REALLY miss that (and I've even pulled her into bed a few times, probably out of selfishness!).