Monday, May 28, 2007

Sleep, (un)interrupted

Night three of Operation: Lose the Swaddle went just as well as night two, and I continue to be amazed that it's going so well. Baby B was in bed and asleep by 8:30 p.m. last night, and she slept until she woke up at 7 a.m. this morning wanting to eat. (She normally is woken up to eat at 6:30 a.m. when I go to work, but on my days off, we just let her sleep until she wakes up on her own, which usually ends up being within an hour or so of her normal eating time.)

The true test comes tonight, since we have to go to work tomorrow and obviously are hoping not to have to wake up to soothe her during the night, especially after her superb swaddle-less sleeping exhibitions over the weekend. I have a good feeling about this, though.


At June 02, 2007 2:12 PM, Blogger kaira0329 said...

Can you tell me what your sleep routine was when you started to unswaddle your child? We have a 19 week old and was told by our pediatrician that he needs to be out of the swaddle. He cannot nap without it, and at night, he is so restless and cries. We could desperately use some coaching as to what to do...

At June 03, 2007 8:49 PM, Blogger DMB said...

kaira0329--I'm not an expert by any means since this is my first, but I'll go over what our schedule looks like and maybe it'll give you some ideas that you haven't tried (though I'm sure you've tried a lot).

As far as her daily sleep schedule, it usually goes like this. We wake her up at 6:15 a.m. She eats at 6:30, then we get her ready for daycare, where she usually takes a nap from about 8 until 9:30 a.m. She'll sometimes take a short nap around lunchtime, but usually just takes about an hour nap after her 3:30 bottle. (She also gets bottles at 9:30 and 12:30.) So, she really doesn't sleep that much during the day, which may be why she sleeps better at night and has done well transitioned out of the swaddle. We're not intentionally keeping her up during the day; we've always taken our cues from her as to what kind of schedule to keep. I pick her up from daycare at 5, then I nurse her at 6 p.m. and she sometimes dozes after that feeding, but only for about 15 minutes at the most. She gets her final bottle around 7:45 p.m. and we aim to have her in bed by about 8:30 p.m. For this last bottle, we give her formula for two reasons: 1. so it gives me an extra chance to pump and 2. because it helps her sleep longer. (Not sure if you're doing milk, formula, or both, so I'm not sure how relevant that is, but I thought I'd mention it.)

After her last bottle, we make sure the house is nice and relaxed. We turn down the lights to the bare minimum in order to encourage relaxation, and we turn on soft music that we keep turned on all night in her room. (It's the audio visions channel on XM.) We make sure she has plenty of white noise in her room...we have the music, a humidifier that's near her crib (mostly for the humidity but also for the noise), and when we put her down, we turn on her crib aquarium (set to wave sounds) and her mobile. I don't know how you feel about using a pacifier, but we don't hesitate to use it if she needs it. She rarely keeps it in any longer than 15 or 20 seconds now before she spits it out, but when she does have it, it's like flipping a switch and she goes into calm mode. Not sure if you read Happiest Baby on the Block, but I think it's because sucking is one of her needs as a baby, and she enjoys that in the absence of her swaddle.

Anyway, before putting her in her crib, my husband will cradle her in his arms and walk throughout the house, with a little bounce to his step to give her a bit of a vibration, in order to get her almost asleep. Sometimes he's had to do this for as long as 20 minutes, but anymore he just has to do it a couple times around the house. He'll lay her in the crib, turn on the mobile and crib aquarium, put the pacifier in if she needs it (she often doesn't now), and walks out of the room. If she starts fussing, we'll walk into the room and replace the pacifier, turn the mobile on again, or turn the crib aquarium on again, but we never say anything or make our presence known because we don't want her to wake up further. We have to do this at most one or two times before she's zonked out, then she usually sleeps from 8:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m.

Oh, and we put a dimmer switch on the lamp in her room and we keep it turn down to the lowest setting...we found early on that she does NOT like to sleep in the complete darkness. That might be worth a try; a lot of babies do not like complete darkness.

Have you tried to swaddle with his arms out first before going completely without it? That's what I always read as the recommendation for going without the swaddle, though we tried cold turkey at first and were fortunate that it worked. Maybe try that with naps first, swaddle with one arm out first, and see how that goes, then go to two arms, then without. Or, I've read that some babies transition well by swaddling the arms and don't have their legs swaddled at first, then they move on to no swaddle.

I hope you were able to check back and get this note...please let me know if you did. I don't know if anything I said is helpful, but maybe there's one thing in there that you might not have thought to try. If you need anything else, feel free to leave a comment or send me an e-mail.

Good luck!


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