Saturday, January 5, 2013

Sleep Developments

I wish I could be writing that everything has gotten consistently better over the last few weeks, and by now Little Man and Sweet Pea are regularly sleeping through the night.

Unfortunately, it isn't happening.  SLEEP is the single most difficult part of mothering these babies!  I think they are probably going through the typical 4-month sleep regression that affects many babies, but that doesn't make it any easier for me to deal with.

I told MJ the other day how frustrated and helpless I feel when the babies won't sleep.  Do I let them cry, so they can learn to console themselves?  Do I go in to soothe them, and possibly create a bad habit?  Maybe one method would work best for Little Man, and a different method for Sweet Pea?  Are they actually hungry when they wake during the night?  If so, certainly not several times a night, so how can I tell when they're hungry versus when they're waking for another reason? 

Oddly enough, both babies generally fall asleep pretty easily, with little crying.  The problem is getting them to stay asleep.

Sweet Pea used to be a champion sleeper, but all of a sudden in the last 10 days she's been waking up not once but twice each night.  Much like her big sister, there isn't much we can do when Sweet Pea cries: she can't really be consoled.  She doesn't want to be held, or rocked, or given a pacifier, or sung to.  She doesn't want to be put down, either, or to sit in a bouncy seat.  So when she fusses, we just have to wait it out!  She's definitely no longer my "easy" baby, that's for sure -- during the day now, she's actually more challenging than Little Man.

Also much like CC, Sweet Pea sucks her thumb to go to sleep.  This is a good thing, because for the most part she can soothe herself to sleep.  It also means she has completely rejected the pacifier, so we don't even bother trying to give it to her anymore.

Little Man was waking up once a night, but then he learned to sleep on his tummy so I thought I was home free.  Babies sleep better on their stomachs, right?  NOT THIS ONE.  He is still incredibly dependent on his pacifier, and although at first I thought that was a good thing, now I'm considering getting rid of it cold turkey. I end up going into the nursery two, three, four times a night and during naps to put the pacifier back in, because he rolls onto his tummy and the pacifier falls out.

Right now, by some miracle, they never seem to wake each other up.  Little Man can be screaming his head off in his crib, just feet from Sweet Pea, who is sleeping soundly.  An hour later the situations might be reversed.  I'm thankful that they can sleep through each other's screaming, but how long will it last?  What if they start to wake each other up before they learn to sleep through the night?!

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