Monday, January 24, 2011
After a very busy Sunday, Violet totally crashed last night and slept twelve hours straight. It got me thinking about room sharing. I'm thinking I will move Violet into Nola's room just as soon as she is consistently sleeping twelve hours straight at night. I figure it might be easier to do it while Violet is still too little to really care that she's in the same room with Nola. Nola might take a few nights to get over the novelty of it, I'm sure. I also had the idea of maybe making a cute little curtain to somehow go around Violet's crib. This way she would be a little bit more out of sight, and might cut down on playing at bedtime.
Really, I'm looking for some advice here, people. Do any of your kids share rooms? How did you do it?
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Violet slept for twelve hours straight on Monday night. That's 8 p.m. until 8 a.m. baby! Last night she slept for eleven hours straight. Sleeping for twelve hours at night is not very common for a two month old. I suppose I need to give it a few more days before I get too excited. We have really lucked out with Violet! I do think the personality of your child has a lot to do with how they sleep. Every baby is an individual. But the way you approach sleep as the parent, does affect them. I thought I'd share how we approach sleeping here at the Long house. On the off chance that it is rock star parenting that has given us a good night's sleep, maybe our philosophies could help you out. Or at least give you some ideas. Or give you a good laugh if you think we're crazy.
At our house, Violet has been sleeping in her own room, in her own crib since she was one week old. And I don't use a monitor. This way, I don't hear every little noise she makes and wonder if she needs to eat. When she needs me, I hear her. Her room is right across the hall.
They tell you a newborn baby shouldn't go more than four hours without eating, including night time. I obeyed that rule in the hospital. When we came home, I threw that out the window. After her feeding between nine and eleven, she went to bed and slept as long as she wanted. Luckily for me, she spent the first couple nights with my mom who sleeps VERY soundly. So mom only woke me when it was FOR SURE that Violet needed to eat. Before you call Child Services, let me tell you that since I felt that way about night time, I frequently nursed Violet every two hours during the day to make sure she was getting enough milk in a 24 hour period. And in the daytime I did wake her from naps to nurse her. (Still do, actually. Right now I am letting her have one nap a day that is three hours long, if she wants, even if that means four hours with out nursing. Other wise, she eats every three hours.)
Also, (this is where you might think I'm crazy, and my elimination communication friends will be ashamed of me), I never changed Violet's diaper at night. Unless her diaper had leaked, or I actually heard her poop. I just nursed her and then put her right back to bed.
After a couple of weeks of the nine or eleven-ish bedtime, we started putting Violet to bed at 8, when Nola goes to bed. Nola's bedtime routine was already established so Violet just joined in and got one herself. And, yes, we made Violet cry herself to sleep. For a couple days, maybe a week, Violet would wake to eat again around midnight, and every three to four hours after that. Then for quite a while she didn't wake for the first time until two or three. Then it creept up to five, and now we're crossing our fingers it continues with the twelve hour stretch.
Some nights in the early days I wanted to feed her before I went to bed, to see if she would give me a six hour stretch of sleep. I know this works really well for a lot of moms. But I always ended up changing my mind. I decided I didn't want to train her to need a midnight feeding. If she wanted it, I would give it to her. This meant that some nights I would go to bed at eleven and get up an hour later to feed her. Annoying. But eventually, she slept through that midnight feeding. I think it may have helped her naturally learn that night time is for sleeping.
My sister, Felicity, gave me great advice with Nola. She told me that a great pattern for babies is for them to eat, be awake, and then sleep. Wake up. Eat. Play. Nap. Repeat. So I don't nurse Violet to sleep. Even when she seems to really be zonked out after nursing, I burp her and change her diaper so she will wake up. Even if she is only awake a few minutes, she then has to fall asleep on her own. This helps when she wakes in the middle of the night, she knows how to go back to sleep with out eating.
The last thing I can think of is swaddling. Violet LOVES it. We use these. Every time we lay her down she is all swaddled up. Super tight. We have never given her a pacifier, but this seems to be the equivalent for her. She falls asleep quicker and sleeps longer when she is wrapped up. (Yes, I've tried letting her sleep free style a couple of times and decided it wasn't worth it. I think she'll let us know when she's done with the swaddle.)
So there's my thoughts on sleeping, in random order.
Monday, January 17, 2011
I love my girls. LOVE them.
But lately I've been a little stressed with the 24/7 of motherhood. Nola and Violet are just always HERE. They don't go away. On Ry and I's last night out, Baby V wouldn't take a bottle. I fear I may be attached to her every three hours for the next ten months.
Thank the Lord for bedtime! How smart of Him to create kids with a need for more sleep than adults. I'm so thankful for the two to three hours I get to spend with Ryan after the girls are in bed. It's just what I need to be ready for tomorrow.
Thursday, January 13, 2011
When Violet was a few weeks old I found myself googling "how often should I breastfeed my three week old" or "sleeping schedule for one month old baby". Even though I've already done this once, and only two years ago, I still wonder what's normal. Are you the same? So here's a day in Violet's life to hopefully help you feel sane about what you're baby is doing. Or, to help others of you feel sane that you've decided to wait a while before having babies. Liz.
I wake Nola and Violet around 8:30 every morning. (I know that's leisurely late. Don't ask what I'm doing until then. Just assume I'm up, exercised, showered, and have home cooked breakfast on the table.)
I nurse Violet around 9:00, after pottying, diapering, and getting Nola some oatmeal. She nurses for twenty minutes.
At 10:00 she's ready to sleep again. I swaddle her, lay her down, and she cries for a little bit.She usually only sleeps an hour.
At 12:00 I nurse her again.
Between 1:00 and 1:30 I lay her down again. I'm trying to get her to sleep a longer stretch at this time because it's when Nola naps. Sometimes she does, sometimes she doesn't.
I nurse Violet again after she wakes up, or I have woken her, between 3:00 and 4:00. She will sleep again, about an hour after I've nursed her, napping about an hour.
I nurse her between 5:00 and 6:00. Depending on when she ate last. Then she'll take a mini evening nap, usually in her vibrating bouncy seat. We cross our fingers this hits at our dinner time, so we can make it through an entire twenty two minute episode of King of Queens without either child interrupting.
At 7:30 I nurse her again. No matter when she ate last. This is her last nursing for the night, so I always offer it, even if I fed her at six.
At 8:00 she goes to bed. She cries, at the most recent count, about fifteen minutes. Sometimes she will cry for a very short time around nine or ten. Then she's out until 4:00 or 5:00 in the morning. I nurse her and she goes right back to sleep until I get her up at 8:30.
And. The day. Begins. Again.
In short, Violet is basically eating every three hours, and napping three and a half times a day. :)
When it comes to nursing, here's how I've changed my mindset a little since she was born. In the itty bittty newborn stage you really are counting the hours and making sure your little one is getting enough, even if that means waking them at night. But now that Violet is two months old and a healthy almost-twelve pounds, I think of it in terms of how many times she's eaten that day rather than how often. I think of it like this: Violet needs to eat breakfast, a morning snack, lunch, an afternoon snack, supper and a bedtime snack. When I think of it this way it helps me be more flexible and relaxed. And also it helps Violet fit into our family, rather than us ruling our lives around her.
There you have it. A day in the life of Violet. Oh! And isn't that picture of her with her Grandma so cute?