mamamonday: want to make $100 an hour?

Monday, January 16, 2012

At this point, I will pay $100 per hour of uninterrupted sleep I can enjoy during the night. All you have to do is listen for Eli to cry, and when he's hungry, feed him. I'll even pump bottles of milk for you - all you need to do is warm them up. That's it. Just be on guard for the hungry cry and feed the baby when he wants to eat. And maybe change his bum once a night. Easy peasy, right? 

I'm definitely being overdramatic here, but a full night's sleep is the thing I crave most in the entire world right now. Not chocolate, not wine, not a spa day, not an exotic vacation. I want sleep. At nine weeks, Eli's still up twice a night most nights, which is completely normal for nine-week-old babies but still blows for me and Papa Bear. Our nights usually look like this, give or take half an hour here or there:

7:00 - 7:30: Bedtime. Sleeps 4-5 1/2 hours.
Between 11:00 and 12:30: Eats. Back to sleep for 3-4 hours.
Between 3:00 and 4:00: Eats. Back to sleep for 3 hours.
Between 6:00 and 7:00: Awake for the day. 

So unless I can stay awake until around 11:00 and feed him right before bed (which doesn't happen very often...I usually pass out by 9:00) we're up twice a night to eat. I'm probably getting between six and seven hours of sleep a night, maybe eight occasionally, but it's all broken up so it feels like a lot less. I know I shouldn't could be soooo much worse. Plenty of babies insist on eating every two hours through the night, sometimes more often. He's also been great about recognizing the difference between night and day since he was a newborn - I have heard horror stories about babies that have their days and nights mixed up, want to party all night and can't be budged during the day. We're fortunate in a lot of ways.

We asked our doctor about baby sleep schedules and she said that until three months, it's normal for babies to be up every three to four hours during the night and that Eli seems to be pretty typical for his age when it comes to sleeping at night. It's likely that around three or four months his sleep stretches will get longer and his schedule will start settling out so we'll probably just have to keep on keepin' on until then.

I bought Becoming Babywise and Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. The trouble is I don't have time to read them. Why do baby sleep experts insist on writing these humungous books? Does a new parents really have time to read a frigging encyclopedia on how to get their kid to sleep? Someone needs to make a one-page guide to baby sleep. That's what I want. I want a synopsis to both of the above books. I will also pay you $100 per hour to read the two books and write me 400 words or less summarizing each. Essentially, I want someone to just tell me what to do, because I'm not very good at figuring it out by myself.

Or, you know...leave it in the comments for free out of the goodness of your heart?

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  1. Hugs my love!! If I was closer, I would do the night shift for free!! And the reading, I'm good at writing summaries!

    Sadly, I have no baby sleeping advice. Someday maybe, but by then you'll have it all figured out! And you will.

  2. The best advice with babies: don't worry about figuring them out because as soon as you do, they change it all up again and you're back at square one. :-(

    The thing I kept telling myself was this was not a forever thing. It is a stage and before you know it you're in another stage. I know in the moment it seems like this will be your reality for the next 12,000 years but it isn't really :-)

  3. Yeah. I remember just wanting the darn Cliff Notes or someone's easy bullet point directions!

    Oh, you'll get there, mama. You'll get there. (:

  4. As Tammi said, just focus on the fact that this is not a forever thing. It sounds like you are very much getting there anyway, he knows the diff between night and day and thats such a good thing that hes got that figured out. Just keep going and one day it will be a memory.

  5. The one-step guide to a Good Night's Sleep:

    Step #1 - Whiskey.

    Q: For me or for the baby?
    A: Yes.

    (I kid, I kid. Hope little man starts sleeping longer for you soon.)

  6. Ferber.

    If anyone questions your judgment, just start an eyelid twitch or something.

  7. Dang, I wish I had some glowing advice for you! We are still at two wake-ups a night over here, and Eisley is 5 months. We had gotten down to just one feeding at night when she hit 3 months (it was GLORIOUS), but then when she hit the 4-month sleep regression, it got rough again for a while. We're back to only (only?) 2 wake-ups, but sometimes I can get her to go back to sleep after standing over the crib and trying to get her to keep the pacifier in long enough to fall back works every now and then. Most of the time I get cold and tired standing there, so I just pick her up and feed her in order to go back to the cozy bed. ;)

    I was stressing about it for a while, but at this point I feel thankful that she is an epic napper, so waking a couple times at night is definitely doable right now.

    I SO hear you on the books, though. I got a couple from the library a while back, but only got one chapter in until they were overdue, so...yeah. I'm waiting for a parenting book that is written in bullet points. With a lot of pictures.

    Le sigh.

  8. I sleep to much. I slept for 14 hours the other day- and I HATE it. I will happily trade you sme of my sleep for your awakeness. Really, I'd this we're a thing, I would give 'em to ya!

  9. It will get better, I swear! But don't rush it. We started the "extinction" method in HSHHC when The Pup was 5 months old--you can't do it much earlier than that.

    This is such a hard phase. You're feeling pretty good about this whole parenting thing. Baby is getting bigger and cuter. You manage to shower pretty much every day. You might be back to exercising, and you might be back at work. And there's still no sleep.

    Hang in there. I promise, promise, promise that you'll get there. The Pup was still feeding every 2.5 hours at 2 months. By 4 months, he was sleeping 5 hours. And by 5 months, we got rid of his nighttime feeding. Just hang in there!

    (PS...I read the books in the bathroom...)