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Sleep Deprivation and Laughter October 17, 2008

Filed under: Schmooper — booksunread @ 5:37 pm

I am dead these days and not really feeling like writing.  Being back at work is killing me. I don’t know why; I wasn’t napping at all towards the end when I was home with squidge, so it’s not like it’s all that different that I’m at work all day.  It was definitely work being home taking care of an infant.  I am getting up an hour earlier though, to be ready for work at 6 when squidge (usually) gets up.

Eating is still presenting its challenges and getting all of the daily recommended amount into squidge every day is a constant worry in the back of my mind.  For the most part though, when he refuses to take a full four once bottle, he is not fussing and screaming.  He’s just acting like he’s got better things to do.  He’ll be looking around, checking out the ceiling, the wall, whatever is around.  And then he’ll slyly push the nipple out of his mouth and smile up at you from around the bottle.  So that’s an improvement, but we are not all the way there yet.

Having so much trouble with feeding is kind of screwing us on the other newborn parental bugaboo-sleeping through the night.  Usually that middle of the night feeding is one where he takes his full four ounces, so we really can’t afford to loose it.  At the same time, I wonder if skipping that will encourage him to get the rest in during the day.  We hadn’t been really trying at all to get him to bed on the schedule I’d like him to be on long-term (to bed by 7-7:30, up for a feeding 10:30/11 before I go to bed and then blissfully asleep for a full stretch on until 6), because he still has that inexplicable infant fussy time around 7 or so and it’d be next to useless to try to put him to bed then.  I’d be stuck sitting in his darkened room staring at the wall while I patted his butt for 30 or 45 minutes.

What I had been doing is taking to the couch when he starts up, patting and soothing for however long it took and then basically being tied to the couch until his 9 feeding.  If try to put him down, he usually woke up and it would be too early to feed him, and just not worth it.  (of course, he only wants me during this time, no one else will do-my MIL had to call us home from dinner last week when she couldn’t calm him down.) At least I could watch TV that way. And then he’d go down easily after his 9:00 feeding, sleep until sometime between 1 or 2, eat, then go back to sleep.

However, we should be coming to the end of that fussy time (oh god, please let it be soon), and now that I’m back at work, I can’t afford to spend that time stuck on the couch while he sleeps when he should be in his crib sleeping at that time.  So, I’ve changed up his schedule, moving his 6:00 feeding to 7:00 (since he didn’t appear to be all that hungry at 6) and changing the 9:00 to 11:00 in the hopes that he will be able to go from 11-6 without waking.

So now I take him up and go through the routine we did for his 9:00 bedtime feeding at 7, then crash myself, setting an alarm to get up at 11.  The idea is that once he gets it down (and I’ve caught up on my sleep from him going that whole stretch), I will be able to stay up ‘til 10:30/11 and give him that last feeding before bed. 

The first night, he’d fallen asleep on me a little after six, so it was easy to sneak him upstairs and trick him into thinking it was bedtime, not fussy time, and it went off without a hitch.  Yesterday, he was still awake and fussy at 7:15 so I had to soldier on through fussy time.  It took about half an hour of gritting my teeth and butt patting to get him to sleep at that time, but once he was out, he stayed down.  Both nights, he took a full feeding at 11 and slept right on through the usual middle of the night wake time.  However, he started waking every 15-30 minutes from 3:00 on.  He’d go back to sleep if I stuck his binky back in but drop it and pop back awake shortly thereafter.  And by 5:30, he was awake and insisting to get up, instead of us waking him at 6 as we have been doing. 

The 3AM binky dance had started even before we changed the schedule, although it’s probably slightly worse now-he pops up more often in that time and he no longer sleeps that last stretch of 5-6.  He’s not really getting more total sleep-it’s just all in his crib instead of partially on me.  I’m thinking that he is not quite ready to drop that feeding, so when he starts with that at 3, I will offer him a feeding, in the hopes it stretches him until 6.  And hopefully, he will naturally drop that feeding as all the books promise.

I know, I know, he is a baby and he will sleep through the night when he is ready.  But if I don’t give him the tools to do it (a late night 11 feeding), he will never be ready.  There’s no way he can go from 9 until 6.  So I guess I will keep at it and hope I’m not just beating my head against the wall.

In other news, which is really why I started this post in the first place-to document this-I got my first full real laugh out him last night. Apparently the driver on the bus going “sh, sh, sh!” is a real crowd pleaser-he went nuts!  Every day he is more animated and more fun, which at this point, between the sleeping and the eating, is the only reason I haven’t stuffed him in a padded envelope and sent him off to the grandparents special delivery.

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