Thursday, February 28, 2008

It's all our fault.

Or so it seems. You know how Kali was fussing and crying and not going to sleep until 2 a.m.? Well, for the last two nights she's been down around 10:00 with no fuss at all. What changed, you ask? I'll explain, but I know full well that by the end of this you'll be shaking your head and wondering how two highly intelligent people could have been so stupid.

All those nights she didn't go to sleep until very late, we were essentially waiting for her to fall asleep. She didn't, and then she got overtired, and then she was unable to sleep at all. Oh, sure, we tried putting her in her crib - right after taking her from the bright living room to her room and swaddling her as she fought with all her might.

Last night we tried something different. At 9:00 we bathed Kali, gave her a massage (with lavendar vanilla lotion), and then Mr. D held her and rocked in the glider while we sang broadway tunes (slow, soothing ones. not "do you hear the people sing" or anything else that might inspire a bedtime rebellion complete with little fists and a diaper blowout. But I digress). When she stopped raising her head and shoulders to look around, presumably for a more happening party, Mr D and I switched seats and I nursed Kali while we sang some more. I burped her, we rocked, and she got nice and drowsy. That's when I slowly lowered her into the crib, swaddled her, Mr. D. turned on the hair dryer, and we sang some more and patted her tummy until she settled a bit in her crib. Nightlight out, door shut. Sleeping baby.

Are you ready for the punchline?

Last night, after that routine, she slept for EIGHT HOURS. 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. I know it could have been a fluke, and now that I've blogged it it will definitely never happen again, but whoa. Huge difference between 8 solid hours and waking up every 3 hours to nurse.

I can't believe we were stupid enough to think that a baby with only a few weeks of life experience would be able to put herself to sleep. Duh. I almost deserve Dr. Phil's snarky "who's the parent here?" and a smack upside the head. It makes me sick to think of all the sleep I could have had... all because I didn't realize that I'm the mommy, and bedtime is when I say it is.

Or maybe she'll sleep in 2 hour spurts tonight and through the weekend, and blow my whole theory out of the water.

I'm taking bets. What do you think will happen?


Bella said...

There will be backsliding, of course. But you're definitely on to something. Keep the routine up (although maybe shorten it a little? for your sanity?)She will learn the sleep association soonish and then you can rely upon better sleep.

Rachel said...

LG is 13 weeks now and regularly sleeps 10-12 hours at night. The first time he started sleeping 8 hours, he didn't do it again the next day, but within in a week it was a regular occurance. Within 2 or 3 weeks the amount of time he slept kept increasing. It definitely helped us not to allow him to get overly tired.

Way to go on figuring it out, I bet you feel like a new person today.

Aurelia said...

I think you just gained some valuable insight and experience in life, and you'll be able to apply it to all the other babies you are going to have.

Cause you know, we make all our mistakes on the first ones...stop feeling guilty and just accept that the next kid will have it better and there's not a thing you can do about it.

I do predict that she will sleep better if you keep her on a routine like that and I also believe that pattern will come undone whenever she is sick or teething or hits a rough patch. And then you'll just get right back on the horse and do it all over again. But hey, you just might get eight hours once in awhile. Weeeeee!

Michele said...

hee hee. You guys weren't stupid, just new parents. You figured it out considerably quicker than I did!!!

Lisa b said...

my kid never slept 8 hours until she was ten months old.
I don't care how you managed that, she's a star.

ms. c said...

I am bookmarking this post for future reference.
WOW. I am sitting here wide-eyed in awe of you.
(Also: putting your number on speed dial for when I need you to talk me through all this. That was so not meant in a stalker way!)

April said...

DH and I just learned this lesson as well, december. And it took us more than four months. So good for you for figuring it out much earlier!