Baby sleep, you can’t get away from all the questions. Almost every day someone, be it a fellow mum at a baby group, a health visitor or even a friend asks the dreaded question. “How is she sleeping?” It’s the first question on their lips and almost impossible to answer.Since the beginning of February I’ve
Baby sleep, you can’t get away from all the questions. Almost every day someone, be it a fellow mum at a baby group, a health visitor or even a friend asks the dreaded question. “How is she sleeping?” It’s the first question on their lips and almost impossible to answer.Since the beginning of February I’ve been working with Kiddicare to fill in a sleep diary for me and Evie. When we started she was 9 weeks old and I felt that all things considered she was a pretty good sleeper. Although I love to share my parenting journey here, keeping a close eye on our sleep patterns hasn’t been something I’ve done before. However, so far I’ve really enjoyed watching the changes in patterns, particularly in her day time routines. Before I started the sleep diary I knew she was waking up a couple of times at night but I never knew the exact times as I didn’t want to get out of bed to check and wake myself up completely. I felt I could tell if her night time wakes were closer together or further apart from how exhausted I felt in the morning, something that was confirmed by the sleep diary.
To get an accurate idea of our sleep habits I realised I could simply lift my head up from my pillow and glance at the windowsill to look at my husbands digital alarm clock, allowing me to settle back to sleep quickly after a feed. Right now, at week 3, I have noticed a few trends. (Evie is now 11 weeks old, breastfed and co-sleeps in our bed with us.) As a second baby her routine tends to fit around her brothers to a certain extent. She normally sleeps in bed for about 30min after I get up around 7am to get Nye breakfast and ready for the day. Then we potter around together in the day time, chasing after Nye with her in my arms when he’s not at pre school. The evenings are currently her time for attention, so after her brother has his bedtime bath and book at 7pm she is with us downstairs, normally happy and smiling between sleeps for the evening until we go to bed. In general her most consistent routine has been during the night, with a feed around 12, 3 and 6 most nights. There also seems to be a clear link between my own lack of sleep and feeling grumpy, that hasn’t been helped by me staying up late at night.
I find it interesting to note my more laid back attitude regarding sleep with Evie, probably relating to having done is all before. As long as she’s sleeping at night for at least 3 hours at a time I can get through the day without a meltdown. Any less than 2 periods of 3 hours sleep then it’s a tough job coping with a projectile vomiting baby and a busy two year old. I do know that when I have had a bad night and I’m totally exhausted I feel the need to make some small changes to try and improve things and that’s where a good book can be a sanity savior. As part of this project I’ve recieved a copy of Rebecca Weltons, Sleeping Trust Techniques. It’s about non controlled crying sleep techniques and is a great read for those times when you are propping your eyes open with matchsticks. I admit that sleep training with Nye seems a million year years ago, it’s almost like I can recall when he was a baby sleeping in our bed, and when he was older and slept from 7pm everynight until 5am in the morning and nothing in-between. Out of interest I had a look back to a blog post from when Nye was 12 weeks old and found I’d already starting putting him down regularly in his cot for naps. As it stands I’m happy with our sleep, I may not be quite getting in ALL my beauty sleep, but I know these baby days don’t last forever. I can see from the diary that our daytime naps are a bit chaotic still so I’d like to get into a slightly better daytime routine. As she gets older day by day I can already see the periods of being awake starting to stretch out and the cluster feeding in the evening starting to take hold. However, I know that clearer patterns will emerge over time and so far my girl is happy to go with the flow, fitting in perfectly into our family unit.