I am starting this log on the day Broin is 4 1/2 months old. He is not sleeping great. He’s a baby though, so I am trying not to expect too much from him. I am starting this diary of how he does to help other parents who wonder what is normal in baby sleep and who want to explore how to get their baby to sleep more. So let’s talk about it!
Broin’s sleep when he was a newborn
Broin spent a week in the NICU. While he was there, he would wake up to eat and we would feed him and maybe play with him a bit, then the nurses would swaddle him and put him in his layette thingie. If he cried they would put a soothie with sugar water on it in his mouth till he stopped. He would then fall asleep and sleep for 3 hours or so. This happened around the clock.
This is a soothie
Broin’s sleep when he came home – his first month of life
Well, we weren’t as diligent with getting him to sleep right away, so I think he got overtired, *especially* at night. By 8 p.m. he was a basket case, and would scream for an hour.
He also started to develop acid reflux around this time and every time we would lay him down we would hear a kind of gulp noise in his throat and his meal would come back up on him and he would wake up and start screaming.
He took most of his naps on Daddy’s chest and at night he would sleep on mommy’s chest much of the time. Mommy didn’t get much sleep for many weeks. I was nursing him so I would stay up with him or catnap at night and then when daddy woke up I would give him to daddy and crawl into bed for a few hours of sleep before he needed to eat again.
Sleeping at 2 months old
At this point, we got Broin into his bed, which was an arm’s reach co-sleeper. I would have brought him to bed with me but he is a light sleeper and didn’t want to be in bed with me. Daddy and I were a bit nervous too. He was still so tiny!
We put blocks under one end of the co-sleeper so his head was elevated. He still was making that horrible sound but sometimes but he would sleep through it.
He would sleep in the bed at night, but during the day he would wake up as soon as we put him down in it. Attempts to put him in it ‘drowsy but awake’ were laughable. He would do nothing but scream. ha ha. not.
He also would no longer take a pacifier. Probably because we didn’t put sugar water on it like they do at the hospital. I mean come on!
Sometimes he would suck on my finger and fall asleep that way. Normally he would nurse to sleep and then we would try to put him in the bed. Frequently he would wake up, sometimes he wouldn’t.
I tried to just nurse him to sleep where I was and let him sleep on my lap. That would work at 1 month but by 2 months he would wake up at the slightest noise, and I did have another child, so there was a lot of noise!
I tried everything – it was winter, so I couldn’t put him in the stroller and take him for a walk. We only had one car, so I couldn’t drive him to the mall and walk there. At this point he hated the car and his car seat anyway so I wouldn’t have tried it in the first place.
I could sometimes get him to sleep in the moby wrap, wrapped to my body, but he did not like that very much. He would usually wake up crying, and he would be hot and sweaty and being in the wrap would make his reflux worse.
I tried the heartbeat teddy bear (he didn’t care). I tried to swaddle him (swaddling worked great for my first son, but Broin HATED it). He would break out of any swaddle I put him in. Even swaddle blankets couldn’t hold him. And he would SCREAM! The 5 Ss didn’t do crap for him.
Nursing would help. Daddy bouncing him on a ball would help (I was never able to get this to work for me for some reason – maybe because I smell like milk, or I didn’t have the strength to hold him under my chin like daddy did.
I got the No Cry Sleep Solution and started reading it. This was the same book I bought 9 years before with my first son.
So we muddled through somehow.
Moby Wrap UV SPF 50+ 100% Cotton Baby Carrier, Almond Blossomdexbaby Womb Sounds Bear Audio Pacifier, BrownSummer Infant SwaddleMe ,Blue/ WhiteThe Happiest Baby on the Block: The New Way to Calm Crying and Help Your Baby Sleep Longer – The 5 Ss BookGaiam Total Body Balance Ball Kit (75cm)The No-Cry Sleep Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night: Foreword by William Sears, M.D. (Pantley)
Baby Sleep at 3 months
Things were getting better. He still spit up a lot and still had reflux, but only rarely would he make that spit up noise while sleeping.
He started to go in his co-sleeper for naps. Naps were short though. He would consistently wake up at 30 minutes.
The Sleeping book says to go in and do whatever you have to do to get them back to sleep and eventually they would go back to sleep on their own.
So I did. I would go in and rub his back or lightly shake the crib or nurse him and sometimes it would put him back to sleep, and sometimes it wouldn’t.
But over time, he did start to sleep a little longer. Maybe 45 minutes or an hour.
At night, he would wake 3 to 5 times. A typical sleep cycle at night was 45 minutes, 3 to 4 hours, 2 hours, 2 hours, up for the day.
one day he was acting like he was in pain all day. He kept arching his back and twisting to the right. We finally connected this to his reflux and the fact that I had eaten a bunch of dairy – that seems to bother him.
before we made that connection we were pretty concerned so we took him to the chiropractor. The chiropractor adjusted him with some little vibrating gun thingy.
That night and the night after he slept for seven hours before waking me up for the first time. That was the first time ever he had gone that long. I was thrilled!
Baby Sleep at 4 months
Things were starting to even out. Sometimes he would take a nap as long as two hours. I didn’t know what to do with myself!
At night he settled into a rhythm of waking up between two and four times a night.
I noticed that in the morning he would almost always have gas about an hour before he was up for good. On days that the gas was really bad he would wake more times that night. I was finally able to connect the gas with certain foods and on days when I avoided these foods he slept better.
Baby Sleep at 5 months
At five months things are pretty consistent. again he wakes between 2 and 4 times a night. I have tried to stop counting because I get less upset when I don’t pay attention to what time it is or how many times he’s been up.
I still have to be very careful with my diet to avoid him having gas that wakes him up at night.
I also now have to be careful with his diet because he has started to eat some solid foods.
Baby Sleep at 6 and 7 months
wow, these two months were a doozy. At the beginning of six months things were going really well. A couple of times he only woke up once during the night to nurse.
But then he got sick.
at first it was just a cold but at some point it developed into a double ear infection. The whole story is here.
night wakings became much more frequent and at one point he would lay down to sleep for over a week.
We ended up getting amoxicillin for the double ear infection and that quickly allowed him to lay down while sleeping again but gave him a very sore stomach.
After the antibiotics were done he got better and now he is worse again.
Last night, I slept with him in the recliner all night long like he was a newborn again. ….
1) He used to always wake up and cry after sleeping for 45 minutes after we put him down for the night.
This started getting better at three months and by five months he never did any more.
I think part of this was because his sleep cycles were maturing and part of this was because he was sleeping better and we were getting him down earlier and so he wasn’t as exhausted and didn’t flood his body with stress chemicals because of it.
2) I nurse him to sleep in a recliner. Then I move him to his bed. When he was little he would almost always wake up when he is being moved to his bed and cry. We would have to shake his bed and pat his back and thinking back then try again frequently.
Now, as I am writing this at just turned eight months old, he always will just go to sleep. Even if he is not completely knocked out when I put him in his bed he will just snuggle in and sleep.