In the past few days I have found myself troubled with my sons sleeping patterns. Of course they are all out of whack, I am a first time mom after all. I didn’t know you are supposed to implement a sleeping pattern right off the bat! After doing much research I have found that in fact you are. So I am beginning the process of working on some sort of schedule with little Row.
Rowan absolutely will NOT fall asleep unless he is being held by someone. When that doesn’t work he will only fall asleep being stuck on one of my teats. Fun stuff! And the moment I pull him off or lay him down he wakes right back up crying and demanding for me to resume where we left off. So begins this vicious cycle which has left me with zero time to myself. Not that I thought I would have much of that being a mother to a newborn. But hey, I thought an hour here and there weren’t unheard of!
They say that you can not spoil a newborn by holding them or showering them with your affections. While I believe this is true, I also belive you can form a bad habit of them associating sleeping with being rocked, held, or fed. You want to differentiate sleeping time from feeding and playing time. The best pattern I have found is when he wakes up in the morning I feed him first. Then I let him be awake and have some tummy time and interaction between the two of us. After that I sit in my glider and hold him tightly while singing to him softly in his ear. I also pat and rub his back while I am rocking him. I make sure that I have the noise level waaay down, if not completely gone. I don’t focus so much on it being completley dark when or where I am putting him down because I would like to think that he will be used to napping even when there is light around.
When I notice him getting ready to doze off into la-la land I gently lay him down to go to sleep. The trick here is to lay them down while they are still awake so they begin to associate sleeping as something they can do all on their own. You also don’t want them to associate breastfeeding (or eating from a bottle) with sleeping. If they do you will end up like me permanently stuck to the rocking chair (all day and while I catch zzz’s) just to be able to get your babe to sleep. You want to let them nap for anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours. And when they wake up it should only be for an hour and 45 minutes at most. All of us moms know that this is not always going to be the case and every child is different. But, this is a guideline to go by and what you should aim for. Trust me there has been times when Rowan naps for 3+ hours and more times than I can count when he is awake 3+ hours! You could also make this work based on a schedule of your own. Like lets say you want your child to sleep everyday at noon and at four. Then you would just focus on those times and work around them for everything else. The plus side of this is knowing that everyday at “noon and four” you have some time to yourself that you can begin to rely on. If you go by the clock and don’t have a specific “waking” time then your schedule will most likely be different everyday. This is fine for me because I am a stay at home mom and any nap time is good for me!
Today has been the first day I have put all of this into action. My results have been fairly good I would have to say. At least for the first half of the day anyways. I let him wake up on his own which was around 6am. First, I changed his diaper, then I fed him, interacted with him for a bit, and finally started the winding down. We rocked in my chair while singing to him and he started to doze back off so I quickly placed him in the Dock-A-Tot and turned the volume off of the TV. He was asleep within 5 minutes. AND he didn’t even have his pacifier! I was shocked, amazed, delighted, excited.. I can’t even count all the emotions I felt right then! To top that off, he slept for a little over 3 hours. The next time he was awake it lasted a little while longer. My friend came over and we took little Row with us to get some breakfast and run some errands. By the time we got back it was time to start winding down again. This time when I laid him down I let him have his pacifier because he was restless and it worked magically.
Now comes the crappy part. The third time when I tried to put him down he just was not having it. He fussed and cried and cried. I am not one of the mothers that can let my child “cry it out” and I have no judgements about those that do.. I just personally can not. I attempted it with no success. I just feel like he is so helpless and little and doesn’t really know what is going on yet. Therefore, I will always always always come running whenever he makes even the slightest peep. So, here I was with a restless crying child who wouldn’t stop crying even when I held him. He had gone to being passed tired and that is the “red zone” which you don’t want to ever be in. When they are over tired it causes them to be overly alert. This crying and fussiness went on for almost an hour, taking a serious tole on me. I tried everything to make him happy and there was nothing that worked. I gave in and stuck him on one of my breasts which he sucked on for a whopping two minutes before falling into a deep, deep sleep. I use a boppy pillow (if you don’t know or don’t have one check them out and get ya one) while breastfeeding so I stood up without moving him off the pillow and placed it on the couch. I let him gently slide into it and covered him up with a blanket. He stayed asleep for about an hour at which time my mom arrived to relieve me for a bit!
I will continue working on this process because I don’t want him associating my breast with sleep and I want him to be able to nap on his own. Don’t get me wrong, I love sleeping with my little one but there are definitely times when I need somet ime to myself. Hopefully continuing on this path will lead to more of that. I will let you all know how it goes! Please let me know if you have any tips or tricks that help your little ones get to sleep! And as always comment below! Find out more about Me ♥!