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Yes, another post about sleep

A funny thing happens when moms start talking about sleep. Actually a couple of things. Either moms throw up their hands in the air in the spirit of commiseration and sigh that their babies don’t sleep either and offer you wine and Ambien or they offer advice on how to get your child to sleep.

Neither response is incorrect.

(Though the offer of wine is almost always completely correct. And Ambien, too.)

I looked at all of your suggestions, nodding my head as I read them, because we’re doing that. Nearly all of it.

Joshua’s a helper, but there’s only so much I can send him to fetch when I don’t really need much.

He also gets to play with the iPhone and the TV is almost always on here, so I do start a new show or let him know it’s okay to play a game when I need to go take care of Emma.

Dan’s hours should change soon and he should be able to be home a little earlier. Thank you, sweet baby Jesus in your manger.

Co-sleeping isn’t really the problem as it’s virtually the only way I’m even functioning. Seriously, giving Emma the boob while I snooze is way, way too easy for my lazy self.

So I felt a little defeated after reading the comments and thinking “I’m doing this, but WHY doesn’t my kid SLEEP?”

And then I realized what the problem was with the suggestions I was getting.

In a word, nothing.

But I, however, had been unclear about what, exactly, we’re having the most trouble with. While momming both of them is hard, it’s not the part that’s giving us the most trouble right now.

That’s this whole rolling-over-swaddled-Hulk-Smash thing that keeps happening.

Emma’s got a lot of developing happening right now and THAT is what’s jacking with her sleep. And that’s what I don’t know how to help her with.

She’ll go down pretty easily almost every night. I bathe her (or give her a baby massage in place of a bath some nights), put her in her jammies, swaddle her, turn on the white noise, and then nurse her to sleep. I put her in the co-sleeper and leave the bedroom. Sometimes we’re back in there in 45 minutes. Sometimes it’s a couple of hours. But almost every time, she’s flipped over onto her stomach and Hulk Smashed her way out of the swaddle.

She’s on her hands and knees, or in a baby Downward Dog, and completely pissed off at the Universe. It’s like she gets in that position and then can’t figure out what to do or how to get out of that position.

But she won’t sleep if she’s not swaddled.

So we re-swaddle her and the cycle starts all over again.

I’ve tried putting her down unswaddled and patting her butt when she flips onto her stomach. As soon as I stop patting, sometimes even before then, she’s got her butt in the air and she’s starting to scream.

It’s like she has a spring in her butt that flips her over any time she’s laid down on her back.

I don’t know how to wean her from the swaddle. And I truly don’t think I can until she’s mastered this crawling and sitting thing.

Luckily (or unluckily, depending) Dr. Karp agrees with me.

We’ve got white noise going as loud as a shower, maybe even slightly louder. She’s swaddled. Tightly. And at some point almost every night, she ends up in the swing, which usually affords me a decent stretch of sleep. (Like last Thursday night when I got a full five hours–the longest stretch of sleep I’ve had since New York!!!!–and felt ahmayzing!)

But until she gets over this hump and realizes that crawling is just a way to terrorize her brother but not the end-all-be-all of the world, we’re stuck in a holding pattern.

So, I reserve the right to keep complaining about the lack of sleep in my life and revisit this topic once she’s moving.

Until then, send coffee.

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Sunday 14th of October 2012

Here's the video. We cut up an old receiving blanket to make "arm-restraining strips" instead of using a whole blanket. Worked like a charm!


Sunday 14th of October 2012

It's like we're living the same life, only me 6 weeks ahead of you. I've been catching up on my reader and have to comment. Syd slept swaddled until 7 months. We went through all the same trials you mentioned - putting her on her stomach and patting her back, starting out swaddled and then undoing once she was asleep, crib, bassinet, cosleeper, cosleeping in bed. You name it? We tried it. I thought for sure I was doing something wrong. She's 9 1/2 months now and just waking up 1-2 times a night to nurse with a resettle around 9 pm. So I think she's just a crappy sleeper. Anyway. I'm rambling. Chalk it up to the post-birthday party glass of wine.

I just wanted to send my commiserating comment your way. We had some pretty good luck with using a Woombie for a month or so in-between the swaddles and free-sleep. Oh! And someone on twitter sent me a link to a great how-to for a break-proof swaddle. I'll see if I can find it.

In the meantime, hang in there. I *know* what you're going through. And for the record, I'm crazy-impressed you're finding the time to blog. So jealous. =)

Jamie Wills

Tuesday 25th of September 2012

Have you tried sleep sacks? This doesn't swaddle them but makes them feel as if they are in something still. That's what we used to transition out of swaddling. I thought I had read somewhere that when they can unswaddle it was time to not swaddle, but don't quote me on that. ;-)

Anyway, the sleep sack gives them flexibility to move around yet feel the comfort of swaddling (like your swing). This way they get used to moving SOMEWHAT while "sleeping", cause we all do that, right? Perhaps the swaddling is actually what is waking her up? She works so hard to get out of it - so it sounds - that she has a hard time going back to sleep? Perhaps it's time to modify the swaddling out of the nightly down routine?

I don't know. Just some of my random thoughts. Beth and Hannah are good sleepers; although, Hannah has had more "moments" that Beth ever did. The above helped a lot with her. Oh, and the pacifier works well for her! I don't know how breastfeeding moms feel about pacifiers, but sucking on something ALWAYS soothes Hannah right back down to sleep - but Beth would never take it.

Oh, and both my girls have "lovies." Something they've attached to and known is for sleep time. Beth still sleeps with her bed time bear! hehe She's sucked the ears off it though. LOL Hannah is just now bonding with her bear, but she much prefers this pink and chocolate blanket that's she's had since a baby. Weird how they bond to different things. However, this "sleep solution" has a problem all it's own. If you forget that lovie somewhere - say daycare - and they have to have it to sleep, your stuck driving back to the daycare to get it. Been there, done that.

Anyway, you said you didn't really need suggestions, so you're probably rolling your eyes at me right now. LOL Sorry. And I hope things are better for you real soon!



Thursday 27th of September 2012

We have A sleep sack, but it's too small. It may be an option we try. And no, you're not supposed to swaddle once they can roll over, but that's the trouble. She won't sleep if she's unswaddled because of all that growing and developing thing, but she doesn't need to be swaddled anymore.

She takes a paci. (Most breastfeeding moms are totally okay with them if baby needs them.) And we have a lovey, but she's still a little young to attach to one. I have a couple I keep trying and eventually, she'll pick it up. Joshua did, but now his lovey changes every week.

And totally not rolling my eyes! :)


Monday 24th of September 2012

Yikes that sounds terrible. I assume crying it out isn't option? Can you bust her out by using the swing? Maybs put her in the swing from the get go? Did moms on call have any suggestions? Good luck! You are amazing to even up upright let along blogging.


Monday 24th of September 2012

No, it's not really. I have a post in my head about it but I don't know if I'm brave enough to hit publish. I actually forgot about moms on call until right now! Off to Google again!


Monday 24th of September 2012

If you figure out an easy way to wean from the swaddle, pass it along. 5 months in & we still swaddle. We can get her to go to sleep fine without the swaddle, but the problem is if she starts to stir in the middle of the night, she can't put herself back to sleep and the night quickly becomes a cluster. Oy. She doesn't roll from back to belly yet, so I'm sure when that starts happening things will get even more complicated.


Monday 24th of September 2012

The only way she goes to sleep without the swaddle is if I'm wearing her. Otherwise, it's swaddle all the way!

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