To sleep, perchance to dream…

You guys, this is hard.  I need some success stories.

Good news:  We seem to have conquered the bulk of our feeding issues.  Milk production is up, and for the most part we’re done with supplementing.  A huge, huge relief – pumping six times a day on top of feeding a newborn was not my idea of a good time.  Moose is gaining weight and I’m eternally grateful.

Next up: sleep.

So, here’s what I’m wondering.

1.  How on earth do people get their babies to sleep in the bassinet?  For the first few weeks poor, gassy Moose would only sleep on my chest.  We’ve graduated to swaddling and sleeping beside one of us in the bed, but as soon as I lay her down in the bassinet she starts pulling her knees up to her chest and wakes miserable.  The thing is, she’ll sleep alone on the bed, so it’s not just proximity to me. (Although I guess I lie beside her to settle her, which I can’t in the bassinet). I put in one of my shirts for the smell, I’m using white noise. What am I missing?  I take medication that makes me groggy at night, so I really don’t feel great about cosleeping.  Right now we’re playing a ridiculous game of musical beds as we trade shifts in the night, and I would like to sleep beside my wife again someday.

2.  How do you get a 7 week old to sleep enough during the day?  I’ve read that Moose should only be awake for 60-80 minutes before sleeping again.  It still often takes her about an hour to eat, so she needs to be asleep again almost right away?  She just hit that stage where she’s noticing what goes on around her, so she no longer will just fall asleep.  It can take a half hour to settle her down to sleep, unless we put her in the carrier or she’s riding in the car.  She’s chronically overtired and is then so much harder to settle and it’s a vicious cycle.

I don’t mind the interrupted nights so much – she’s a new baby.  I expected to feed her every couple of hours.  But the other stuff – ????  I feel like other parents got a manual that got lost in the mail on the way to us.  I am open to suggestion here.

In other news, she’s awfully cute.

Enjoying a warm magic bag on her belly in the bassinet.  While wide awake.

Enjoying a warm magic bag on her belly in the bassinet. While wide awake.



About tamarainwriting

I'm a queer, married, child and youth counsellor, in Toronto, Ontario. My wife and I had a beautiful stillborn son and we have an amazing one-year-old daughter. It's a complex journey.
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17 Responses to To sleep, perchance to dream…

  1. Lindsay says:

    Try to start the nap/bedtime routine BEFORE she gets tired. and make a routine of it, too. So you breastfeed, swaddle, sing/swing and then it’s time for sleep. The trick is starting this before she gets to that OT spot. You’ll get good at reading her signs if you aren’t there just yet.

    • Lemon Drop says:

      Yes to this. My wife also had luck with a tracking app where she recorded baby’s “natural” schedule (i.e., when did baby get hungry/sleepy when left to her own devices for a few days? a week? not sure…) and then came up with an official schedule based in the patterns she observed. Also had luck with strategies from “Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child” or whatever that book is called (Brazelton, maybe?). Clem LOVES routine, always has. At that age, we napped her in the crib and did nights in the co-sleeper (Arms Reach brand). Good luck and do NOT beat yourself up if other people’s strategies aren’t right for you. You can do it and so can she!

    • This makes sense. I can generally recognize that she’s about to get tired, its just hard to catch it in time! A routine is a great idea.

  2. We’re making progress with the cosleeper but slowly. Lesley thinks our bed is just softer and we’d have more progress the crib. I’ve started to track all his feedings and naps so I can look for a natural schedule- I’m hoping that makes nap times a little easier because I’ll be able to see a pattern.

  3. Have you tried a Halo SleepSack? Babies eventually grow big and strong enough to bust out of them, but it can help.

    • We’re recent miracle blanket converts over here! She doesn’t love it but it’s impossible to escape.

      • allison says:

        Not sure where you are in the city, but if you need another Miracle Blanket we’ll give you ours and you can save yourself a little bit of money. It worked like a charm for our guy once he figured out how to bust out of the Halo ones.

      • Oh, that would be amazing, thank you!. I was just trying to source a second one – we had an unfortunate diaper incident one night and then I didn’t know what to do! We rely on it. I’ll send you an email. 🙂

  4. DeCaf says:

    She is very cute. I hope sleep gets better.

  5. So sweet! The Arm’s Reach cosleeper was great for us- I would put her down and then soothe her by patting her or letting her suck on my pinkie finger. If you would like to borrow the cosleeper, let me know.

  6. Our daughter is 15 weeks old, and so much of your description sounds similar. A few things that have helped reduce the wind are drinking lots of camomile tea and eliminating dairy from my diet (doesn’t work for many babies, but trial for 7 days and you will know).

    For the day sleep, a few things that have helped:
    – accepting that sometimes lying quietly in the bassinet is as good as it is going to get, and that’s ok
    – that 60 min thing is true, but only in the morning! We just feed and try to sleep in the morning and add playing in the afternoon.
    – it’s normal to be awake for a long time before bed in the evening, it’s generally about 5 hours with short cat naps on the breast for us
    I have tons more to say about sleep, so email if you want. None of the above might work for you, but hopefully it’s helpful. Also a few people have told me that smarter babies don’t sleep much, which I have no evidence for, but is a nice thought at times.

  7. CGsaysstuff says:

    I dont think ive ever considered myself a ‘sucess story’ but i sure struggled with napping and i feel like not only have I relaxed (i was beginning to really obsess about how long shed been awake) but the little one is getting more sleep now too. In the beginning I used to wait until I saw a yawn, someone told me about the rule of three yawns, essentially start the nap at the first one, dont let them get to three. Well, now i know all babies are different, and the first yawn was already too late for my girl, nap time always ended in screaming and me pacing the floor in hopes to get sleep. I started to pay more attention to the time and noticed that at about 2 hours awake, sometimes an hour forty five, shed lose interest, fuss, just generally be unsettled. So id start the routine and she would be out in five minutes! I do subscribe to the idea that if its a fight to get them to sleep, then its very likely too early or too late. I was almost always too late. Shes always been a catnapper when not being held, so naps were short and frequent, but a recharge all the same. I found if i stuck to this general two hour rule ( try not to live and die by it, youll go crazy!) then she was MUCH happier. And the two hour rule went for evening too, whcih meant if i had to put her to bed at five for a nap, i did it, just making sure to wake her two hours before bedtime. Doing this i found she slept better all around, and i escaped that alleged ‘witching hour’. For my girl, it was really just exhaustion. Turns out, after all this, the girl still doesn’t yawn until she’s way past tired, but i do see other cues like rubbing her eyes and petting her ear.
    Hope this helps a little bit, and message me if youre interested in more suggestions. Ill be following your journey! (Forgive my sloppy spelling and punctuation, sausage fingers, and autocorrect is turned off)

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