Friday, June 7, 2013

8 hours!

8 hours! My little girl slept 8 hours last night. Wow. It took Ethan about 8 months to master that. Emma is ahead of the game in that department.

When we first brought her home from the hospital, we were unprepared. We had the pack n play set up but couldn't find the bassinet part. We thought- "Ah! It will be ok. We'll make it work. " Wrong. The first week she ended up sleeping in bed with us. We couldn't get her to sleep anywhere else and we had a snow storm that knocked out our power. We stayed at Grandpa and Grandma's house and I just kept her with me in bed.

About a week in, we put our swing in our room. She would spend the first part of the night in the swing and then she would join us in bed just for the last few hours. It was a hard adjustment having her in our room with all of her noises. But after a few weeks she was more quiet and slept longer stretches in the swing. She would sleep 5-6 hours in it. We didn't want to change that!

At about 2 months in, I decided to try moving her to her crib. I tried a friend's Arm's Reach Co-sleeper and it was apparent that was not going to work. So, I moved her into her crib for the first stretch in her bouncy seat. She did ok, but woke up more often. She slid down in her seat and would arch her back in it- waking herself up.

The pediatrician suggested trying to swaddle her and put her in her crib. Both of our kids have hated the swaddle. Ethan flat out cried when we put it on him and then wiggled his way out of it. And by wiggle I mean  he was completely out of the swaddle in his diaper. Emma would wear it for a few hours and then wake up screaming until I undid the swaddle. Then she would look at me and smile. I decided the swaddle was not the way to go.

At about 2 1/2 months, I started putting her down earlier- when Ethan went to bed- so Jason and I could have a break. That was nice. One night she started screaming an hour into bed time with the arching and sliding down in her bouncy seat in her crib. So, I took her out and she woke up. I rocked her to calm her down and then put her in her crib just to see what would happen. She rolled onto her side and started to suck her hand. She started closing her eyes. I let her do that until she put herself to sleep. Then, she slept until 4 that night.

I have learned that if she is exhausted and nurses to sleep at bedtime, she will wake up about an hour later. But, if she gets a short evening nap, she can stay awake through nursing before bedtime and put herself to sleep in her crib.

Last night was the best night. Ethan didn't wake up, she stayed asleep until 5:15. I nursed her and she went back to sleep really quickly. I put her in her crib and she kept startling herself awake. It was 6 already by that time. No big deal. She came in bed with us for the last hour or so before the household is set to get up. I know there will come a time when she won't be in our bed at all and I will miss that snuggle time with her in the morning.

With Emma, sleeping has been a progression of steps. I think we tried to force Ethan to be in his crib away from us too soon. It was nice having Emma in our room for a while so that we could learn how she slept. We learned what noise meant what in the middle of the night and she got prompt attention if she needed it- often before full out crying. I think this helped her to be less anxious about sleeping all night and helped her to do it better for longer.

Ethan at 3 months- in bed at 9, up at 12, 3, 5 or 6, and then at 9.
Emma at 3 months- in bed at 9ish, up at 5, in bed with us until 7:30 or 8.

I'm a happier lady this time around. We'll see if this routine sticks or gets muddled with milestones and growth spurts. :)

Emma sleeping at the hospital.

Sleeping in bed with Mom during the snowstorm.

In her swing.

In Mom and Dad's bed in the morning. 
Don't worry she couldn't roll yet, and I held her close.

Emma in her bouncy seat in the crib.

Double trouble before Ethan's nap.

Ethan in the co-sleeper we borrowed for Emma. 
Notice the ball and owl in it with him.

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