If you Google "sleeping baby images" thousands of images of sleeping babies come up. None of which are our child. At 10 and a half months, Nathan still does not sleep through the night, nor does he make up for it with naps.
When he was born he was only 5 lbs, 7oz. When we left the hospital he was only 5 lbs. The doctors, nurses and the lactation consultant said to wake him to eat every 3 hours - and this is where I think our problems began. Yes, it was important that he eat, but I still wonder how long he would have slept if we hadn't been waking him up.
As he got older, our family doctor told me outright not to do any "sleep training" with him as he is still very thin and he probably wakes up to eat because he's hungry. So we're fast approaching his first birthday (much too soon), and he's still skinny, but he's also tall, very active, and meeting his milestones too - but still not sleeping through the night.
A "typical" day for us lately is:
- Nathan wakes up around 7 am (although the past few mornings he's woken up at 6)
- We eat (he often refuses cereal and just wants a portion of a bottle - he's a morning grazer)
- We play - he will watch Baby T.V. while I eat and read e-mail
- He goes for a bath
- And, usually, he will nap about 3 hours after he wakes up. This gives me 30 minutes to get dressed, make the bed, clean the kitchen, and basically get ready for the rest of the day. Yes, you read that right - 30 minutes.
- After he gets up we'll either go and run some errands or just hang out until Hubby comes home for lunch. I try to avoid running errands near "nap time" because I'd rather he sleep in his crib than in the car
- The afternoon usually consists of another nap of approx. 30 minutes and, if we didn't go out in the morning, an outing (errands, walk, etc).
- He's usually due for a nap around 5 pm but this is when he starts to fight it. By 6:30 he's really pushing it but by now I don't want him to nap because it's close to bedtime.
- By 7:30 - 8pm it is bedtime. Either Hubby or I will take him up, give him a bottle and put him to bed.
And this is where it gets ugly. Last night for example:
- 7:30 pm - Nathan goes to bed
- 9:30 pm - Nathan wakes up - I go in to rock him back to sleep
- 10:30 pm - Nathan wakes up - I go in to rock him back to sleep. As soon as I put him back in the crib, he wakes up. Repeat the process 4 times.
- 11:30 pm - Nathan still awake and getting very upset. Give in, make up a bottle - he sucks back 6 oz of formula like he's starved.
- 11:45 pm - Nathan dozing. Continue to rock him in the chair for 15 minutes to make sure he's really asleep.
- 12 (midnight) - put him back in crib. Nathan wakes up. Pick him up, rock him. He proceeds to wake up each time I try to sit.
- 12:30 am - Ensure that he is mostly asleep, bring him into bed with me. Ensuring that at least I will get some sleep.
- 5:30 am - Nathan starts to stir - Mom gets kicked repeatedly
- 5:30 - 6 am - ignore baby in bed hoping he goes back to sleep
- 6 am - give in. Go back to Nathan's room. Change diaper, make up another bottle. Bottle gives Nathan sudden burst of energy.
- 6:15 am - still in denial. Hoping if I continue to rock that the motion will put him to sleep.
- 6:25 am - realize that I have no control. Look at cat sleeping on my bed longingly as I walk by with the baby to start our day.
And this was a good night. It's not uncommon for him to wake up at 1 am or 3 am to eat and "play" for a couple of hours. To recap: yesterday he napped for a total of 1 hour, 20 minutes, then slept off and on for maybe 7 hours last night. So in the past 24 hour period, my child has slept through roughly 9 hours of it. This can't be normal! Right now I'm blaming teething, but nothing that I seem to do to help him, has helped me.
My only saving grace is that he's a very happy child. Thank goodness for that!