Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Sleep

Sleep. Ahh...how good that sounds. Sweet, uninterrupted sleep really does sound like heaven now. I used to take it for granted and stayed up late so I can check one more tweet, comment on one more instagram photo, like one more facebook status, or watch one more youtube video. I guess I still do that (social media is an addiction I fully embrace), but I can honestly say I do that less now because of Liam.

Even though I feel like I am sleep-deprived, I actually get quite a lot of sleep every night. It's just that having to pull myself out of bed at 3 or 4 am makes my body think that I am not getting enough sleep. Hence, I am feeling sleepy everyday. If I could just sleep through the night, and have uninterrupted sleep for one night, I would be so happy.

Speaking of sleep, I am so happy with Liam! I started rocking him to sleep when he was a few weeks old. I think it became more of a habit for me than him. For some reason, I believed that he wouldn't be able to sleep if I didn't rock him. For weeks I thought that was the only way (and sometimes with the bottle) to get him to go to sleep. Yes, for a while he would cry and cry and cry when he was sleepy and would continue to cry even after we had put him down in his crib to sleep. So we'd always have to pick him up and rock him til he fell asleep in our arms (usually my arms. For some reasons, he liked to bully his daddy and would not go to sleep no matter how he rocked him). Sometimes it takes more than an hour to get him to fall into a deep sleep (if he were in a light sleep, he'd wake up immediately after we put him down in his crib) and my arms would feel so sore after that and the day would fly by way too quickly before I even got one thing done.

I have noticed a change in the past few days. I am not sure what caused the change. I am not sure how it happened. Liam went to bed without having to be rocked. He didn't cry and cry and cry when I put him down in his crib. He didn't struggle to stay awake like he used to. He didn't wake every 5 minutes fussing to be rocked to sleep again. He didn't have to sleep with a bottle in his mouth. The best thing is he slept for about 5 hours the first stretch of the night and wake up once after his dream feed. The same thing happened for his naps. He didn't have to be rocked to sleep, very little fussing, and he napped longer too. This is such a huge improvement! I don't want to jinx it, but I am so happy and proud of him. I am not dreading him being awake now because getting him to sleep isn't going to take all day anymore! I have more time doing my own things like revising my project write-up, blogging, watching Monk, making dinner, and even napping! I knew that this day would come. But I didn't know it could happen before his 2 month birthday!

I think the thing that really really helped was swaddling him for naps and sleep. He didn't like to have both his hands straight down his sides and I used to think he looked so uncomfortable in the swaddling pod so I didn't swaddle him for weeks. But I noticed that he liked to eat his hands before falling asleep and that kept him awake! So I decided to eliminate that by swaddling him. And it worked! It kept him warm too, since he used to always kick his blankets away. I also put him down after he's been awake for 90 minutes to two hours. He usually can't stay awake and still be a happy clam past that. I also notice that by keeping our room dark and have the fan as white noise, he's able to stay asleep longer. I still pat his side gently and sing to him til he closes his eyes (usually that only takes 5 minutes). Then I leave the room. I know this is still way too early to say but if people were to asked me what helped my baby sleep better, I would say swaddling (Dr.Karp's first S), pay attention to the time he is awake and put him down as soon as he shows sign of sleepiness, which is around 90 minutes after babies wake (I read this in "The 90 minute baby sleep program"), burp him before putting him down (Liam's way of telling me he is gassy is by curling his tongue forward--I read this in "The Blossom Method"), and keeping his sleep area comfortable. Even though I still have to wake up at 3 or 4 am to change his diaper and feed him, I am so happy that he'd already made so much progress.

A few things that contributed to this success is a) Liam's slowly-maturing neurons, b) all the sleep training books (find their points of agreement), c) Mr.L's help (whenever I have a new idea or learn something new that I want to try out, he's always on board and does his best to help), and d) lots of practice and patience. I was sleep-deprived (that leads to frustration and depression), but now I am happy. I believe when people say it gets better. I truly believe now.

This is why he needs to be swaddled.


with his new stuffed toy, a BYU sock monkey. 

This was how he liked to sleep when he was in my arms. And I notice a bald patch. A small, old man, indeed.

Everytime he gets in the car seat, this is what happens. 

1 comment:

Lia said...

This doesn't really seem like your kind of thing, but I nominated you for the "Liebster Blog Award" :) You can look at my post here with all the details if you choose to pass it on!

http://www.arealgoodbet.com/2012/11/for-me-its-not-about-winning-award-its.html