Sunday, February 19, 2017

February 2017 - Part 2 - Sleep

February 2017 – Part 2


After Ananda returned to work in October she continued with breast-feeding Francis  about three times a night. It was obviously very tiring for her to do this and go to work, where she was also pumping through the day. So we decided to try and reduce the number of night feeds. The plan was that I would go and settle him when he woke at all times except for one time about 2am for an actual feed.

His normal pattern before this plan was bed about 8:30pm, waking about 11:30pm, again at 2am and 5am and then getting up at 6:30am.  Francis and I took to this really well to start with. For example for his 11:30pm wake-up at first I would have to go into his room and pick him up, offer him some water – which he always refused - and then cuddle him back to sleep. This very quickly evolved into me going into his room, saying “lie down Francis”, placing my hand on his back for a few seconds and him going back to sleep. As I said we reached this point very quickly, but then it just plateaued.

I guess I was expecting that soon afterwards he would not even bother waking at this point. But some nights he is up multiple times between 11:30pm and 1:30am, just for a few minutes each time, but it still breaks his and mine sleep cycles.  It could be his teething – incisors are coming in, or are we just replacing one habit with another one?

At the same time we’ve made progress with the process of putting him to sleep. Oh my, I sound like a vet, but you know what I mean! I used to give him his milkies, cradle him in my arms, and sing and pat him to sleep, all in about 15 minutes.  (I really loved doing this!) 

Then, I withdrew the patting, then the singing and we’ve reached the point where I hold him for up to 5 minutes in my arms, then put him down in his cot when he is still awake. I then just sit in the chair in his room and wait until he falls asleep.   

At times getting to this stage seemed like a Pyrrhic victory as this process would sometimes take about 50 minutes, but we persevered and it's gotten really good. Next step I guess is putting him down and just walking out the room. Not quite brave enough to do that yet though.

We’ve also transitioned almost completely to one nap a day. A three hour nap from noon until about 3pm. Boy has this messed up my lunch schedule with him, but we’re getting better at having an early lunch.

So, coupling the progress in Francis settling himself to sleep from an awake state AND the cessation of all but one night time feed, why is he still not sleeping through the night? If you have any suggestions, please leave a comment below or email me or Ananda.

Sometimes I’m firmly in the camp of the “let him cry it out” side of the debate, whereas Ananda is never in that camp, and this has led to the odd sleepy argument at 2am or whatever time it is I feel frustrated. Maybe Ananda should just take the Trump line and say that the new sleep roll out “is going very smoothly and working like a fine-tuned machine. Bigly!” 

It can be a real struggle for me sometimes dealing with such little sleep especially since I cannot nap through the day time to catch up. And I used to be so good at little or no sleep as my years as a research scientist and on-call support person had seen me very practiced at staying awake for up to 36h at a time. I guess some of my argument for the crying it out solution is that is it more psychologically damaging to Francis to have a tired, cranky parent looking after him through the day, versus, a few nights of crying hell for Francis?  I guess we’ll never know.

I could of course be over-reacting and it could be teething……. Will we ever know?

Summer Time and the Living is Easy.

We’ve done quite a bit of camping in our motor home in the last month or so. Francis really loves it and exploring the world inside and outside the campervan. Here’s some pictures….

Sunset at Maketu reflected in the campervan windows.

At Cook's Beach we had our own private lagoon.

Trying to keep Francis sun safe!

He loves climbing in and out of the campervan...

... and playing in the sand.

He likes to try and escape too, when no-one is watching
We also had some of my Family visit and we stayed in the campervan at National Park whilst they stayed in the hotel. Here we are at the Taranaki Falls at Tongariro National Park. Had a great time when they were here - sorry about the bad weather!

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