Saturday, December 17

Sleep

When the boys were born Johnny & I only had one other set of friends with a kid.  She was 2 years older than Colby, so a little beyond our stage.  So we went through NICU and babyhood and into toddlerhood "alone" without anyone else to compare to.  (Well, except for everyone on here, but I digress.)

But now, with round 2 with the girls, it seems like everyone and their mother is having babies.  On facebook just about every day there seems to be new baby pictures of friends and acquaintances and that random person I sat next to in Intro to Writing sophomore year.  (Because BU got facebook back in the day when it was The Facebook and when you connected with people by classes.)

My point?  Now we have lots of people to compare our kids to.  Johnny even has a friend who had a baby boy the same day the girls were born.  And Johnny does a lot of sleep comparing.  (Which is actually a little funny because he has never gotten up with the girls and sleeps just fine through the night...)

He's always telling me about the 2 month old who sleeps 11 hours a night, or the 3 week old who slept for 7 hours straight or the baby who wakes up at 10am every morning.

So, this all brings out a question Johnny has been asking a lot lately:

Why don't our kids sleep?


Seriously, what am I doing wrong?  Let's leave Colby out of this because I rocked him and cuddled him and he sleeps with us.  Whatever.  Lost cause.  He'll be out of the bed before kindergarten, so I'm not worried.

But the girls.  Seriously.  They're not cuddlers.  It's sad and makes me miss the cuddly Colby stage, but they're just not.  They're interactive and fun as heck, but they won't just nuzzle in for a good nap or rock.  Therefore, I can't cuddle them to sleep.  Sydney especially- lay her down and give her a pacifier and she's good to go.  Both can fall asleep on their own.  They can both soothe themselves back to sleep with their pacifiers or hand sucking.  The can both down 8+ ounces right before bed at 7:30/8pm.

So why do they wake up 3 or more times every night?  What am I doing wrong?  They seem to have all the "tools" to sleep through the night, but they still get hungry 2 or 3 times a night.  And it's not that they wake up for a "snack".  No, instead, around 11 then 2 then 5 they'll down another 4-5oz at a time.  They definitely get most of their food at night.  During they day they may take a 3oz bottle around 9, a 5oz bottle around 1 and then a 3oz bottle around 4 or 5.  They go back to sleep easily after eating at night, so it's not like they have their days and nights mixed up.  They're just late night eaters.  How do I fix that?

Honestly, I don't really mind because I'm still getting up to pump and I do love the night time snuggle sessions (because they're more cuddly when half asleep than when awake during the day) but I feel the need to fix this more for them.  I feel like they'd be more rested if they slept a longer stretch than 3 hours at a time.  (Though, to be honest, it's not like they seem like they're not well rested, so really it might not be an issue...)

I've tried getting them to eat more during the day, but it doesn't really work.  I've tried to "trick" them with a pacifier at night to cut the night feedings down, but that REALLY doesn't work.  I don't want to do anything that is upsetting to them and if this is what they really do need then I DON'T want to do anything to change it.  But any suggestions?

But I do keep telling Johnny... some babies and people just never do sleep all through the night.  I have never been someone to sleep through the night.  For as long as I can remember I've always gotten up 2-3 times for the bathroom or for a quick drink.  Usually I'm up for 2 minutes tops and I can fall right back to sleep, though.  Maybe the girls (and Colby) are just more like me?

(And before you ask, introducing solids has only succeeded in adding some messy late night diapers- it hasn't helped the sleep at all.  Oh, and Zoe is not a fan of solids.  As in, the second I try to feed her something she starts gagging and trying to throw it up.)

But they're so cute I can't stand it.






8 comments:

Mikala said...

Both my daughter and my nephew never slept. My sister-in-law and I had extremely watery breast-milk. Meaning when it all settles, there is only a tiny amount of fat at the top. With my second kid, the fat on my milk was much thicker, and my daughter slept. My sister-in-law's was not. She decided to supplement every other bottle with formula, and the the little guy started sleeping. I am a huge believer in breast-feeding, but I guess for some (and especially my first daughter) it would have paid to give some formula so she had a few more calories in the day. Obviously, there is no doctor opinion behind this, but I know you are going back to school- and I do the same thing. Being a teacher requires sleep! I can't tell you how many spelling quizzes I screwed up because of no sleep!!! Hope this helps. Best luck to you when you go back to work. Being a working momma is the hardest thing I have ever done!!!

Mikala said...

I should have asked first if you do formula feed? And, I forgot to mention that yes, your little ones are so cute!

Stace said...

Nope, we're 100% breast milk here. SO that might be it, and i knew that going in that breastfed babies wake more. And it's taken SO long to get to this point that I'm not really willing to supplement to get them to sleep (unless, of course, it would be better for them). I have no issues with formula (Colby was formula fed from 12 weeks on & he's super healthy) I'd just rather stick to what I've worked for. :)

May said...

I took the route of slowly transitioning some of those night calories into daytime. Mine just got used to eating at night, and so that's when they're hungriest. Fewer distractions from feeding, etc. So, the trick was to get them hungry during the daytime and not at night.

One was breastfed, so that was trickier. The other one was formula fed since I went into kidney failure at his delivery and never made any milk, so he was easier. I started making his night bottles smaller. Instead of 6 ounces, I did four nights at 5 ounces, then four nights at four ounces, etc. Eventually when the bottles got really small I started taking the 1 or 2 ounces of formula and adding some extra water so his tummy was still full of warm liquid, but it just no longer had all those calories in it. He started taking in more during the day, wasn't hungry at night, and we all got more sleep.

The breastfed one was trickier. I had to have my husband feed her bottles of expressed milk, again smaller and smaller, until she started sleeping through feeds too.

Good luck!

Catherine W said...

Argh I don't have any advice but I do have sympathy! I've got just the one breast fed baby, just slightly older than your girls, and he won't sleep through! He is up at LEAST three times a night, sometimes every half an hour which is getting a bit tiring!

Jess was, like Colby, formula fed after a certain age and she had been in the NICU so long that she was institutionalised and used to wake up every four hours on the dot, like an alarm clock, and then go straight back to sleep!

If it can be of any reassurance, Jessica was also snuggled to sleep every night and she sleeps in her own bed now, no problems whatsoever!

And, more importantly, your girls are SUPER CUTE! And Colby too obviously! You have such beautiful children, hopefully they will soon start sleeping beautifully too! Good luck!

Hoping for our own Peanut said...

I wish I had some advice. We were blessed with a fantastic sleeper from 6 weeks old. And he was exclusively breatfed. Im sure baby #2 will never sleep.

I always say some kids need sleep and some dont. Trevor seriously sleeps 12 hours at night and about 2 hours during the day. His friend the same exact age doesnt nap and barely sleeps 9 hours. Crazy how different they can be!

You need a night off..a full nights sleep. Ask for that for Christmas. ;)

And uhm, yes, those pictures are to die for. They are like little dollies.

Jen: Proud Mom of 7 Adopted Miracle Blessings said...

I love the fact that Johnny seems obsessed with this- lol... can't help but wonder- based on my experience with my husband pretending to sleep through the twins feedings- if Johnny isn't awake through some or most of the feedings as well? I wish I could remember how I discovered Pat was faking, but I can't-lol!!!! Your girls are so cute and I love the photos!!! Please keep them coming!!!

Hugs!!!

iamstacey said...

I love all the crafts you're doing! They're adorable! :)

Davie slept thru the night until the day she got her six months shots. From that exact night on, she wakes up twice a night. A full bottle usually gets her right back to sleep, but still, it sucks that she was sleeping through before and now we can't get her back to it.