Monday, March 12, 2007

Sleep-- Who Needs It?

Well, here's a quick update on sleep: The kid knows how to sleep; he'll go sometimes five hours. Rare, but it happens. His first night shift is often four hours, and we'll take it. Sometimes when he wakes up to eat, he'll quickly go back to sleep. Others he wants to fuss and fuss and eat and eat, but okay-- he's only ten weeks old, five adjusted, so I think he's doing pretty well.

So what's the problem then? He still only sleeps in our arms curled up like a weevil on our chest. I know this is not "safe sleeping practice," but he wakes up almost instantly if we try to put him down in the co-sleeper, baby seat, swing, our bed, etc. I kid you not. He can be totally limp and once he goes down by himself, his eyes literally POP open and he cries. Cries and cries. It's no good.

And it's getting dangerous as he is starting to move more in his sleep. We need to get him to sleep alone. And soon. I'm reading The No-Cry Sleep Solution and considering consulting Moxie.

He slept for an hour alone this morning in his swing. Could I put him there at night and not have it swing? My suspicion is that he has reflux and therefore sleeping slightly elevated and on his stomach feels better. I can't blame him. I like sleeping on my stomach better too. But we don't dare put him on his stomach alone for fear of SIDS. And truthfully, he doesn't like being on his stomach on his own much as illustrated by tummy time kvetching. I'm thinking of trying to prop the co-sleeper "mattress" up a little and see if he likes that better.

Don't tell me to swaddle-- that just frustrates the shit out of him and he gets really pissed off when we swaddle him.

We also dream of being able to sleep together in the bed again soon, cuddling up to each other, because as much as we love our Cricket, we really love each other too and spooning was previously one of our favorite things to do. And as comfortable as the reclining chair in the bedroom is, it can't shake a stick at the bed. The glorious bed.



Anonymous Liza said...

You *might* not be swaddling him tightly enough (ducks and covers). Failing that, yes, you can let him sleep in the swing. My second one ONLY slept in the swing, on high. Batteries were less expensive than the looney bin for mommy. You could also get a Pedicraft Reflux Wedge--they're horridly expensive but will keep him safely tilted at the proper angle if he does have reflux. In fact, I still have ours and nobody is small enough to fit in it--e-mail me if you'd like me to send it to you. Might be worth a try. Good luck ;-)

2:38 PM  
Blogger Robyn said...


both of our boys had reflux. and both of our boys slept on their tummies. with the first, i was totally freaked out by it...and with the 2nd, i was less so...but still...we are so ingrained to the whole "back to sleep" campaign (which IS important). i'd say...try having him sleep on his tummy...during a nap, when you are see if it helps at all. thankfully, our two are now nearly 2 and 4.5...and both no longer have reflux, and no harm came from sleeping on their tummies. though..neither is a great sleeper in his respective bed. good thing we have a king sized bed!

2:49 PM  
Anonymous Jenn said...

One of mine was like that. If he'll sleep in the swing, let him. What we also did was put him in a bouncy seat with a sleep positioner around him (to feel more snuggled). He was also usually swaddled, but he would just bust out of that. He slept in the bouncy in the crib for a long time. A wedge under the mattress might help or sleeping in the car seat might help too.

2:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Two thoughts from my experience with my son. (1) Have you tried putting him in the car seat to sleep once he has fallen asleep? (2) In my son's case, the "I need to sleep on you" thing was a phase. It ended right around three months actual (my son was about as early as yours was). He transitioned from sleeping on me to sleeping in a little three-walled thing (advertised as something to make co-sleeping safer) that we put in between us in bed and then we moved that thing into his crib.

3:30 PM  
Blogger DeadBug said...

Aarrgh. Just wrote a detailed reply and lost it. So, abbreviatedly, here it is:

I will also run for cover, but swaddling as tightly as a bratwurst made an unbelievable difference for our daughter, who also had reflux. I would say the swaddling helped even more than the Zantac the ped prescribed for the GERD.

Olivia hated the process of being swaddled for a few days, but would always calm down within a couple of minutes of the deed being done. After a week or so, she started to enjoy even the act of swaddling, and would sometimes fall asleep between layers (we used 2-3 light blankets to keep her securely encased).

As Anonymous mentioned above, the three-walled sleepers can be helpful as well for a few months. We also moved Oivia's to the crib once we made the big shift from our bed at around 8 weeks, and it kept her feeling a little more secure in the wide-open crib.

But, seriously, the swaddling was the big breakthrough. Super, super tight is the key.


5:49 PM  
Blogger Stacy said...

Have you considered an Amby swing? They are super snuggly and bounce and move.

And you can adjust the incline. I bought mine off of eBay.

James was just diagnosed with reflux at 9 months old. It is so frustrating because he will not sleep more than 2 hour at a time. We started him on Axid last week and he is sleeping longer...3 1/2 hours at a stretch. If I had known then what I know now I would have started him on treatment for reflux several months ago.

Also, he slept on his back until he was 6 motnhs old. Once he could roll over in both directions he started sleeping on his stomach. That doesn't bother me but he sleeps with his face down into the mattress. UGH! We did use a sensor that goes under the mattress for the first few months, once he was out of the Amby and in his crib. The sensor sets off an alarm if there is no movement after 30 seconds. It gave us piece of mind!

I don't know if any of that helps you but I hope so!

7:50 PM  
Blogger Kim said...

I think my rascals are about to wake up, so this will be quick:

-If you do decide to try swaddling again, try the Amazing Miracle Blanket. The first night we wrapped Ava up in it, she slept for four and a half hours (previous record was about 2.5 hours). That thing was amazing (as the name implies)!

-Definitely prop up the cosleeper. We had ours a huge angle because both babies had bad reflux. Also, Ava slept in the Babby Papasan for many nights because her reflux was so bad. Can you get an infant seat and just put that next to your bed?

-If you do decide to try tummy sleeping (which I wouldn't advise, but what the hell do I know?), you could always get one of those Angel Care monitors that beeps when no movement is detected for 20 seconds.

-Prevacid worked wonders for Ava for sleeping. There were a lot of sleepless nights before we caved and put her on meds. But I couldn't, for the life of me, think of a good reason to withhold something that might relieve her pain, even though I hated the idea of my kid being on medication.

Good luck!

1:57 PM  
Blogger Pixie said...

I hate to say it also-but swaddling worked wonders for my colicky-cry-every-second baby- When I put him anywhere on his back he was swaddled- BUT... To sleep for real sleep-TUMMY. He slept on his tummy. I was careful- we co-slept, I took off the soft feather mattress and made sure nothing could get in his way- and tummy sleeping was perfect for him. My doctor actually thought it would help him with digestion and it must have...
He's 4 1/2 now- sleeps every whichaway!
Good luck with your beautiful boy.

4:57 PM  
Blogger fisher queen said...

Yeah, I was going to say swaddling too. Tight. We would also get the Bear to fall asleep in his swing and then sneak him off to the bassinet. Eventually all he needed was the wave sound from the swing, and still needs to hear it from his crib from time to time.

8:34 PM  
Blogger Nico said...

We got the Angel Care monitor, and it was well worth the price for the peace of mind! If he will sleep on his tummy, I *highly* recommend that to make you feel better.

I had the same problem with Ant, that he would only sleep ON me, any time I tried to put him down he would wake up - I found that if I put him down before he fell asleep, rather than letting him fall asleep on me and then putting him down, that it made all the difference. I would bounce him on our exercise ball (aka the magic ball, worth trying if you don't have one) for about 3-5 minutes once he was tired, just until his eyes were closing, and then pop him in the crib. I hope that something works for you, I know how frustrating it can be!!

11:55 PM  
Anonymous calliope said...

no advice...but I just hope you can get some good sleep soon.

p.s. had your cd on the other night & it continues to kick ass

4:36 PM  
Blogger kati said...

not related to swaddling....

hi! you don't know me, but my name is kati and stumbled across your blog a month or so ago, when i started looking for info on lesbian couples doing IVF procedures. anyhow, i started devouring your blog--i'm only up to mid-2006 now, but i know things work out in the end, so it's a good read all around :) and since i have lots of free time at work, i spend lots of it checking on the progress of cricket's gestastion...

WHICH is probably why i had a dream about your blog last night. well, not about your blog specifically, but about the BOOK you are going to publish using the entries from this blog. really! i spent much of my dream flipping through it and being impressed. it contained all entries written here, obviously, although the part i got engrossed in was a second section, where you published several different e-mail conversations between you and anonymous readers (i don't know if you really ever emailed back and forth with readers, but...). they were really interesting, but the most provocative exchange was with an anonymous male who asked basic questions like "how can two women even dare to do this?" and "what exactly is so great about breastfeeding?" etc. and then at the end came a section where YOU were the anonymous commenter--you put in a section where you read in the newspaper about a woman whose son had died young (the cause was actually police brutality, but all that prooves is that i was watching CSI and law and order before going to sleep last night) and to whom you directed correspondence because you wanted to support her somehow. and she told you that the best thing to say is not that you understand and that you can help but simply, "i'm sorry."

so....that's weird, right? that i dreamed about your future publishing successes? hope it's a good sign :)

carry on!

12:34 PM  
Blogger Tamsin said...

We're only on day 9 of our son Toby's life, so not sure that I'm really qualified to comment, at least not from much experience.

However, I do have a recommendation; the Jaygee Babysooth CD (available on Amazon). It's "pink noise" and is amazing at soothing babies. I have no idea how it works, but it does. It has soothed our boy when he's been crying inconsolably.
I've lost track of quite how old Cricket is now - you're supposed to start using it before the baby is 10 wks old, so hope that it's not too late for you to try it(probably worth a whirl anyway).

3:41 PM  

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