Sunday, July 17, 2011

(Real) Sleep

I have debated whether to write what I'm about to write. I'm afraid it will cause everything to unravel again. But I know you are all anxiously waiting to hear how Baby's sleep has been lately and how my lack of sleep has affected my return to work recently.

Photo by: Mike Cohen
But, I'm throwing caution to the wind so here I go.

You'll remember that months ago Baby and I went on a very strict elimination diet. We had some good results quite quickly. Sleep was off/on in terms of the 30-90 minute wake ups. However, we never did get back to anything longer than a 3 hour stretch though...and even those became few and far between.

Then one day, I decided to give up caffeine again. Every night since then, Baby has slept well. And by well I mean she was only waking every 4ish hours EVERY night for 2 weeks. What the...? Really? Caffeine? REALLY? Are you kidding me (I thought to myself)?

This 'good' sleep continued for another couple of weeks or so and I decided now was a good time to try and night wean since Baby was sleeping so well. For us, night weaning was going to mean cutting out one nursing session so we would both hopefully get a 6-8 hour stretch of sleeping. I have to preface this by saying that Baby hasn't been nursing for more than maybe 1-2 minutes when waking up in the middle of the night for many months. So, anyway, Baby is 18 1/2 months old now and her language comprehension is quite good. I was able to tell her that the "milkies" were going to sleep at night and that we could nurse when it was light outside. The first two nights she tossed and turned a little bit when I told her milkies were sleeping when she woke up. No real crying but there was a little bit of fussing vocally. By the third night she was still waking up but not fussing at all to nurse. It's been 3 weeks now and Baby does not nurse between about 10:30pm and 5 or 6am. She usually only wakes once and just cuddles up. Between 8ish and 10ish she nurses a couple of times and she likes to nurse in the morning. She's still sleeping in until 8am and her behaviour hasn't changed during the day. I feel confident that she was really ready for this. I know I was. I did feel guilty when I first started thinking about night weaning but I was so desperate for sleep that I knew I'd have to try something before I went back to work. I don't think night weaning is the answer for everyone. Nor is it the answer for any time. Luckily for us though, I was ready, Baby was ready and our timing was perfect.

It is amazing to be sleeping again. Really sleeping. Sleeping and dreaming. Sleeping and feeling refreshed in the morning.

Sleep makes things feel better.

Disclaimer: I have NO idea if caffeine was actually the culprit or maybe Baby was just ready developmentally to have more sleep. Who knows. I'm taking what I can get and enjoying it.

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