No, this post is dedicated to my friend Liz who's son does not sleep. Like, at all. He will be one on October 13th (birthday twins with Brian!) but according to her, he just never sleeps. Or at least enough to her liking.
It's so funny how obsessed mothers are with sleep. I know I am. You talk to others, you compare sleep schedules, you fret about your child's lack of sleep, you fret about your child sleeping too much, you yell at your husband because he gets to sleep through the night while you suffer (okay, that might not be everyone, just me.) Sleep is so hugely important. I really wish we were all like the Cullen family and could just go forever with no sleep, ever. Bella really had it good --- (spoiler alert for Twilight fans who have not read all the books) --- she got pregnant, had the baby, and then immediately became a vampire. Wow, that's tough (not). She had three bad days of that fire-in-her-blood stuff and then she became one of the Undead. When little Reneesme didn't sleep through the night...no problem. Bella was awake. Forever.
Okay, I'm rambling. Anyways, sleep is hugely important. I used to lecture my clients about the importance of good sleep hygiene. I know the basics, I also know a guy in Japan died after staying awake by playing video games for 36 straight hours. His body never had a chance to repair itself on the cellular level, and he just went caput. Sleep is THAT important. I don't want to go caput anytime soon, nor do I want that for Scotty-bear.
And so, new mothers and mothers-to-be, run, don't walk, to get the following book: "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Baby," by Mark Weissbluth. This man is a genius. And what he says makes total sense.
A lot of the book is geared for older kids, but he establishes some good, basic rules in the beginning. The two main tenants are 1.) once your baby has reached his birth weight, never wake a sleeping baby, and 2.) babies under four months should never be awake for more than 1-2 hours. MAX.
I read the second tenant and was like, "Huh?" And then the light bulb went off. A lot of Scotty's fussiness wasn't attributed to him, it was due to me. (We like to call this 'user error' in house.) My mistake was to misread his cues. His fussiness was actually overtiredness, and I was missing his sleep window.
I readjusted a few things, and now I am super vigilant of the clock. We play in the morning from 10:30-12:30, but at 12:00, I am already preparing the next warm bottle, I'm moving him to a dark room, I'm wrapping him in a nice blanket...anything that is warm and comforting and promotes sleep. I found that after a day or two, he adjusted to his, and by 12:30, he was out. Cold. And his nap would last until 3:30-4:00pm. A lovely, happy baby greeted me, ready for another round of wakefulness, but by 6pm, he was ready to go down again.
Brian and I have been able to enjoy dinners together without a screaming baby, we can actually talk like adults, and it allows me more time to blog. :-) Seriously, though, this book makes all the sense in the world. I don't know how well it works for birth to 4 weeks (since I didn't find it until 5 weeks), but it is rocking my world right now.
Obviously, all of this can change at a moment's notice. Now that I've put it in print, I'm sure he will be a Crazy Baby tomorrow. But I have learned to respect the nap. And leave a sleeping baby lie. And it's made my life 100% easier.
(and, if that isn't great enough, my friend Sandy's sister actually SEES Dr. Weissbluth as her pediatrician. A celebrity pediatrician! I guess he works at Northwestern in Chicago. I kind of want him to sign my book...)
So, Lizzie, hang in there. I'm sorry that Wes has given you a run for your money, sleep-wise. At least breast feeding worked out! It always seems like there is a trade-off.