Saturday, September 7, 2013

Baby Sleep Part 2: Dealing with an overtired newborn!

In part 1 I dispensed my greatest piece of advice about baby sleep. I truly believe that relaxing about baby sleep is the key to a less stressed out Mama and Papa, especially in the early days when you are just trying to survive. Anyways, next up I wanted to talk a little bit about the issue of an overtired newborn/infant. I'm not sure the time cap on this little bit of "advice", since things are so new, we're only 4 months in after all!!

When we started trying to get Madeline to go to sleep earlier, we started also battling a little with her actually going to sleep. My instinct told me she was overtired, which is a vicious cycle because instead of falling asleep from exhaustion, babies seem to just scream and scream and be unable to actually do the thing they need the most when they are overtired. Sleep. So I decided to implement a sleep "regime". I became obsessed. I read that little babies should not be awake more than 1-2 hours at a time before going to sleep.

My plan was to do whatever it took to get her to sleep after she had been awake no more than 2 hours. In the early days she always fell asleep in the stroller, and in the car. So, every two hours, if I couldn't get her to nap by nursing or by putting her in her swing, I suited up and got out of the house with her. I know it's hard to believe, but on day one this made putting her to bed a million times easier. She was no longer overtired! Yay! I did this for weeks, it was a little exhausting because I was still in that place where I wanted to sleep when she slept, and if I was out pushing the stroller, or driving the car, I couldn't do that. Mama sacrifices though, right?

Eventually, around 8 weeks, Madeline no longer needed the movement to go to sleep, so I could nurse her and put her down in her crib at the 2 hour mark, which was such a HUGE milestone to me. I could finally get some stuff done around the house, and nap!!! Oh sweet naps. We have been blessed with a good sleeper though, I am not sure if she really falls in the realm of normal for her age. I am so so so grateful. However, I do think that creating a good nap plan can really help every baby. I hope that this might help someone that's reading.

I gotta say though, people don't like unsolicited advice (I certainly don't either!), so writing about this here is kind of therapeutic for me. I can advise, advise, advise, and not worry that people are annoyed :)

1 comment:

Jamie said...

Thank you for your nuggets of wisdom from the trenches! I'm filing all of this away and hopefully it comes to the surface when I am dealing with my own overtired newborn.

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