Thursday, March 16, 2006

To sleep perchance to dream... AS IF!

Believe it or not, it is not too early for Rebecca to be learning good sleep habits.

The challenge
1- To make Rebecca fall asleep in the crib (NB: There is a critical different between putting her in the crib asleep, and teaching her to fall asleep in the crib - the former is easy, the latter is not)
2 - To make Rebecca do the lion's share of her sleeping at night

To be avoided:
1 - Madeleine unintentionally falling asleep with baby in the rocking chair (due to sleep deprivation - this causes very bad neck pains)
2 - Madeleine sleeping with baby on the living room couch
3 - Baby getting addicted to sleeping on Madeleine's chest
4 - Having a hillbilly cosleeping arrangement with baby Becca (do I really know anything about the life and times of hillbilly families? No)
5 - Baby only sleeping in the vibro chair, carrier, or car seat

Current strategy:
1 - Try to limit the daytime sleeping by not letting her naps get too long
2 - Bathe her at night, put her into pjs, read her a bedtime story, and soothe her to just shy of asleep, then place her in crib
3 - When she is sleepy, put her in the crib
4 - Trying not to give in to the impulse to just snuggle her to sleep on my chest, no matter how tired and exhausted I am

What we know...

What puts Rebecca to sleep:
1 - Being in the cuddlywrap or snugli for a long time (unless she is super-alert)
2 - Riding in the car, in the car seat (unless she is uncomfortably warm)
3 - Extended cuddling
4 - Long stroller walks

What wakes Rebecca up:
1 - The cold or major temperature change (removing baby from the cuddlywrap, even if she is deeply asleep will always wake her up - if she has been sleeping for several hours she will be extremely cranky and hungry)
2 - Being unstrapped from things (such as car seat)
3 - Having her diaper changed
4 - Loud noises
5 - Hunger

What is helping:
1 - Rebecca is starting to give cues that she is tired by rubbing her eyes and being cranky

What is not helping:
1 - If she is sick, she needs more sleep and cuddles and food, so it throws off any semblance of routine
2 - The same is true for growth spurts
3 - The same is true if there are major uphevals or stresses in her life (for example, if she is visiting lots of people during the day, going to a new place etc.)

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