Lucky Mom

Dec. 11, 2006

Sleep Rocks

Ever since I wrote “She Hates Us - Why?”, Julia has decided to be a champion sleeper. I think she heard us praise Alec about the fact that he has always been the champ and didn’t want to be outdone (apparently, sibling competition already).

I hesitated to write this as I was afraid it would jinx us but now that a pattern has been established, I feel it’s semi-safe to do so.

Julia has been sleeping 8 – 8.5 hrs straight a night for several weeks now (oh, and then goes back to sleep for another 2-3 hrs after her feeding to make it a tidy 11 hrs).

My neighbor cautioned me about bragging about this as she stated sleep deprived moms will not find this so exciting and there could be a backlash of Bitch mail.

My argument? Sleep deprived moms don’t have the time to read this so hopefully they won’t know. Plus, I’m cool with a moderate amount of Bitch mail. Plus, not nursing for that many hours has killed my breast milk supply which sucks.

Anyway, I’m rather fond of my sleep. And though I’m no baby sleep expert, I thought I’d share what our ‘strategy’ was as it has worked for both our kids now.

Maybe we’re onto something, or we’re just lucky or it’s hereditary or whatever.

I like to keep charts. Spreadsheets, written notes whatever. So, ever since Julia was born, I’ve been tracking her nightly sleep in order to determine what would make her want more. I desperately wanted my sleep and was willing to do whatever homework it took.

We tried various combinations of the following, changing only one variable per night.

  1. Julia’s room temperature (from 68-71 in increments of one degree)
  2. Layers of Clothing (2-3)
  3. Heaviness of clothing layers (light, medium or heavy; sleeves?)
  4. Swaddling blanket (Halo Sleep bag with swaddling feature)
  5. No swaddling blanket
  6. Hat
  7. No hat
  8. Music (classical, jazz, meditation etc.)
  9. Volume level of Music (from 1-5)
  10. Bath (yes or no)
  11. Start time of bath (8:00-8:45 in five-minute increments)
  12. Water temperature of bath (94-97 in one degree increments)
  13. Bottle or nurse before bed (if bottle, 3, 3.5 or 4 ounces?)
  14. Time to bed (9:00-10:30 in 15 minute increments)

So, you can see the endless possibilities. It’s a statistical nightmare to try and change only one component a night. Millions of combinations.

BUT, we did it. We somehow hit the right combination for Julia.

We put Julia to bed in her 69° temperature room wearing one light and one heavy layer of clothing with a swaddling blanket and hat at 9:00pm. We play a CD called Lifescapes:Calming Sea all night at volume level 3. She has a 95° bath at 8:15pm and a 4 ounce warm bottle afterward. Bed at 9:00pm. (The CD was the last change and it iced the cake, taking us to over 8 hrs consistently. I think she goes into a sleep trance or something.)

So, please don’t call us between 8:15-9:00pm. We’re a bit busy. Gracias.

2 Comments Posted (Add Yours)

1

I, too, like to keep charts. Mark the chart!

2

I agree...sleep rocks! I am now asking myself..what the heck have I done getting pregnant with baby number three? My first two were sleep angels and I am praying daily that this little girl will be a fantastic little sleeper just as her big brothers were. I adore my sleep and am dreading the first month or so of sleep deprivation. Pray for me! Can I borrow that chart possibly, I just may need it! Ha! Congrats!

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