07 March 2010

Baby Sleep 6

Over the past 3 weeks, we have become accustomed to relying on caffeine to get through the day- a habit we normally avoid, which makes it work so much better when we need the extra kick.  Jackson's sleep habits have improved such that now he usually gets a good 5 hour block of sleep during the night, but it seems like once I wake up at night, I'm awake for at least an hour. 

Teething has been the biggest sleep interruption, lately.  While we normally rely on massaging his gums, teething tabs and gel (now paraben free), the only time he sleeps well right now is after a dose of ibuprofen.  Luckily, Jackson's third tooth broke free today, and while the one next to it is equally swollen, we may have a day or two before that one starts to cause trouble.

The biggest improvement in Jackson's sleeping has been through reduced nighttime feedings.  Once he turned 6 months old 2 weeks ago, we stopped feeding Jackson between about 10p and 4a (he is in bed from about 6:30p to 6:30a).  As we expected, it took a bit more work- it seemed like a step backwards in the sleeping process, at first.  Because we removed on form of comfort during the night, we began picking him up and rocking him to sleep.  Since he eats less at night, he makes up for it during the day, which in turn makes the nights go better (when there's not a tooth ripping through his gums, of course).  Jason made the greatest progress to sleeping through the night without our help within a month of removing his nighttime feedings, and it looks like it has helped Jackson quite a bit, too.

Napping has improved to the point that I can put Jackson down 2 to 3 times a day, and the first might only be 30 or 45 minutes, but the late afternoon nap can last up to 2 hours, not counting having to calm him down once or twice.  While Jackson's naps get longer, though, Jason's naps are becoming more difficult.  As he nears his second birthday, Jason already has better things to do than nap, and I am not able to spend more than 10 minutes on a nap routine.  He has missed 3 naps in the past week, which makes for a fussing evening and a tired mom.

We are nearing the 6 week mark, and logic and stubbornness help get us through the night.  Since we are making progress, slowly and steadily, and we've seen the process work, most days and nights are okay.  I won't make any predictions about the next few weeks, but I am optimistic.

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