Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Sleep, Spit Up and Laundry: Living with an almost 6 week old baby


This is Maggie's Crib. It is a MAGICAL wonderful place where babies sleep 6 1/2 - 7 1/2 hours each night. YES! Since we transitioned Maggie to her crib last week, she has gone this long between feedings. Last night was just about the perfect schedule and I'm hoping we can repeat it:

7:00 Bottle with Nate
8:00-9:00 Working to get her to Sleep, which eventually happens
10:00 Wake up to eat - I went to bed right when she was done
5:30 AM WAKE UP TO EAT AGAIN!!!

We both got 7 hours of sleep! When I wake up to go feed her, I always look at the clock, which is on Nate's side of the bed. This morning I actually said "Oh My God" out loud because I was so surprised.

Maggie has always been a pretty good night sleeper. However, we still struggle with daytime naps. It is still hit or miss. Again, I say this not to complain - one who's baby is sleeping that much at night 5 1/2 (6 weeks tomorrow!) in should never complain. We continue to work on daytime naps. We actually started swaddling her. I know, I know - I said she hated being swaddled. I think this was a misinterpretation by her parents. I swaddled her yesterday and she liked it. Normally at night, we put her in one of those swaddlers with her arms out. Well, her hands are usually very cold when I go to feed her and she scoots herself to the side of the crib and sticks her arms out so we decided to start swaddling her at night too. It seems to help her calm down more to sleep so I'm sticking with it. This is the type of thing that makes you feel like a bad parent - like, I should have been swaddling her all this time! duh! Oh well - not going to dwell on it.

I think a big thing that has helped with sleep is learning when she JUST starts to get tired. She does "seem" wide awake at this point but if we can get her to start working on going to sleep at this point, instead of waiting to the point where she is actually overtired, it works much better. As my friend AH said, "working with overtired babies is like dancing with the devil". And although many people have told me to try to keep her up during the day, this actually backfires on us. If we can get her to sleep more during the day, she sleeps better at night. Sleep begets sleep. So if she is tired, I let her sleep. There is no "try to keep the baby awake" in our house.

Another thing that has changed is the amount of laundry I have. Maggie started to spit up around 3 weeks ago. Since then, the amount of laundry we have has quadrupled because guess what - spit up smells. Most mornings, I find the sheet under her head damp. Often this soaks through to the mattress pad so we have been doing a LOT of laundry here. This morning she totally smelled like spit up so I decided to wash her hair in the kitchen sink. She was all clean, lounging on her changing table:

when she spit up again. Freshly clean hair no more. I went through 5 washcloths this morning! Add it to the laundry pile.

She also has developed baby acne/newborn rash. It isn't too bad but I would like it to go away. It doesn't bother her at all, of course. I don't Google much but upon googling "newborn rash", one thing I was traumatized by was the Baby Center Visual Rash Guide. EWW. I hope to God that she doesn't develop many of those. GROSS.

She continues to love lights, windows, ceiling fans, black picture frames on the wall, her activity mat with this scary panda thing (scary in my mind, not hers) and she seems to be liking books more. Her recent favorite is Baby! Baby! She smiled at two of the pictures while looking at it yesterday and the green and black frog featured there will definitely put her in a trance.

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