1. I realized I wasn't getting to bed until nearly midnight because I'd be doing all my stuff after they went to bed, which made for Zombie Red once I went back to work. I get up at 6am to be at work by 8am. Figure six hours minus the 4:30am feeding equals about five hours of sleep. That's just not liveable for me.
|Probably how I look these days.|
2. I did a lot of reading and talking to other moms, and their kids were averaging about 11 hours of sleep at night. Ours were averaging about 8. This was likely creating a vicious cycle where they were then overtired the next day, napped erratically, got even more overtired, then didn't sleep as much at night, and so on. And napping does not have the same restorative features as nightsleep. Also, as the saying goes, "Sleep begets sleep." I.e., get your kids napping well and they will sleep better at night. And if they go to bed earlier at night, they will, quite ironically, go longer before waking up and sometimes will actually start sleeping through the night, because they are better rested and thus sleep more soundly.
So, our mission is two-pronged:
1. Get the kids napping more regularly. No more than two hours should pass between them waking and them going back into nap-land. I'm sure the daycare knows this, but judging from their recent naps, the babies are going too long in between naps during the day.
2. Work back their bedtime from 11pm to 8pm. If that works well, perhaps even try and move it to 7pm, which would probably be best for them. It would mean I would never see them, pretty much, until weekends, so that would be a bit rough on me.
So the plan:
I'm going to mention to daycare, as non-judgmentally as possible, that we really want to work on naptimes and wake times. It also seems that Periwinkle has a tougher time transitioning between sleep cycles and they might be getting her up when she starts to cry about 45 minutes into her nap. Instead she might just need some patting and shushing to help her fall asleep again for another sleep cycle. I'm going to work on this on weekends before I bring it up at daycare. For now we'll have them work on keeping wake times to two hours or less.
As for the second part, it's worked out pretty well that the babies are now eating around 8:30am, 12:30pm, and 4:30pm. Which leads to a last feeding around 8:30pm and a middle-of-the-night feeding around 3am. Last night Periwinkle was out like a light at 9pm. Indigo had a harder time, but he was the one with the worst napping yesterday so I chalked it up to overtiredness. He did eventually fall asleep for good at 10:08pm after a few cycles of us going up to calm him, rock him, and give him his pacifier back. The last time he cried, I could tell it was different. He would cry somewhat half-heartedly for a few moments, then be quiet for perhaps 20 seconds, then cry again. After a few minutes of that he finally quieted for good and fell asleep. I'm hoping he'll get better at calming himself like he did that last time, and that if we just give him five minutes to cry and then self-soothe he'll put himself back to sleep. It is SO hard to listen to him cry, though, and even though I say we're waiting five minutes, we never make it that long. Luckily Periwinkle can sleep through his crying! This part of sleep training is a work in progress. We still need to push their bedtime another hour earlier but I will let them adjust to 9pm first. We'll get there, little by little.
|Day 61 of Project365|
Then of course last night Periwinkle was crying at 2:15am, and Indigo woke up around then too, which he rarely does. We tried in vain to get them back to sleep before caving at 3am and feeding them. They both then resisted going back to sleep, and it took about twenty minutes of us going in and calming them (they alternated whose turn it was to cry, which was somewhat helpful) to finally fall asleep again. It's pretty rare that they resist going back to sleep in the middle of the night, so I'm hoping that was just a fluke and not a new normal. I'm sure it has something to do with their new, earlier bedtime, so perhaps in a few days they'll have adjusted and will drift back to sleep like they used to. I ordered Indigo one of the Woombie things Periwinkle has been using this week because his size small swaddling sleep sack just doesn't keep his arms from flailing the way the newborn size did, which I think makes it harder for him to fall asleep. I'm hoping, anyways!
Another thing we might try is a dreamfeed before we go to bed. Essentially you get them to eat while they are still in their crib asleep. This might push the MOTN feeding from 3am to 5am or something like that. We'll see if we feel the need to do that though. Just another tool in our arsenal.
Unless you are a parent of an infant, this was all probably horrible boring for you. If you are my parents or in-laws, this might help you understand what we're now trying to do for next time you are babysitting! I promise I'm not crazy (although Blue probably thinks I am) and there is a lot of evidence behind this whole "early to bed means better sleeping, happier babies" thing.