Thursday, 20 December 2018

Baby Blogging: The Sleep Situation!

I had a Keep In Touch day at work today and one of the questions I was asked was 'what's changed the most?' After pausing for thought and considering the fact that I now have a tiny human dependant on me, that everything takes longer, that my day isn't complete until I get a smile from Annabelle or (the one I decided wasn't work appropriate) that my boobs start to really hurt after a few hours of not feeding, I went with sleep.

Now when I say sleep has changed the most I think it's because over the last 5 and half months my sleep has changed numerous times. I can definitely say my sleep has changed from before Annabelle.

Overall I think we have been super lucky with Annabelle and her sleeping. At the start she required feeding fairly frequently but as she grew so did the periods between feeds. At best I think we have had 7 hour of undisturbed sleep - a regular night for us before having a baby.

As Annabelle hit 3 months we were consistently getting nights where only one or two feeds were required, those feeds were quick and she'd often go straight back to sleep. She also really started to like a lay in so we wouldn't get up till 9am.

Then 4 months rolled around and we hit sleep regression. By hit I mean sleep regression hit us, like a steam train. We were unprepared for it. Our great sleeper decided she hated sleep. She hated naps, she hated going to sleep and once asleep she hated staying asleep and would be awake within 20 minutes. After 3 days we were exhausted.

Of course we hit Google and other blogs and asked for advice on Instagram and messages were clear.
1. Whatever you do now will set how she sleeps moving forwards so start a schedule
2. Stick to the basics - or go back to basics. In our case swaddling

We worked together and fought Annabelle's ninja like legs and arms into a swaddle and it worked. Her first nap in a swaddle went from 20 minutes to 40 minutes. Sadly it wasn't always plain sailing and with teething happening too it sometimes took physically weighing her down to get her to sleep. Once swaddled we would sit on our knees by the cot and gently hold her legs and arms until she settled. It thankfully worked.

Once we had the day time naps happening it made nights easier too. It is fair to say that in Annabelle's case the better she sleeps in the day the better she'll sleep at night.

This change also enforced us into having a nap schedule. Up to 4 months we'd let her nap anywhere and everywhere, there was no routine as such and it worked for us. At 4 months we switched to making sure she was able to nap in her cot every two hours. On more than one occasion that meant rushing out of a class or play date to get back in time. If she fell asleep in the car on the way I'd just stay in the car until she woke up but she definitely prefers her cot.

The difference is amazing though. She wakes up from every nap SO happy!

And then 5 months arrived and as Annabelle's rolling improved we used the swaddle less, just focusing on swaddling her legs but then the biggest change of all came. The insert we had used from birth (it's mentioned in here) to keep her on her back suddenly became pointless. She rolled right out of it. So now our big girl is without insert, without swaddle and is sleeping for 45 minutes every nap and for 8 hours at night with one or two feeds.

How was she ever that small?

See ya insert!!!

I have no idea if we are doing, or have done the right thing but it's worked for us so we are counting it as a win.
And no we didn't leave her like this!

To add to all of that sleep has also changed the most because if I sleep to heavily I wake up panicking that Annabelle's not okay. I am now capable to changing a nappy is a sleepy haze. I can move, feed and replace Annabelle without really waking up. We have ended up with Annabelle in our bed if she won't settle and I have been able to sleep balancing on one arm to keep away from her. I can fall asleep quicker. I sleep deeper. I know that a lay in once Annabelle is awake won't happen. I also know that if I sleep too long I miss her. Crazy right?!

Anyway I'm off for an early night....and to get some sleep :)

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