This isn't one of those how-to posts. Certainly not our notes on best infant sleep practices either. Actually, I think it's sort of silly when I come across first-time moms of young babies assuming expert positions on anything child-rearing related. I still know, well, NOTHING, it seems. My bank of helpful tips and tricks fills up a little more each day, however. And then those things I think I'm starting to know change.
Sharing of experiences? That's always, always helpful, which is why I love chatting with my mommas on Twitter. They helped even with this most recent issue: SLEEP.
So here's what we've been doing to survive the 4-month/19-week sleep regression. (NOTE: It's not necessarily what you should do for your babe . . . or what's necessarily advised by anyone with credentials.)
But . . . we started swaddling again. And I'll tell you why.
When Ada hit the regression -- the one we read/heard about and feared so much . . . then thought we had avoided -- she was waking 6 or more times a night. We'd hear some stirring. Then she'd start babbling away in the darkness. We tried to ignore her chatter, thinking she'd fall back asleep, but it got progressively louder and more frenzied. Eventually, she'd all-out cry. She wasn't hungry. She didn't need a change. She was appropriately dressed. And, at the time, she wasn't sick.
After nearly a week of suffering sleep deprivation, I saw her swaddle in a drawer. We hadn't used it since, like, early February. The tag read 8 to 14 pounds, or something like that. And I thought: "Hey! Ada only weighs 13!" What if we, GASP, swaddled her again? Of course, every day I feel like I'm reading a a freshly written "how we stopped swaddling!!!" post or article online. Horror stories of nap-wrapping gone wrong. Musings on worry of baby becoming dependent on the practice. In the short-term, though, I thought it might just work.
Some points I should mention:
- Ada is still sleeping in our room and we have the goal of transitioning her to her crib when Stephen's school year ends, when she's 7 months old, in case things are rocky.
- She's also still in her rocker chair inside the Pack 'n Play.
- Though we're getting in tummy time more and more each day, she has yet to roll from back to tummy and only occasionally rolls from tummy to back. (Do I get upset/freaked out seeing tons of photos of babies Ada's age happily playing on their stomachs? YES! But I know she'll get there.)
Of course I'm always wondering if restarting this practice is going to blow up in my face. But she transitioned out of the swaddle well the first time. Actually, since we initially took it off her, she slept as if nothing at all had changed. Part of me wonders if she likes a tight squeeze because I had 30, sometimes upwards of 50 Braxton Hicks a day while pregnant.
Or it might not be that at all. Babies are mysterious that way, right?
Final thoughts: By now, I guess you can sign me up for the baby-led parenting camp. There are so many books/methods/etc. on the shoulds and shouldn'ts. But, for example, we fell into a great 3-hour eat, play, sleep schedule without trying. It isn't always the same every single day (I doubt it is for anyone), but generally she wakes between 7 and 8 and goes to bed between 7 and 8. She cycles through about 4 times. We did absolutely nothing to get her into this pattern. This sleep thing might fall under the same category. We'll follow Ada's lead even if it isn't the most convenient for us.
So, at least for now, we're swaddling. We'll likely try stopping again when it stops fitting her, which might be in the next couple weeks, or if she shows us she doesn't like it anymore.
Do you have similar experiences? Times when you've gone to baby-led parenting? Maybe reverted back to sleeping in one room after moving baby to the crib. Maybe you gave up on scheduling your day. Etc.
Like what you just read? Stay connected! You can subscribe to the feed of these posts, chat with us on Twitter or Facebook. And you can always email us with your questions and comments.