Saturday, March 12, 2011

Sleep Solution Step Three: Create Your Sleep Logs

I did our sleep log yesterday. It was a pretty average day, we didn't do anything out of the ordinary. Grocery shopping in the morning, didn't go anywhere at night. His naps were pretty normal, his nighttime sleep was pretty normal (we get this kind of sleep 3-4 times a week). So I think yesterday was a good day for doing the sleep log.

Sleep log for March 11, 2011. Age: 3 months, 2 weeks
time baby fell asleep how baby fell asleep where baby fell asleep where baby slept how long?
7:46am bottle fed (10 minutes) in my arms crib 1 hr 15 min
11:52 in beco (out) in beco in beco 30 min
2:15pm on bottle in my arms crib 45 min

HTML Tables

According to table on page 48:
1. How many naps should baby be getting? 3
2. How many naps is baby getting now? 3
3. How many hours should baby be napping? 5-6
4. How many hours is baby napping now? 2 1/2
5. Do you have a formal nap routine? No
6. Are your baby's naptimes/lengths consistent every day? For the most part, yes, but he's so young his naps change a lot. It's mostly consistent, though.

Time what we did activity level noise level light level
5:00pm watch tv (sesame street) moderate moderatel dim
5:20pm make dinner moderate moderate bright
5:40pm bath moderate moderate bright
5:55pm lotion/sleeper/sleepsack calm quiet bright
6:05pm stories calm moderate dim
6:17pm bottle calm quiet dim
6:28pm sleep - - -

HTML Tables

1. Do you have a formal, consistent bedtime routine? Yes
2. Is the hour prior to bedtime mostly peaceful, quiet and dimly lit? yes
3. Does your bedtime routine help both you and your baby relax and get sleepy? Yes
4. Any other observations about your current bedtime routine? with daylight savings, we're hoping his current bedtime routine will continue and we can have him going to bed at 7:30 or 8pm instead of 6:30 or 7pm.

time how baby woke me up how long awake; what we did time baby fell back to sleep how baby fell back to sleep how long of a sleep stretch since fell asleep
6:55pm fussing 5 min (rock/bounce/soother) 6:58pm soother (released gas) 30 min
2:24am grunting/moving 14 min (bottle fed) 2:38am bottle 7hrs 30min
5:08am crying 22min (bottle fed) 5:30am bottle 2hrs 30min
*5:35am spit up/fuss - - - -

HTML Tables

*He woke up because he had spit up, and didn't go back to sleep. I brought him into bed with me, fed him a bit and we relaxed and were quiet (snuggled, looked at the baby faces app on my ipod) until 6am when he seemed more awake and was chatting. His first nap was at 8am.

Asleep time: 10 1/2 hours
Awake time: 41 minutes
Total number of awakenings: 2 (or 3? I'm not really sure how to count the spit up wake up
Longest sleep span: 7 1/2 hours
Total hours of sleep: 13

Then there are some questions on his sleep, an overall review. I'm not dissatisfied with his sleep, even though he "should" be getting 15 hours a day, I think he's a pretty happy and content baby while awake (though he did wake up grumpy from nap #3, so I'm wondering if he needed a longer nap). He sleeps great at night. I would, however, like to pay attention to our nighttime routine and see if there's something I'm doing differently on the nights he has more than 2 wakeups. I know he's still just a young baby and his sleep patterns will change a lot in the coming months, but I think we've got a good thing going on here.

The next step is "review and choose sleep solutions", which is a chapter dedicated to finding solutions for sleep problems, or making steps toward improving sleep routine and sleep habits. There are two sections, one is for newborns (0-3 months) and one is for older babies (4 months-2 years). I'll be reading both, as Ty is very much in between the two categories. I'll be trying a few of the solutions and seeing how things go. I'll make notes of the solutions and my results, and post about it in a few days!

And, because this seemed fitting for this post:

Nap time with his lovey.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Sleep Solution Step Two

Firstly, I went over the co-sleeping safety check, and decided that it's not really the best idea for us to co-sleep right now, even part time. We're always good about making sure there are no blankets or pillows near where Ty is, but he's always laying tummy-to-tummy with me, my arm around him and between Doug and I. The book explains the safety precautions necessary in co-sleeping, and says that the baby should be between the wall and his mom, and if there is no wall, there should be a mesh safety rail. If we were co-sleeping full time, I would just sidecar the crib against the bed, but we only co-sleep part time (a couple hours a night, maybe 3-5 times a week). I'll likely pick up a mesh safety rail to keep on my side of the bed so that we are able to safely co-sleep (as I really do like those few hours of snuggles, and I would want Ty to be safe whenever he wants/needs to sleep with us).

So last night Ty did not sleep with us, and I only brought him into our bed for feeding and for a half hour of pre-wake up snuggles. There were no issues with him not sleeping with us last night.

Anyway, on to Step Two: Learn Basic Sleep Facts. This step is really helpful in learning why babies sleep the way they do. I think any changes taking place right now are in my mentality and the way I view Ty's sleeping habits. He is not a "problem sleeper", and we're not doing Sleep Solution to make him a better sleeper, but to make us better at understanding his basic sleep needs. Maybe we'll find some improvements along the way, but improving his sleep is not my ultimate goal here.

One thing I found interesting was the sleep cycle patterns of a typical baby. It looks something like this (over an 11-12 hour period):
Drowsy; falling asleep
light sleep
deep sleep (for about an hour)
brief awakening
deep sleep (for 1-2 hours)
light sleep
brief awakening
REM/dreaming sleep
brief awakening
light sleep
brief awakening
REM sleep
brief awakening
Toward morning: deep sleep
brief awakening
REM sleep
brief awakening
light sleep
awake for the day

Seeing how frequently babies fall in and out of light or deep sleep and have brief awakenings, it's no wonder we have such frequent wake ups. Adults also have similar sleep patterns, but we are able to fall back to sleep without fully waking up or registering our awakenings. When we adjust pillows, change positions or any of the other numerous things we do at night, we barely even realize we are awake. Babies who wake frequently but are not hungry, generally just don't know HOW to fall back asleep. We put Ty to sleep on a bottle or soother, in our arms. So when he wakes up, he feels he needs the same routine in order to fall asleep again. To put it into an adult context, that would be like us waking up in a different room with no pillow. We couldn't just fall back to sleep on the kitchen floor with no pillow, we'd need to go back to our bed and go back to sleep the way we FIRST fell asleep.

It makes sense, now, that a baby who fell asleep in my arms with a soother (or bottle) in his mouth, would struggle to fall asleep on his own all alone. So he cries out to me to help him fall back to sleep. Generally he's pretty easy, and I can get up and pat him on the back and he'll fall asleep again, but hopefully this book will help us figure out how to give Ty the tools he needs to fall asleep on his own. He's not terrible at it now, and we've introduced his lovey, which he grabs on to and sucks on and can fall asleep that way most times.

Another interesting thing I learned was about how much sleep babies actually need (as always, this is about typical babies... like Ty. There are those babies who don't fall into any sort of category). Since Ty is 3 1/2 months, he is right on the verge of hitting a change in sleep (babies' sleep matures a lot from newborn to young child ages, and 4 months is one of those times. This is what people call the "sleep regression", but it's really just a baby's sleep maturing and them sorting out how to deal with it. Since Ty is so close to this new sleep stage, I'm reading both the "newborn" and the "4 months +" sections of this book.

A typical 3 month old baby needs 3 naps (totaling 5-6 hours) and 10-11 hours of nighttime sleep for a total of about 15 hours of sleep in a day.

A typical 6 month old baby needs 2 naps (totaling 3-4 hours) and 10-11 hours of nighttime sleep for a total of 14-15 hours of sleep a day.

For reference (since I'm far from this stage, but I'm sure others who are reading this may be parents to older babies), a 12 month old needs 1-2 naps (totaling 2-3 hours) and 11 1/2-12 hours of nighttime sleep for a total of 14 hours of sleep in a day.

A 3 year old needs 1 nap (totaling 1-1 1/2 hours) and 11 hours of nighttime sleep for a total of 12 hours of sleep in a day.

Since a newborn sleeps 16-18 hours a day distributed over 6-7 sleep periods, and a 1 month old needs 3 naps, totaling 6-7 hours plus 8 1/2-10 hours of nighttime sleep, you can see how much a baby's sleep matures over the course of a year.

Anyway, these are the most interesting sleep facts I discovered. There is a LOT to learn about sleep, though! It definitely opened my eyes to the needs of my baby.

Today we are doing Step Three: Create Your Sleep Log. I'll post all about this tomorrow, and we'll see what's next! I'm excited to learn more about how to assist my baby in getting what he needs out of sleep.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The No-Cry Sleep Solution, step one

I just started reading The No-Cry Sleep Solution, and thought I would blog about my progress if anyone was interested (also to help me see how things are going). I'm not really bothered by Ty's current sleeping habits, as they are pretty normal for a 3 month old, but any improvement is a good thing, right?

First of all, here is our starting point sleep log, with a mostly typical night, minus the 9pm wake up (this actually doesn't get discussed until step 3, but I wanted to have a starting point, so I logged his sleep last night):

6:15pm Bottle feed
6:34pm asleep in crib
9:03pm awake, soothe to sleep
9:12pm asleep in crib
12:54am awake, bottle feed
1:11am asleep in crib
3:23am awake (soaking wet, stripped clothes and changed diaper), bottle feed
3:33am asleep in our bed
5:05am awake, soothe to sleep
5:11am asleep in our bed
6:28am awake, bottle feed
6:39am awake for the day

Total wake ups: 4
Longest stretch of sleep: 3 hours 42 minutes
Total night time sleep: 11 hours, 15 minutes (roughly... I did easy math with this and rounded by quarter hours)

This is a GOOD night's sleep as far as quantity, but waking up 4 times isn't ideal (his usual is 2-4). This wasn't a super typical night, but it was the night I chose to log, so there we go.

Step One: Do a Safety Check

Okay, so the first part of this process is to make sure that your baby has a safe sleeping environment. The first part of this section talks about baby sleeping on his back. We've allowed Ty to sleep on his tummy since he was 4 weeks old, as he seemed much more comfortable this way. While reading this, I decided to commit to following the book as long as each step worked for my baby. This was the first challenge.

The other parts of this section talk about safe crib/cradle checking and safe co-sleeping, etc. I haven't gotten to the safe co-sleeping part yet, but I will read that part before we go to bed tonight, since we do a combination of crib sleeping and co-sleeping (mostly crib, though). Anyway, it says to make sure there are no toys (stuffed or otherwise), no blankets, tight fitting sheets, that bumpers are secure with no dangling strings and no gaps. I did all of this. It does allow for one "safe lovey", and Ty's security blanket from Aden and Anais is his lovey (he has 4 of them in rotation and he adores these things). Fortunately, it qualifies as a safe lovey. So, nap time came, and while feeding Ty his bottle (he bottle feeds until he's fallen asleep), I decided to put him down on his back when I put him in the crib.

MAJOR FAIL. He woke up after about 15 seconds, and then was grunting and flailing. I watched him, because he was still mostly asleep, and I didn't want him to wake up. He flailed until he was on his side, then he rolled himself onto his tummy (for the first time ever). I'm taking this (as well as the fact he can easily roll from belly to back and can push himself up onto his elbows) as a cue that he is ready to safely sleep on his tummy, and that this is he preferred sleeping position. Unfortunately, he woke himself up while rolling over, so I had to soothe him back to sleep and I put him on his tummy. He went to sleep an hour ago, and is still sleeping (though he is starting to stir).

So, that's that. I'll write more on this as I see fit, with a detailed night time sleep schedule every ten days.