Thursday, May 7, 2009

The morning nap commences

I devoured Dr. Weissbluth's book, Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child over the past week. Well, I read up through the chapter on months 0-4 but since Cameron is only 6 weeks old (can you believe she is already 6 weeks?!?), I figure I still have time for the rest. Because of her age, there is a lot of what Weissbluth writes that I just can't apply yet to her. But it has been very helpful in identifying her current sleep habits and thinking about how I would like them to develop before she starts day care.

Cameron definitely falls into the "easy baby" category. Yes, I know I am blessed. She has always slept well and has only had one middle of the night feeding since she was a week old. I think it's interesting that Dr. Weissbluth argues a middle of the night feeding isn't hunger related. Of course, at Cameron's age, that just isn't true. She is definitely hungry when she wakes up. I assume it won't be until she is close to 4 months old before that feeding will be phased out. More on that later.

The book also talked about how the morning nap develops first. I scoffed initially. Cameron was really set in her 6:30 AM feeding, nap for about 90 minutes and then 9:30 AM feeding. But lo and behold, she is now sleeping from 8:30 AM to 11:00 or 11:30! Cameron has done this for the past two days so I am taking it as a sign of a new pattern. My biggest concern is that this basically means she misses a morning feeding. She still eats at 4 times in the afternoon so should I be worried? She is taking 4 ounces in her afternoon bottle so I assume she gets about the same or more off of me.

Bedtime has been going really well although Cameron stays up between her 6:30 PM and last feeding (usually around 8:15) so she is very cranky by the time she goes to bed. My question for the readers is, should I be considering a "dream feeding" at say 11 PM? She gets up at 3:30 AM now but perhaps with the dream feed she could stretch to her first morning feeding? I'm a little clueless on what dream feeds are. Do I leave her all swaddled up and just give her the bottle in the crib? Or do I pick her up? Should she get a full 4 ounces or less? Please pass along any and all advice!

Cameron has also been discovering her tongue which is really cute. I'm trying to capture a picture of it but no luck so far. Instead, here is another picture of her looking adorable :-)


Donna said...

I dream fed DS2 for a long time. Early on we would change his diaper (so of course he woke up) and then swaddle, nurse and put to bed. Later, when I started back at work we did not change his diaper. I just picked him up, nursed, and put to bed. Believe it or not, putting them to the breast, they automatically start to suck, it is weird but they do. I never dream fed a bottle, just the breast. One caution about dream feeding you really need to phase it out early because as soon as they get into that routine, it is SO hard to get them to stop wanting to dreamfeed. They actually start waking up for it. It does help with keeping your supply up though! As for worrying if she is missing a feeding, I was an advocate of feeding on demand, if she doesn't ask for it, why give it? I only dream fed to decrease the number of times I was up in the middle of the night.

Mommy, Esq. said...

Don't dream feed. Seriously. Ned would demand it. Worst thing I did. If she is only getting up at 3:30 am consider yourself lucky and don't worry about CIO, etc. until she is at least 4 months old (maybe even 5).

I probably wouldn't let her sleep past 11 am but I had two and needed them on the same schedule.

Sotorrific Twins said...

I never did the dream feed because I felt that if I was the one initiating the bottle, how would I know when they no longer need/want it? One of my twins starting sleeping through the night (sporadically) at 3.5 months. My other one still hasn't stopped waking up so I will have to put an end to that soon. But sounds like Cameron is an easy baby who may just stop that feeding when she is ready.
Also, I think Weissbluth says that babies Cameron's age (and up until 4 months-ish) may still be hungry for one night feeding. So, let her wake up when she's hungry instead of forcing her to eat when she is sleeping happily.
That's my two cents, FWIW.