Friday, May 1, 2009

Sometimes a straight jacket is just what you need

Cameron and I had a really good day yesterday. We are still in the process of figuring out her nap schedule to pick the ideal time for running errands. I have been reading Weissbluth's book and have decided the man is a genius. We are starting to implement some of his ideas related to napping and it is already working for us. Once DH gets home I'll have him make me a nap schedule tracker. Once I finish the book I'll write more about it.

I am also waking Cameron up about 45 minutes before her last two feedings to try and wear her out before her nighttime sleep. She melts down a little then but a bath seems to help so I have unilaterally decided that DH will be bathing her every night now instead of every other night.

Last night was also the first night that I employed Goddess In Progress' super swaddling technique. It is the greatest thing ever! I have joked before about Cameron having magical powers in getting her arms out of her swaddle. Sometimes it would take me 4 or 5 tries to swaddle her tight enough that I could be assured of a few hours before she worked her way out. As cute as it is to come in and see her with her arms stretched out over her head, I enjoy sleep a lot more.

Cameron hated the straight jacket swaddling for about a minute before she fell right to sleep at 9 PM. She woke up at 3 AM (woo hoo!) and I fed her. Despite a very dirty diaper change that necessitated turning on the light, once she was swaddled again she was out like a light. And slept until about 6:15 AM. I even used it for her first morning nap and got her to sleep for almost 2 hours.

I'm sure there are a few other factors that went into a good night's sleep and great morning nap (like good feedings) but the swaddling was an excellent way to keep Cameron from waking herself up inadvertently. I also didn't have to play the pacifier game with her. She fell asleep without it!

So thank you to Goddess In Progress for her clear swaddling directions. And also to Mommy, Esq. for pointing me to the post.


globetrotter said...

I love your blog! My mom and I used to call Micah's swaddle a straight jacket too!

Have you read Good Night, Sleep Tight? Its really good too. I started reading that first but today just received Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child so I plan to read that as well. I found both Good Night, Sleep Tight and The Happiest Baby on the Block DVD (i.e. swaddling) very helpful for less than 3 months. I also implemented some scheduling advise from Babywise...

Micah kept getting stronger and stronger to get those arms out of the swaddle. I found that the blankets with velcro worked best but he quickly outgrew them. The only one really big enough was the Snug and Tug which came in a 3 - 6 month size.

Since about 10 weeks he slept at least 10 hours at night! I think it was a combo of the swaddle, his natural sleep rhythms, bigger size (not needing to feed), and our "feed, wake, sleep" routine. Since he sleeps at night, I swaddle with the arms out now just for temperature regulation mostly and to give him access to his hands for sucking (teething).

Once he showed me he could put himself to sleep, I have endured a couple of "cry it out" sessions at naptime. (I only had to do this once or twice at bedtime), but I do periodically check on him and give him the paci when he's crying.

We're still working on a nap schedule too but he definitely has a routine. He takes at least 1 nap in the a.m. and 1 in the afternoon. About half the time he fits in another short nap in the evening. I have logged his sleep to catch any patterns too.

I think you are on such a good track with Cameron. Its such a good idea to start sleep training early. As she gets bigger, she'll need less food at night. My doctor told me at Micah's 2 mo visit that he weighed enough and didn't *need* to nurse at night. That gave me the assurance to phase out night feedings within a week and we haven't looked back!

Wow this is a long comment but the subject interests me greatly!

- Annesha

Goddess in Progress said...

Wohoo, glad the swaddle helped! And hip-hip hooray for Weissbluth. I'm such a fan. I'm downright fanatical about the early bedtime and (age-appropriate) scheduled naps. Makes life a hell of a lot easier. Some people find a semi-rigid schedule to be too limiting, and in some ways you could argue that it is. But I found it really gave me MORE freedom to plan things, because I could make a much more educated guess as to what would be a good time to do something, and what would be a very VERY bad idea. :-)

Hope it all helps!