Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Channeling infant sleep patterns

To quote Alanis Morrisette, "Isn't it ironic?" Yes, despite having an almost 4 month old, I appear to be the one with sleeping problems. I have no problems falling asleep, it's staying asleep that poses the biggest challenge. I hear DH breathing away next to me and want to kill him. Even the dog is better at going back to sleep than me!

Up until last night I would wake up at every little Cameron sound and stay away for at least 10 minutes at a time. What changed last night? I decided that we would no longer have the volume turned way up on the monitor. Like so many other parents I felt like if the monitor wasn't loud I would miss something critical. But I slept so much better at a lower volume I had DH mark the dial so we could come back to that very spot. Oddly the monitor we use* doesn't have numbers on the dial so it's basically guess work unless you MacGyver it like we did.

And thus I have conquered the waking-up-at-every-little-noise-that-Cameron-makes problem. What I am still struggling with is falling back to sleep after I feed her in the middle of the night. Yes, our great experiment of trying to get Cameron to sleep through the night has failed. Don't snicker. We are naive first time parents. I have to time her middle of the night feeding so that she is hungry again around 6:30 AM or we are both out of whack. I've been forcing myself to get up around 2:30 or 3 AM and feeding her whether she is awake or not. It takes about 15 minutes and then I stumble back to bed only to lie awake for an hour or so. And that hour of sleep is so, so precious. I'm not that tired during the day (good) but find it very hard to get out of bed in the morning (bad) when I need to.

What have others done to fall back to sleep after you wake up? I've tried thinking about work hoping that obsessing about the placement of optical circuits would bore me back to sleep. No such luck. I've planned my dream house (two words: butler's pantry) and how I would spend my lottery winnings. All failures. Help!

*I don't recommend the monitor we purchased. The battery life is pretty poor and after about 2 months we had to start keeping it plugged in over night or we would be woken up with a loud beeping telling us it was dying. That was fun. Also, the monitors are very sensitive to other electronic equipment and we get a lot of feedback.


LauraC said...

This is going to sound cheesy but Jon had a serious problem with insomnia when I was pregnant so I bought him a guided relaxation cd to try. The woman's voice is so soothing that we both fall asleep within 10 minutes of listening to it. We burned it on our ipods so we can listen to it anywhere. I listened to it every time I was in the hospital for pre-term labor as you are constantly woken all night for checks and prods and needles.

With Alex's recent night wakings, I've been using it again and love it!

Helen said...

I suffer from regular insomnia, not the kid induced kind. I love, love my noise machine. Did you know that I had it with me at your house, and I never heard a thing. It has probably 20 sounds, but all I ever listen to is white noise. The McGinnitys chuckled at it a little when I got to Pennsylvania, but the whole family loved it after our two nights and thought it helped them sleep. Maybe it would help you.

Mommy, Esq. said...

Noise machine might be a good idea. Also, if you go to bed around 10/10:30 you'll be too tired not to fall back asleep - you might want to try that.

Donna said...

I have no advice but will be looking for it. I routinely end up with 4 hours of sleep and am the walking dead most days.

confused homemaker said...

I agree with a noise machine, our fan noise usually helps me fall back to sleep.

Nicole S. said...

I, too, used a fan for white noise and I used one of those eye covers. Its a very nice one and blocks out any and all light. Once I got used to the feeling, it was like my own little sleep association.