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Katie's Parenting Journal

Entry 4 - October 9, 2008
Six Weeks Old - Sleepless in Seattle

WillWe are so blessed with our Little Man in so many ways. Number one, he is here and he is healthy. Number two, he is thriving. He loves to eat and will take his food in many ways, breast, bottle, milk, or formula. Number three, he is just precious, and learning new things every day. He is smiling now, which just melts my heart, and even cooing a bit.

However.

He is not a good sleeper. I know this is a recurring theme of this journal, but it is my daily challenge with my son right now. Daily and nightly, that is.

During the day, I have found a couple of ways to help Will sleep. He will nap in either his swing or the car seat. Usually, I pop him in the swing for the first nap of the day and then do errands for his second nap. The third nap, I usually have him in the Baby Bjorn while I do laundry or tidy up around the house. Occasionally, he will nap in his crib. I try to get him down for at least one nap a day there, but it only sometimes works and usually, he will only sleep for about forty-five minutes, which leads to him being overtired. So what normally happens is that I try to get him in the crib for a half hour or so and then just end up going to the swing or car seat in order to get him the sleep that he needs.

WillAt night, he will sleep in his crib, no problem. But the issue is how long will he stay there? He is waking up at least three and usually four times a night. He doesn't usually go "down" until 10 (trying to put him in his crib before then doesn't work for some reason) and then if I am lucky, he will first wake up around 1 AM. Then, it is every two hours after that, until 6:30, when I finally just get up for the day myself. We are doing a bedtime "routine" of feeding, bath, swaddle, and then trying to put him down. We do the routine at 7:00, but he will only sleep in the swing or on us until 10, at which time, he seems to magically sense that it is nighttime and will go down in the crib, no muss, no fuss.

Everyone tells me that at around 8 weeks, he should start sleeping better. However, I think that is because 8 weeks is when most babies reach the 11 - 12 pound mark, which is when physically, they should be able to have fuller tummies for longer. Will has been over the 11 pound mark for two weeks now and, if anything, the night wakings have increased. More people also tell me that three months is a "magic" time for things get better in the sleep department. I fervently hope so.

WillI know many of you reading this journal are seasoned parents who have no doubt weathered this sleeping storm before. I welcome any advice, my e-mail is posted to the side. I do have to say, however, that my husband and I will not do "crying it out" until four months, on the advice of our pediatrician. I will let him "fuss it out," and am trying to delay my response time a bit to see if he can start self-soothing, but I just cannot do the full-on crying just yet. So, other than that, please send your advice my way!

PS - I am also not expecting him to sleep through the night. I fully expect one to two nighttime feedings. It's the three and four that are killing me!

~ Katie

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