Monday, December 07, 2009

Rockabye baby

So- we've been trying out a new sleep program (or programs actually) with Sophie starting last week. And it's been a little trying. For the past 2 months or so, Sophie's only ever slept in her bouncer, even at nights. Something about the enclosed space and micro-vibrations really calmed and soothed her through her naps and night-sleep. She was actually sleeping well in her crib from birth but sometime in Month 2, she just refused to take to it and would cry for hours between 10.00 and midnight. We tried the Moby Wrap which worked really well until she moved to wearing the brace after her casts and then we were stumped again. We didn't really think about putting her in the bouncer at first because she didn't like it much when she was younger, but one nap, out of desperation, I put her in it, tucked a blanket around her, turned on the vibration, and voila!, she fell right asleep! It was like magic, and we were so proud of ourselves. While other parents were complaining about sleepless nights, not being able to get anything done, and their child waking up every hour, as long as she was in her bouncer, Sophie slept like an angel, from 8.30 to 7.30, waking up only once or twice to feed. Sometimes, I even had to check in on her just to make sure she was OK because she was sleeping so very soundly. Jude and I had time at night to do work, catch up with each other on our day, watch recorded episodes of Glee and Flashforward. All was good...

But as with all feelings of smugness, karma's a b*tch and payback was harsh... :( Sophie's finally outgrown the bouncer- she's getting to big for it, and her brace has started to tear a whole in the fabric from all the thrashing she does. Now what? Plus the impending trip home also means that Sophie needs to learn how to sleep motionlessly. So we figured this is about as good a time as any to transition her to the crib. We're not doing any kind of strict sleep training- Sophie's too young for that. But we are trying to get her to learn to self-soothe to sleep when she wakes up in the middle of nap or night-sleep, and also to get used to the crib. The past 3 or 4 days has had it's ups and downs- Sophie takes a really nice, long morning nap in the crib without fussing very much, but things just get progressing harder through the day, with the afternoon naps being really tricky. And don't even get me started on the nights... One thing's for sure: our daughter loves to cry. As in has a deep, elemental, and profound love for the very act of crying. And she's gotten good at it too. We're talking a loud, piercing, for-all-that-is-good-and-holy-woe-is-me-the-earth-is-ending mother of all cries. I'm surprised the neighbors haven't called child protective services on us yet because if I were them, I'd be convinced someone was torturing the poor babe from the sounds of her wails. And for a barely 4 month old, boy does out daughter have stamina. She can go on for hours if you let her. At least we know her lungs and vocal chords are getting a good workout...

Tonight, we're trying something new (again...)- having me put her to sleep in my arms and sleeping with her for a while in our bed first. She's sound asleep right now and we'll move her to her crib later in the night. Hopefully, being surrounded by our scent in the bed will comfort her until she's deep in sleep. Despite what it seems, sleeping does not come easy to babies- the need to does, but the act of falling and staying asleep is a harder thing to do for them. It's a work in progress, and for now, we're all learning...

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