Monday, February 05, 2007

Getting More Sleep, One Burrito at a Time

Burrito Claire.

I was worried, those first few days home from the hospital. You get kind of spoiled when you're still in your room at St Joe's here; the nurses come and whisk your baby off to the nursery at the impression of a button on your bed. Sleep, blissful sleep. Then you get home 2 days later, and find that those nurses were the best friends you had while you were there. They comfort your baby, swaddle her, change her diaper, feed her if you ask them to, and generally play 'mommy', all so you can rest. At home, you have no nurses to help. Lucky for me, I have Tim's mom here to help out for a few weeks, but we've been having her take care of Kate for the most part. Claire is up to us.

And sleep was not on her agenda the first couple of days she was home. At least no sleep at night. That's the time to fuss and cry! The time to have diaper blowouts, spit-up contests, and time to expend all efforts to wake your older sister! Two girls crying at 3am, now that's fun.

We spent the first 2 nights on the sofa, rotating shifts. Claire would sleep on top of my chest as I reclined on the couch, trying to get comfortable and keep her from crying at the same time. We began to doubt our choice of homes. Our floor plan is not conducive to containing the screams from either a 2 day old or a 16 month old without waking the other one up. Or waking up the entire household (and maybe the neighbors), for that matter.

I thought back to Kate's newborn days and tried to remember if she was the same way. She was. I think we were having the same problems, too. Gassy baby (from me drinking milk), screams throughout the night, wanting to eat every 1 1/2 hours or so. And because I was sleep-deprived, I gave in. I let her sleep on me, I fed her every 90 minutes, and I was exhausted.

It was time for an intervention. The next day I began stretching out the feedings, and I stopped drinking milk. The gassy baby problem disappeared almost immediately (making me wonder if it really is milk, but I'm not about to start drinking it again for at least a couple more weeks), and Claire started napping better. She still woke up at night, though. So I thought back to our days in the hospital, and remembered that they had given us 2 blankets that were the perfect size for swaddling a newborn. I wrapped her up tight, arms down at her sides. And the silence was deafening. Peaceful, glorious sleeping baby. Now Claire gets swaddled every night, and we get about 3 hours of uninterrupted sleep until she's hungry again. Whew.

Poopie suit.


Andrea & Ben said...

I love the poopie suit! I have on lying around for a someday. Cute! I love milk and would be hard pressed to give it up, good for you. Can't wait to see the bundle myself :0)

Katie said...

OH YES. I totally agree about the swaddling. You should get a miracle blanket.

I used ours all the time and it was honestly a miracle! My friend who is a NICU nurse swears that parents NEVER swaddle tight enough. So she made me wrap her so tightly I thought it looked almost painful...but Becca loved it!

dana:) said...

Eric loved to be swaddled in the hospital, when we got home he only liked it for a few days, then he wanted his hands out, so we still swaddled his bottom half. That lasted for a few days and then he didn't want anything to do with the swaddling- so I hope it lasts longer for you!:)

Carrie said...

Yes, swaddling is a wonderful thing. We used the new Swaddle Me wraps (we found them at Babies R Us) for Noah and they were a dream come true. Soooo much easier to get a baby tightly swaddled than with a blanket. We also used the side sleeper props that you lay a baby between and with the wrap and the props holding his arms at his sides, he was so much more peaceful and content. Glad to hear that you're getting more sleep. Thanx for posting the picture with the green onesie, too. Miss you all! Love you more!