Sunday, September 02, 2007

Oh what a night

Essential reading
Hayley this morning, still smiling despite having only about 2 hours sleep.

We've just had a couple of really bad nights.

On Friday night Oliver had a temperature and he woke several times, needing re-assurance and on one occasion a dose of Calpol. Meanwhile Lucy started to wake more often than before, going only 3 hours or less between feeds. Of course Lucy's awakenings and Oliver's awakenings were perfectly interleaved to keep us up most of the night.

And last night was worse. Lucy fed at 9.30pm and we went to bed by 10.30pm. In fact, because we were so shattered we decided to try a bottle feed (formula on this occasion) as the last feed to see how that goes. It could allow me to feed Lucy and thus allow Hayley to go to bed early, getting some much needed sleep before the night feed. (The midwife has strongly recommended keeping the night feed as a breastfeed. Apparently it helps stimulation of milk production for the next day.)

But the real problem last night was with Oliver. He inexplicably woke crying, but unlike the norm when he goes back to sleep after a little reassurance, he was inconsolable. Worse still, he seemed to almost be having tantrums in his cot. When we got him out he asked to go back to his cot but would soon start crying again once back in there. And he was shattered, so the situation just got worse and worse. Eventually we had to use controlled crying. The whole episode lasted from 11.45pm until 1am.

At 1.19am Lucy woke for a feed. She fed until 2.49am but when Hayley tried to put her back down she only slept for 50 minutes before waking and wanting another feed. Hayley fed her and got back to bed at 5am. Then she went to sleep. So Hayley finally got a bit of sleep until Oliver woke around 7.30am and I got up. But Lucy woke within minutes, so we were then all up.

Hayley fed Lucy then decided to re-read "Sleep: The easy way to peaceful nights". After a couple of hours Lucy was asleep and Hayley was falling asleep on the sofa so I sent her up for a nap.

Not long after that our friend Sara came round with her son Jack, so he and Oliver were quite happy playing together for a couple of hours until Hayley got up again.
When Oliver had a nap after lunch, so did I. So the remainder of the day was survivable, as we'd both caught up on at least a little sleep!

Hayley has read almost the entire "Sleep" book today and we've picked up a few tips, including about the relationship between feeding and sleep. We are hoping this might cut down the number of times we mistake her cries as a request to feed and hence reduce the amount of time she spends feeding without reducing the amount of food she takes on. But as we all know, every baby is different so there's no guarantee we're barking up exactly the right tree.

The one thing we definitely feel we need to do in the next few weeks is to try to spot the "core night". This is the time when she suddenly sleeps longer than usual and is the trigger to start building her night-time sleep. We missed this with Oliver, as we hadn't heard of the concept until it was too late. If we can get it right this time, I think it will make a big positive difference to the whole family.