Monday, March 29, 2010
Babies Have Intuition. They Just Know... (feeding and sleeping)
When people ask if Ben is a good sleeper, I usually say, "It depends." If you're talking about how he naps, then the answer is no. If you're asking about his sleep at night, then the answer is yes.
Just like his mom, Ben is NOT a napper. My mom tells me that I hated napping as an infant up until I was in kindergarten. In pre-school, while the other kids took out their mats for naptime, my teacher had to sit with me because I wouldn't sleep! I bet she tried doing everything until she finally accepted the fact that I wasn't going to nap. I remember having to do extra math sheets while my buddies were snoring away.
On any given day, Ben might take 2 naps that last for about 15 minutes at most. You could clearly tell he's tired-- he gets cranky, his eyes get smaller, he rubs his eyes, etc. but this baby refuses to sleep! We've tried the bouncer, the swing, putting him in the stroller, and carrying him for over an hour. His eyes might close for a few seconds, but then he quickly opens them again.
When we first brought Ben home, he wasn't sleeping much at all. However, for the past 4 weeks, he's been an awesome sleeper, sleeping from the moment we put him down into his crib which is usually at around 7:30-8:00 to 6 am! He started doing this a little before I had to go back to work. It was almost as if he knew that I needed him to sleep through the night so that I could survive at work. We were shocked by this because prior to it happening, he was waking up quite frequently.
When we were first discharged after his birth, we were told to feed him every two hours, even if it required that we had to wake him up from his sleep. Even if he slept for longer intervals, we didn't let him. They never tell you that feeding a baby every two hours means that the next feeding starts two hours from the beginning of the last feeding-- not two hours from the end of the last feeding!! This means that if it takes your baby 30 minutes for a feeding, the next feeding really starts 1.5 hours after the last ends. Needless to say, we didn't sleep very much for the first two weeks.
When we finally decided to be less strict about his feedings, the whole jaundice fiasco began (remember? his bili level was at 23) and the drs at the ER scared us by saying that his jaundice won't get better unless we fed him every two hours. So we were back to the 2 hour schedule.
After a few weeks, our worrying about his jaundice had subsided. We continued to swaddle him now using the Miracle Blanket instead of the Halo Sack and started weaning off his night-time feedings one at a time and didn't feed him until he woke up on his own, which was every 3 hours and then every 4 hours. Eventually, he was sleeping for a good 5 hour chunk and then a 7 hour one. (For a period of time, he would wake up every day at 4am on the dot giving us a 4 hour stretch of uninterrupted sleep, which we needed desperately.) As I mentioned earlier, for the past 4 weeks, he's been sleeping through the entire night waking up at around 6 and hanging out in his crib until his morning feeding at 630ish.
Now this brings me to today-- the first day of my spring break. He decided to wake up once at 2am which didn't require much other than placing a binky in his mouth. And then he decided to wake up again at 4am and he just kept on playing in his crib cooing and babbling nonstop which was followed by crying. Joon and I tried figuring out why he didn't sleep through the night this time but couldn't think of any specific reason.
Sometimes, I wonder if babies know what's really going on. It was almost as if Ben knew that I wasn't going to work this morning and he knew 3 weeks ago that I would be going to work and needed sleep. I wonder if this pattern will continue and what's going to happen when I have to go back in a week. Hopefully my theory will hold true and he'll sleep through the night again because if not, then I'm in big trouble!