the sleep conundrum

Posted on: 22 July 2012

In the first week of motherhood, I ventured to say that Ashelyn wasn’t a difficult baby. (Of course, prior to her birth I’d scared myself by reading about “high criers” who screamed for eight hours every day.)

I still can’t say that she’s a difficult baby. Ashelyn is sweet and supremely happy. However, she doesn’t sleep independently.

She sleeps on me. At night, when she’s not hugging my torso, she’s in bed beside me, because I’ve managed to flip her there without her waking.

We sleep okay. The pattern is one big chunk of sleep, then one or two smaller chunks. (Our best night was 8 hours, followed by another 2.5 hours.) I’m pro now at sleeping with a sleeping baby on my chest.

It’s not that Ashelyn dislikes her crib. She rolls around like a tumbleweed and kicks up a storm and delivers orations in there. What she doesnt do is sleep.

During the day, she naps best while being held. Sometimes I’ll use a sling. Sometimes I set her down, with mixed results. She’s napped fairly successfully in her pillow, swing, even highchair. But more often than not she’ll magically open her eyes as soon as she hits a foreign surface.

Yes, I’ve heard all about “putting her down drowsy but awake” so she can “self soothe.” Great concept. Sounds good. Makes sense.

Except … once I put her down, she is no longer drowsy.

I don’t want to stress over something that may not be all that important. Maybe Ashelyn isn’t ready to self soothe, but she will be, in time. Until then, we’ll carry on with what works for us. It’s at most an inconvenience to me, but hey, never once have I felt like crying when the baby cries. That’s how (relatively) well rested I’ve been.


5 Responses to "the sleep conundrum"

Maybe try swaddling her and putting her down where you want her to rest? We transitioned Cece to her crib when she was 14 weeks. The first night wasn’t a huge hit because it was too big a departure from her cozy swing she had been sleeping in, but the next night we swaddled her and she’s been sleeping about 10 hours since.

I had to hold my baby to sleep all night when he was a newborn too. He would cry and break out of his swaddle though…he hated to be confined. Though i agree that is something to try for Ashelyn. I had some where you can zip or velcro so it was easier.

Ten hours sounds amazing. Resurrecting the swaddle is an idea … we stopped swaddling a while ago because Ashelyn seemed to insist on having her arms free, but I loved making baby burritos. She’s definitely grown out of our velcro ones by now though!

Sleep in the early days was so difficult. Getting a routine down, round-the-clock nursing, the works. Humnoy was never a difficult baby either but, boy, was I still tired.

I’m glad you guys figured out what’s working. That’s the beauty of parenthood – you don’t know until you try it on your own kids instead of listening to what others have said.

[…] because ideologically I believe in the marital bed, not the family bed. Unfortunately Ashelyn was a sleepfighter from day one, and this is where the path of least resistance has led us. I still haven’t […]

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