Sleep

This is one that Dean and I have googled on at least a weekly basis since Florence was born.

How much does she need? How much is she having? Is she sleeping enough? Is she sleeping too much? How many naps? How long? Why won’t my baby sleep? The list goes on and on

We both actually find it really stressful when the sleeping is not going to plan and in the run up to putting Flo in her own room, we’re a little anxious.

We have been so so lucky that from quite early on she’s been a great night time sleeper, sleeping for good stretches at a time and only having the occasional horrendous night. But if someone could tell me the secret to daytime sleep I would love them forever.

We’ve been trying to implement a routine now for close to 3 months and for the most part, especially bedtime it’s working a treat:

  • 7am wake up and feed
  • 8-10am nap
  • 11am feed
  • 12-2.30pm nap
  • 3pm feed
  • 4-5pm nap
  • 6.30pm bath and bed

We found that the night time routine slotted into place really quite quickly, and that getting her to sleep by 6.30pm rather than 7pm was better as she didn’t become over tired. It just seemed to be her natural sleep time.

Now that we’ve learned a bit and added in some food it look a bit more like this:

  • 6.30/7am wake up and feed
  • 8/8.30-10am nap
  • 10.30am breakfast
  • 11am feed
  • 12-1.30pm nap
  • 2.30pm lunch
  • 3pm feed
  • 3.30-4.30pm nap
  • 5pm dinner
  • 5.45pm bath
  • 6pm feed
  • 6.30pm sleep!

We’re hoping to increase the length of the second nap to 2hrs and drop the third nap of the day in the next couple of months. This schedule is what happens on a perfect day. Unfortunately that doesn’t happen every day, apart from a pretty consistent wake and nighttime.

Our night time routine consists of a bath with gorgeous organic child farm bubble bath and hair and body wash. Flo comes out smelling of raspberries and blueberries, I could eat her alllllll up! She gets in fresh pyjamas and I give her her feed in bed. At about 6.15pm when she’s finished we set her in her sleepyhead when she’s awake but sleepy and stay with her until she drifts off. We made the transition to let her sleep in our room alone whilst we stay downstairs for the rest of the evening when she was about 3 and a half months and we think she sleeps a lot better.

Everywhere I’ve read it says that, in a routine, daytime naps are always the last thing to fall into place. On a perfect day we will carry Flo upstairs after her feed and set her in her in her crib and she falls to sleep perfectly for the allotted time. We’re not sure if it’s just the 4 month sleep regression, but we haven’t seen a perfect day in quite some time. Most days she will get by on having 3 naps that are shorter than what they’re ‘meant’ to be and be perfectly happy, and other days she’s really grouchy and overtired with it. On the grouchy days we’ve taken to putting her in the carrier a lot to get to sleep, especially Dean, and this seems to work 99% of the time. If we don’t, things can get a bit hysterical and a very overtired Florry appears which can lead to a knock on effect of just not being able to sleep. It’s almost like she forgets entirely!

She’s just not a chilled out baby that can drop off anywhere. She’s too nosey! Always wants to be up and looking at everything and then only realises at the very last minute that she’s actually exhausted bless her.

In general there are a few things that we’ve found useful over the last (almost) 5 months. I guess these are described as sleep aids and, I know, that in most books sleep aids are seen as a terrible thing, creating lifelong habits that will never be broken (eye roll), but when you’re really sleep deprived with a really grumpy baba you’ll do pretty much anything and everything, and most people I’ve spoken to do a similar sort of handful of things

  • Sleephead – still love it, when she does sleep in it during the day it’s a godsend. At night I love it and she loves it
  • Pram – this worked a dream until Flo was about 2 and a half months old and now she will absolutely not sleep in it! (Although she did for my Mum at Christmas, how that happened I will never know)
  • Ergobaby carrier – this has been worth every penny and more. We use it several times a day. If we didn’t have this I’m pretty sure Flo would have a lot less daytime sleep than she already does
  • My arm/chest – obviously this was a firm fave spot for our cherub to sleep but then at about 3 months she started to be a little independent madam and refuse to sleep on me anymore. That said, sometimes for the third nap of the day I will trick her into having a snooze on me after a feed
  • Breastfeeding – obviously just for a bit of comfort. This can be quite useful to settle her down and chill out of dose off for a bit
  • A dummy – I know!!! People will be hissing but we love it! It’s helped loads with our reflux problem and can be just the thing to help get her off to sleep. She seems to be a ‘sucky’ baby as my Mum calls it, and we introduced one when I was nursing basically all day everyday and it worked wonders when she got used to it!!!
  • Ewan the dream sheep – a sheep that plays 4 different types of pink noise with mother replica heartbeat. We loved this when Florence was first born and thought it worked really well. We stopped it when we were introducing a routine because I felt like we were doing too much to try and help her sleep. I will put it in her cot though just for the future. Another annoying thing is that it only lasts for 20mins at a time so you have to keep hitting it to restart

If anyone has any other suggestions/stories I would love to hear them! I’m sure it will all get better again once the regression is over and slot back into place, just have to keep persevering with the routine and using alcohol to get through! Ha! Also if anyone has any suggestions for making the transition of putting baby in their own room let me know. I know it has to happen, I will miss her, I practically share that sleepyhead with her every night, will be so strange when she isn’t there.

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