The Strangest Problem

Thursday, May 01, 2014


As many of you who are parents of small babies know, you can ride the wave of sweet stretches of knowing what your baby wants at each part of the day, and then one day, it can all turn to hell.

This has been my last ten days.


We were doing really well... Maya sleeping well in the night, giving me long stretches of seven or eight hours, nursing well during the day, going down for naps for good lengths of two or three hours. Then a week and a half ago, she started being harder to transfer from my arms to her crib. Screaming when I'd try to nurse her. Cranky all day long. At least she didn't give me trouble at night, I thought to myself.

It started getting so tough that I started getting worried about going out. Nothing made her happy. We'd go out to eat as a family and I basically would have to half-stand and half-eat. Totally not anyone's idea of having a relaxing time; enjoying a time out. It would be less stressful to just hide at home instead of hearing the whole restaurant go silent as they endure the cries of your child.

Okay, so how do I figure this out? I knew that there wasn't anything really wrong with her. I mean, EVERYTHING was going wrong, but as a mother, you have this gut feeling knowing that she isn't sick, she isn't in pain, she just is...off. But for a week and half, I couldn't find the key. I couldn't find the missing piece that would click into place and make our lives happy again.

I had a suspicion that it had something to do with how long she was sleeping at night. You know, when things are too good to be true? Well, she was creeping up to 11 hours a night. Yesterday, she slept nearly 13 hours (there was one nurse at the 11.5 hour mark). That part seemed wonderful... like, what am I complaining about? I have every mother's dream come true, right? But the daytimes that we'd have to trudge through were dreadful.

Yesterday, I came to the end of myself. I had just tried to rock Maya to sleep for nearly an hour, with a four year old son that had a pinched nerve in his neck that needed me, a daughter who wanted my attention after coming home from a day at school. I laid her down on the diaper change table, with her kicking, squirming and whining, and whispered a prayer, trying not to totally lose it... "God, I haven't a clue what to do." It came to me that I should just look up how long three month old babies should sleep. I found this:

(Source: http://www.babycenter.com/0_how-much-sleep-does-your-child-need_7645.bc)

So, you can see that Maya should be getting 15 hours a day, with 10 hours at night, and 5 hours during the day over 3 naps. Maya was getting more like 13 hours at night, with 2 hours during the day (which would look like one 1 hour nap and spotty 20 to 30 minute naps). So while she was sleeping amazing at night, she wasn't sleeping enough to get her through her day happily. You'd think that if she was tired, she could just go down for a nap again, but I guess the body can only take so much sleep.

Today, I put this theory to the test. She went to bed for her usual 9 pm bedtime, and I then I woke her at 7 am to nurse, and played with her until she was fully awake. Then, once she started showing signs that she was tired, I put her back down for a nap... and the rest of the day was magical. Nursing was easy. Naps were easy. I had my happy baby back!

Isn't this nuts?
WHO KNEW THAT A BABY COULD SLEEP TOO MUCH?
Totally weird, right?

2 comments:

  1. Anonymous2/5/14 12:28

    Kathy, so what u r saying was u didn't let her sleep too long at night...so that she d sleep better during day? Go down better for day naps? Also, does she sleep those 10 hrs straight? Lorenne is such a light sleeper

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  2. There are also sleep regressions that pop up every few months. At 3 months, Maya is just getting out of her "4th trimester" and getting her circadian rhythms going. I highly recommend perusing through this site - it answered everything I ever wanted to know about baby sleep and saved my sanity a few times. http://www.troublesometots.com/

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