It's been my experience that newborns are EASY. There. I said it. Don't hate. It really was easier than I thought it would be. While everyone else I knew was crying over how much their infant woke up at night, it didn't phase me much. Sure Noweo woke up at night, every 2 hours like every other baby, but she went right back to sleep after her feeding. Then she napped for a good portion of the day. What a breeze!!!!
Now that Noweo is just shy of 6 months, it seems to be all downhill from here. I'm serious. She's SUPER clingy (which I read is normal at this age), she won't be put down for very long without fussing, her morning nap is pretty set - it's always 2 hours after she wakes up for the day, but after that, I can't make sense of any sort of pattern; yesterday she napped for 3 hours in the morning, 1 hour in the afternoon, slept at 5:30pm, woke up at 8, STAYED up till 11:30, woke up at 12:30, 2:30, 4:30, 5:30, then finally 8:30, and is down again for her morning nap at 10:30, giving me a chance to complain about this on my blog. It's been like this for a little more than a week now.
So your next question is probably something like "well does she have a bedtime routine?" Um, yes. It's not very structured because it kind of hinges on when my husband gets home from work. Ideally, we eat when he gets home around 6, he bathes her and reads to her while I clean up. Then we switch off, and I nurse her and help her fall asleep somewhere between 7 and 7:30. Sounds good right? Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. I know that her nap times influence her nighttime sleeping schedule, but I don't know how to make sleeping and waking work together.
I feel like I'm doing what I can:
putting her down in the same place to sleep
watching for signs of sleepiness and putting her down to nap right away
creating a routine like I mentioned above
Guys, I'm so about attachment parenting, instinctual parenting, but this has got my stumped. Once in a while I'll let her CIO (cry it out *cringe*)...sort of, but I can't leave her alone because I don't have a crib (just a crib mattress on the floor) and even though she can't crawl she is VERY mobile. Usually I sit outside the room and semi read a book while I listen to my little girl whimper, peeking in to make sure she hasn't gotten into any mischief. It's the whimpers that get me - those pitiful "why-am-I-being-punished???" whimpers. I'm such a softie. It's inevitable that if she whimpers long enough, I'll pick her up and squeeze her and tell her I love her and lie down with her and nurse her to sleep...and fall asleep myself.
Some of you may say "well there's nothing wrong with nursing your baby to sleep..." There is when you end up getting kicked and poked and scratched and pushed to the edge of the bed and spit up on and twisted into weird uncomfortable positions so your sprawled out baby can sleep in blissful repose. I love co-sleeping, but she's quite frankly getting too big. Not old, BIG. As in size. So I'm trying to teach her to sleep in her own space.
I guess what I'm wishing for this Wednesday is some guidance, and some solid sleep. I think we as parents often don't know when to put our foot down, and this love of and giving in to our little infants continues on as they grow older, eventually creating pushy little people that get their way every time, because we couldn't do the hard things when they were tiny and helpless and cute. So here's to hoping I can do the hard things; showing I love her while teaching her that she'll be ok on her own for a little while...oh and maintaining my sanity while doing so. Cheers!