It Gets Easier, Right?

It’s 2am and Lady Jr is finally asleep again after rocking and holding her for an hour. She’ll probably be up again soon because we’re going to hit the 3 hour marks from her last feeding shortly.

Dr Lady goes back to work on Tuesday and I’m more than a little afraid. My parents are coming to help, but they’ll only be available during the day (like sane people). I was hoping we’d have sleep a little more worked out by now, but Lady Jr will. not. sleep. in. her. crib. She’ll sleep in the baby box, if it’s in the living room. But even duplicating every condition and putting the box in the crib, she just won’t. We got her to sleep for a little while in the bouncer in the crib (mattress out for a more stable surface), but here I am again in the living room just a few hours later with her on my chest watching Netflix and bouncing, bouncing.

I don’t know what to do about sleep and now she’s started fussing/crying whenever she’s awake. I know that over the next few weeks she’s supposed to get fussier, but I didn’t expect so much so soon. So of course I’m questioning everything we do and wondering if there’s something wrong. Or is she just a normal baby? Google says both.

She’s eating and pooping well, so I’m not worried about her health. I’m just tired. And I keep googling when does baby sleep longer  and when does this get easier?

I guess it’s good I got used to sleeping in 2 hour chunks while pregnant.

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22 Comments

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22 responses to “It Gets Easier, Right?

  1. It gets easier, slowly. She will eventually start sleeping in bigger chunks at night than in the day. But yeah, this part sucks. When your parents are there, make a point of sleeping during the day as much as you can, so being up most of the night will be easier.

    When our Bear was < 3 months old, she was colicky in the evenings, so K took her up to his office so I could sleep. I slept from 8pm to midnight or 1am (he would give her a bottle somewhere in there). And then the two of them would wake me, K would go to sleep and I would be up with the Bear til morning. We weren't awake for that entire time — we were lucky enough to have a sofa with smooth right upholstery, so I would put the baby burrito in the corner and I would make an L shape around her with my knees against the back of the sofa and my head on one arm, and in that way I was able to sleep for an hour.

    • That’s exactly what we’re doing right now. I sleep from 7/8 to 11 or 12 and then just spend the rest of the night on the sofa. It’s the only way either of us can get more than an hour of sleep. Not ideal but the time’s we’ve tried to switch it up has meant less sleep for both of us and much harder days.

  2. My babies didn’t sleep. Hardest times of my life. I think I became almost psychotic with sleep deprivation. So glad your parents are coming! (I just had a useless baby-daddy who wouldn’t get up in the night and never changed a diaper). That probably isn’t very helpful, except maybe in the ‘I feel you’ sense’…

  3. AmyApplesnail

    Yeah, I feel you. Avery started sleeping longer at night (still averages 3 hours at a time, but eats fast and passes right out again) around 5 weeks I think. She is still fussy most evenings. But it DOES get better every week. They develop so fast at this age. When it seems like you just can’t go on like this anymore, remind yourself that she is really close to the age where she will figure out night and day. Especially when the days blur into each other with the sleep deprivation, time will fly.

    • Okay, three more weeks give or take. 🙂 She’s doing 2 hour stretches now, occasionally 3. Our days of 4-5 hours are over for now, which is good in a way because at least I’m not worrying about whether she’s eating enough, but now I wish I’d taken advantage of those longer naps.

  4. Oh sweetie, yep. It gets better. Slowly but surely. The fussiness will peak in a few weeks, but then it calms down. Mabel went a few weeks where she refused to sleep on her back and so we spent many nights in a semi-reclined pose, propped with pillows and her on our chests. Take care of yourself. So many growth spurts happen right there at the beginning, she will likely just want to be attached to your boob nonstop some days. Totally normal.

    • Thank you. Objectively I know that the fussiness peaks around week 6 and I keep telling myself we’re 1/3rd of the way there, but it’s also scary that it’s going to get worse before it gets better. I guess this is why I’m off work completely – I can’t imagine trying to work and handle a newborn.

  5. Totally normal baby behavior! We started co-sleeping so that I could side-lie feed her at about 6 weeks and never turned back. I love it. She loves it. We all sleep more…except maybe my wife. She eats and then I put her up between our pillows, which are about 18 inches apart, so that she is above the blanket line. She sleeps there, happily, for several hours, until she wants to eat again. I never get up. Hallelujah.

    Do whatever works for you.

    • Our bed is too small for safe bedsharing, but we do have the crib side-cared. If only she’d sleep in it, lol. And yeah, part of the problem is it’s harder for my wife to get sleep when baby is waking up every few hours.

  6. Ladibug21

    Emerson slept on my chest in our bed for 8 months. It was both horrible and beautiful. I know it’s not “safe”, but it was the_only way he would sleep. He wouldn’t sleep swaddled, he wouldn’t sleep in a rocker, he would ONLY sleep there. I was going delirious from sleep-deprivation until I gave in and napped with him that way during the day too. I think whatever way you can get her to sleep, safely, that also allows you to sleep is BEST.

    Once he got to about 8 months, our sleep was similar to Caitlin’s, up above.

    Also, if she’s fussing for hours and hours during the day, that could be colic. Emerson had it for a long time until I got out every last bit of dairy (it’s different for every baby but dairy is a huge contributor)

    It gets better, I promise.

    • I was just telling Dr Lady that I’m going to cut out dairy for a little while and see if it improves. I’m mostly just eating the occasional yogurt and cheese, but we had pizza yesterday and she was fussy all night and this morning, so I wonder…
      I really wish sleep guidelines for infants were more practical, instead of just “alone in crib.” I don’t know anyone for whom that has actually worked.

      • Stacey

        I had to spend the first couple of weeks with the baby on or right next to me in the bed. I know that it was not ideal, but, like her brother, W would not sleep alone. Now, at 4 months, she will sleep in her side car, but only for 3.5 hours at a time. Good luck. I remember the hell. But now, I have become oddly acclimated to getting up 3 times a night to feed or calm the baby.

      • Probably because 3 times is relatively little compared to before.
        It’s good to know this is normal and we’re not messing her up by having her constantly on/near us.

  7. Oh man. Those early weeks are so so hard. I laughed, not at you, but because I used to Google the same things.

    She’ll start to sleep longer stretches in the next few weeks. I think my son started giving us 5-6 hours around 8/9 weeks. We also gave in though, and started cosleeping almost right away. For us it was the only way we all got sleep.

  8. shawnsorcade

    I remember when Evie was a newborn I used to Google things like “when will my baby stop crying ” or “when will I sleep again” because I was so tired and stressed and I thought Google could help lol. When it answered with things like my baby calmed down around three months I would just break down becUse the thought of that much longer was unbearable. I don’t know how we got through it but we did. I’m sorry 😦

  9. Oh yeah, totally normal for a newborn. Typically you won’t see much of a sleep pattern/routine until about 3 months, that’s when babies are neurologically developed enough to sort out day from night and to get longer stretches of sleep. I know it’s easier said than done, but try to just go with the flow and use any means necessary to get some sleep! For me, I ended up sleeping propped up with couch cushions in bed with Ali sleeping on my chest for 2-3 months, but I have friends who swear by the rock and play/white noise machines/crib soother light machine things for their babies.

  10. AndiePants

    It gets easier.
    And then harder, and then easier again.
    I do think 3 months is a bit of a magic turning point, when the unreasonable (to us) crying starts to make its way into at least more sense making crying, and sleep becomes pattern-like (not scheduled, but rhythmic at least) and you start to feel like you could approximate human-ness again.
    But for God’s sake, don’t google. Google + sleep deprivation will get you no where. Sleep when and how you can – including looking into safe bed sharing because girl, you need it and nursing makes you sleepy and sleeping in a crib when you were sleeping inside a nice warm human uterus for 9 months is haaaaard.

  11. It gets easier! When my now-14-month-old was tiny, he slept in someone’s arms or in a Fisher Price Rock n Play. I know a Rock n Play is not Officially Approved Of for sleep, but it worked for us. We transitioned him to the cosleeper when he was two months old, I think.

    I had to walk my son up and down the street in the Moby wrap, patting his butt and singing songs from “Hamilton” to soothe his fussiness. ALSO. Try this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQUjMtQRUbg I do not know why it works, I do not care. I don’t care if it’s Satan’s own chanting. It works. It works best when the baby is ferally screaming and you play it really loud. I still use it to get my kid to sleep.

    I remember crying in despair when my son was about as old as your daughter is now that humans needed eight hours of sleep and eight hours of sleep seemed like such an IMPOSSIBLE number. Two hours! I could get two hours, why can’t I live on two hours?!?!

    Good luck! These times are hard, but they do pass.

    • Hahaha, exactly on the two hours thing. I get so upset that the sleep I am getting isn’t enough. But 3-4 hours for two weeks now is probably enough to wear on anyone.

  12. Roo slept in the bassinet at that stage, but only if we pre-warmed the sheets. We used a wheat pack to do it (taking it out before putting her in). It made the transfer much easier for all of us. I hope that everything settles down for you soon.

    • We just started using a heating pad to pre-warm her bouncer this last week, which has helped transfers a lot. I’m going to start using it for the box/crib when we decide to try that again.

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