To sleep, perchance to dream…

First, I must give public props to my beloved Besheret, Narda – she (9 times out of 10) takes the night shift. Before Malka, I kept sharing that the only thing I was afraid of with a baby was the sleep deprivation. It’s INTENSE! Narda functions MUCH better on less sleep than I do, and she has lovingly volunteered to take the night shift. We still have Malka in our bedroom, so I’m only in our bedroom on my nights “on,” otherwise, I’m in the guest bedroom. I can’t nap during the day, so it’s really the only way I can function, otherwise, I tend to wake up EVERY time she shfts her breathing patterns, which is about every 20 minutes. NOT good when you have to be “on” all day with her.

I will put Malka to bed around 8:00pm, and she’s asleep for about 5-6 hours, usually 5, and then up for an hour for a feeding and dipe change, and then back asleep until about 5:30 or 6:30, depending on her mood.

She takes a BIG nap from about 12 Noon until 3pm, and LOTS of little 20-45 minute cat naps during the day.

Having added it all up, it’s only about 13 hours on a good day, and everything we’ve read says she should be sleeping about 15 hours per day. ERP. One of the doctors in the Ped’s office said she should be sleeping 10 hours at night now – WTF! That SO has yet to happen. I think doctors tell people things, and then they do their own version anyway. Malka is also on a reduced ounces plan, down to 32, from the 40 we were giving her, and she seems to be adjusting OK to it. (She’s 18.4 pounds, 25 inches and not yet 4 months old).

Dooce had a BIG ole discussion about sleep, and I’m sure Malka’s just too young for any of the sleep training stuff, and we “should be so lucky we get those 5 hours in a row,” but I’m just concerned she’s not getting enough sleep.

Or maybe I just need to get over myself.

Here’s a link to the whole discussion on Dooce – I’m still reading all of the comments, and I’m on 24 of 475… Healthy Sleep Habits, Grumpy Baby

What are you doing, what works for you, how often does your child sleep? Or – How do YOU sleep, how did YOU sleep as a baby? This is a GOOD question to ask your folks – SOON! I asked my mom, and she simply said “You were a good baby; you slept through the night.” That was about all of the detail I could get from her.


12 thoughts on “To sleep, perchance to dream…

  1. My kids were pretty good sleepers as well. I never counted hours or did anything like that. I was not a “by the book, do exactly what the doc says” kinda mom though.

    Sounds like she is healthy and happy and thats the most important part!

    You have a beautiful family!

  2. Okay…first of all…ditch all the books!!! Malka didn’t read them yet and she sure didn’t write them…so…she is only doing what she knows. The doctor can tell you a million things…all out of statistics…but your baby will do what she wants to do.

    My one opinion…and this is hard for some moms…put her in her own room. That way you don’t wake up at every little movement and she may sleep sounder too. It may be difficult…but it is good for both of you. (I got lectured on this a few times…then finally listened..and it worked out well.)

    Don’t be too harsh on yourself. You are doing a great job!!! Just relax a little bit. Babies are a lot tougher than we give them credit for. I would start doing cereal also before bed. I know that helped my babies that were born at 10 lbs. But that is my opinion and if you wanted to..check with your doctor…but mine all survived and we both got better sleep. Good job moms!!!

  3. Ignore the books Shelli! I actually believed, after reading Healthy Sleep Habits that my daughter would not be able to learn/develop if she was tired. It stressed me out like crazy and now that she is two and way above average in development (first word at 8 months!), I realize I was a fool.
    I think the best thing you can do is give her plenty of opportunity to sleep (like those long walks). She is getting plenty, really. A 3 hour nap! You have no idea how lucky you are. And although it may not seem it to you, that is a great block of time for her to sleep overnight.
    You are doing a great job and don’t let any book tell you otherwise.

  4. Ditch the books. Ditch them ditch them. And EVERY kid is different. Not every kid sleeps through the night at 4 months old. In fact, most kids don’t. Our kids don’t fit into these book descriptions, (in my humble and right opinion), so throw them out. I think that Malka will sleep 5 hours in a row and then be back down for a few more hours with just one waking is something that would be the envy of many, many parents.


  5. Eliza would sleep for 3 to 4 hours and wake up to eat and go right back down. She would sleep for 9-10 hours, but waking up every 3-4 to eat. During the day she would cat nap, but only if we were holding her.

    Kevin was a good night sleeper, but gave up naps very young, so he probably never filled the total amount of sleep necessary.

  6. Im agreeing that you should ditch the books. ME was a great night sleeper… the only thing I could suggest is try keeping her awake more during the day. As I noticed the less she sleeps during the day, the better and longer she sleeps at night. However if I count the total ammount of hours it probably won’t match up, so screw the books!

    Don’t get yourself down about it. It’s very common. And the 3 hr nap is great!

    And with another comment made, moving ME to her own room was very hard for us, but it’s for the best. Thank God for video monitors!

  7. Honestly, don’t bother counting the hours, it’s not worth the anguish. DS turns 2 next week and has always been a night-waker, still is. My body’s adjusted over time, but I am so glad we co-sleep. You really can’t force sleep on anyone anyway.

  8. Hi, I love your blog, I surfed on over here from “Name That Mama.”

    There’s no way I’m touching that CIO shitstorm on Dooce, but the asshat pediatrician who told her that a 4 m.o. doesn’t need nutrition at night should lose his license. Please, please don’t believe that. Most of the kids who have actually DIED from that kind of feeding “schedule” have been breastfed babies whose intake was also restricted during the day, but if Malka wants a 3 a.m. bottle for the next several months, please please please feed her.

    4-5 months is a tough age. The sleep deprivation is brutal, and my second child, due in May, will be getting a bottle from Dad at 3 a.m. instead of being allowed to make me insane with fatigue. I’m all about compromise so everybody in the family can function and stay out of the loony bin. But almost every baby that young needs calories at night. My son needed to eat at night until he was about 10 months old, then his behavior shifted DRAMATICALLY from eating to just recreational suckling, and I cut him off without much fuss at all. I had tried to cut back on night feedings at five months because I was so. incredibly. tired., and what I got for my trouble was a dehydrated kid and several nights of even less sleep than usual.

    My ultimate conclusion on nighttime parenting is that it must be a shared burden. I was so determined to breastfeed exclusively that I had used myself up by 5 months, and meanwhile my husband had never become accustomed to waking when the baby cried, etc. I think you guys have cleared the biggest hurdle already just by deciding to work this thing in shifts right from the start.

  9. Definately ditch the books! My guys have all three been so different. N was a terrible sleeper as a baby – didn’t sleep through the night until he was 8 mo old and I put him in his own room and let him CIO. Three days later he was sleeping through the night and now a tornado going through his room wouldn’t wake him. E does not sleep through the night. Period. And he is almost 5. Of course he has issues. He also needs more sleep during the day because of how awful he sleeps at night. At least he is able to get himself back to sleep. C has been a better sleeper, but he woke at night for a feeding for quite a while. He is above the 95th percentile for ht and wt – he would have eat around the clock non stop if I let him. At this stage I think you are doing great to take your cues from her.

  10. Shelli, it sounds likes Malka is sleeping well, and you and Narda have a good arrangement to allow both of you to feel your best too. Those things are so important! Reading Dooce’s post made me realize just how ragged we are being run by Helen’s constant wakings, so we tried sleep training last night. It was a bit rough, but I think she is pretty adjustable, and I can’t believe we haven’t tried this earlier. Thanks for the link. Our 2 kids have been such different sleepers, and what worked for Mitchell definitely doesn’t work for Helen. She slept A LOT up to 4 months, but not much more than Malka I don’t think. Mitchell didn’t even come close to what Malka is doing in total hours, but these days I think he is a pretty good sleeper. Keep up what you’re doing, you’re doing great!

  11. Hon, please relax more. From what you wrote Malka *is* sleeping about 10 hours a night. At her age, it’s not unusual for her to wake during the night for a feeding. 15 hours is an average! All babies are different. Malka sounds just fine in terms of her amount of sleep. In fact I just added up the times you gave and she is sleeping close to 15 hours per day. Quite honestly, my unasked for advice is to stop writing everything down and try to assess how Malka is doing rather than what she is doing.

  12. Sweets… Charlie eats 3-4 times a night at least. Sometimes more. He sleeps for about 90 minutes at a time. We’re tired, yeah, but we get over it. We didn’t have a baby because we wanted to sleep. We’re not willing to do CIO with him so we deal with the night waking. And it’s not that bad once you adjust to it.
    Burn the books. And if Malka is hungry, FEED HER!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s