I've read you shouldn't even try to get babies under three months old on a sleep schedule - they sleep when they need to sleep. (Which for Annabel never seems to have been a whole lot.) But for the past three weeks I've REALLY REALLY been trying to get Annabel sleeping. Like 6 hours a day at least of active trying. Finally, we had 3 days of success. In which she slept 7-8 hours at night, and took 2-3 naps during the day. One night she even slept 12 hours, waking up twice to briefly nurse. I couldn't believe how much less fussy both of us were. The secret seemed to be tummy sleeping (which I wasn't too happy about, but she's an awesome roller) and putting her down for naps much earlier than before. I thought I had found the Big Secret that held the key to us both getting some sleep finally.
That is why the past couple days have been even more frustrating - because I know it doesn't have to be that way. I'm told by my pediatrician and other mothers that the pattern is sleep, nurse, diaper, play, repeat. But this is our day:
wake, nurse, diaper, oops, more poopy, another diaper, play, start quieting down, diaper, put her in crib, screaming, fussing, mama soothes/nurses/rocks, put her in crib, screaming fussing, mama soothes, put her in crib, try to get breakfast in the 2 minutes of quiet before she fusses again, mama soothes, leaves bagel on table which some pet then eats, put baby down, clean up kitchen in 6 installments of 2 minutes each before she fusses. at this point she's hungry again, so nursing, diaper, put her on play mat so i can brush my teeth or something. put her in crib, screaming, try everything i know, put her down again, doesn't work - get a shower with her in bouncer hoping sound of water helps. nurse, and put her down. screaming, and i'm nearly in tears. i give up, and just hold her and nurse until she dozes and put her in swing. this has a 40% success rate. if she sleeps it's for 25 minutes and i've done 2 loads of laundry and cleaned the whole house like a magician. i still haven't looked in a mirror. she wakes and plays, diaper, nurse. start over whole cycle again. daddy comes home at 6:30 and i hand her over, whimpering for help, and make dinner.
She does sleep seemingly involuntarily in the car, and she seems to do better when we go out during the day.. so hopefully as the weather gets better this will overall get better. But I'm tired. Really tired. This video was taken at 4 pm today, and she still hasn't napped, except briefly in the car. She slept an interrupted 6ish hours last night . Yesterday she had 2 naps totaling an hour. The night before that we were up til 5 a.m. The pediatrician said she needs at least 12 hours a day, normal is about 15. Suggestions taken! I'm reading two books on sleep and taking the advice of added routines, taking my pediatrician's advice of having her sleep in a crib, and friends' advice about having quiet time before naps and putting her down earlier. Anything else? (Regarding 'cry it out', I don't pick her up the second she fusses if she's been napping. She almost never settles again though. If she's super overtired sometimes she'll really scream right before she settles. I can tell when this is happening and I'll stay with her and let her go a couple minutes. Most of the time though she just escalates, plus I'm overall not a big fan of this method - I want my baby to feel secure.)
Here's my little no-sleeper. She's absolutely adorable though, huh?