Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Here is my beautiful girl. Here are some surprising facts about this picture:

1) It was taken after a 2 hour nap.

2) This is one of her 3-4 usual naps per day.

3) She is smiling when she wakes up, her new normal.

4) She is well rested, after having slept 11 or 12 hours the night before, waking up once. Which she now does EVERY NIGHT.

I've been hesitant to mention it on the blog, but Annabel - my I-only-sleep-8-hours, if that-Annabel - is now a textbook sleeper. She goes to bed between 7 and 8 pm and wakes between 6:30 and 8 a.m. She takes 3 to 4 naps a day, about 2 hours apart. (The 2 hour nap is a bit of a fluke - 40 mins. is average.) This is all going into the third week now.

This literally happened overnight. I had called my pediatrician at a complete loss, feeling like an incompetent mother who was depriving her baby of needed sleep. Not to mention that I'd had 5 months of very little sleep, with long long long stretches of trying to get a screamy protesting baby to go to bed finally, already. If only I had this book at the time.

My doctor was shocked at how little my baby was sleeping and wondered how she was functioning so well. I got a 'prescription' for sleep training. I thought I'd been doing something like this already, but I wasn't. She recommended putting Annabel down after a bedtime routine, saying a certain good-night phrase, then leave. Let her cry 5 mins., come back, repeat phrase, and do all this without touching her. The other mandate was to have my husband do the bedtime routine, so that Annabel wouldn't expect to be fed. I think it's this part that was key. The first night Annabel cried about 40 mins. I was used to this, but Gabe was not. He almost was in tears. But she quieted, then slept, at 8:45 p.m. vs. 1 a.m. And since then she's been great! She cries when I put on the white noise now and say it's nap time or Gabe says good-night. I think this is a good sign, though, because she knows what's up. She doesn't like it, and lets us know that, but she accepts it. And she is well rested and happy.

I would be well rested too, except I've been stoked to have my evenings back. I used to spend from 6 pm til 1ish trying to get her to sleep and now I have time! I love this freedom again and am having my own little protest against bedtime... I go to sleep 12-1, wake to feed her around 3-4 and am up with her around 7. Now I just need someone to put me to bed on time!
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