F&*%$ING Sleep Cycles

GAWD naptimes are doing MY HEAD IN.

I need advice! I need reassurance! Heeeelp!

It’s been nearly a month of this approach now, and we’ve had exactly one big win, and one *pttthhhhh* fail.

Win: a relatively calm bedtime at 7, dream feed at 10.30 and sleeping until anywhere between 3-5am. This overnight feed is getting later and later (or earlier?) Last night, she did 7 – 7 with the dream feed in between. I’m hoping this starts to become a more regular occurrence!

Fail: naps. They’re getting worse. She just will. not. sleep. past one 30-40 minute cycle. Here’s the drill:

  1. Wakes at the end of a cycle, doing anything from chatting and smiling, to grizzling, to crying
  2. I then spend an hour or more of going in and out, shushing, patting, sometimes picking up and cuddling, and often – *sigh* – the dummy. Why do I persevere? Because sometimes she’ll go back to sleep for another hour or more.
  3. This can mean she’s in bed for 2.5 or 3 hours, but only gets 30mins to 1.5 hours of sleep under her belt
  4. I’m pretty sure she’s not hungry, as she’ll settle immediately and start smiling whenever I enter the room, and does go back to sleep (eventually) if I stick with it

It’s this ‘going back to sleep’ that’s really mucking with my mind. If I knew she was awake for good, I’d suck it up, get her out of bed, feed her and start the whole Eat/Play/Sleep cycle again. But I know she can (and will) go back to sleep. It’s just the hour – or more – it takes to get her there. It’s exhausting and disruptive for me, and I dread to think how it must be for Little Bun.

We’re on a four hourly feed cycle, and (again) my gut tells me this is OK, as when she’s in the car / pram she’ll resettle from one cycle to another quickly and calmly, and certainly won’t grizzle for a feed until the four-hour mark.

And yes, I’ve tried getting her up regardless. She’s exhausted: doesn’t feed well, is yawning and rubbing her eyes after half an hour. I feel awful, like it’s my responsibility to get her to sleep because she really does need it.

Am I doing something wrong? Would a hungry baby go back to sleep like she does? Have you experienced anything like this? Should I stop worrying and accept what I can’t control*?



7 thoughts on “F&*%$ING Sleep Cycles

  1. I hate saying it – but sounds pretty normal 🙂

    LIl K was and still is such a weirdo sleeper during the day. Sometimes it’s 30 minute naps and then days like yesterday where it was an epic 3 hours. Hit or miss probably for a few more months.

    Sounds like you are doing everything. I’ve got a video monitor and once she starts sucking on her toes…the nap is over. If she starts fussing, I let her figure it out or go in sneaky like and pop her soother back in her mouth. That usually gives me another half hour.

    Is she swaddled? That helped us so much until she was 5 months.

  2. Yeah … I have a feeling that time will be the main solution in this instance.
    Having said that, I just don’t want to put any *bad* habits in place now that will be hard to break later (mumble-dummy-mumble).
    We’re using the Swaddle Up as she was Houdini-ing out of anything else. Loves to chew on her hands, this one!

  3. My son was exactly the same, and I also tried everything I read, or was told about to get him to sleep more that 40 mins during the day….with no success. I got stressed and concerned, and the more I tried and it failed, the more stressed I got! In the end what worked was me simply accepting that this was his sleep pattern and that if it worked for him, then it would have to work for me; and once I got to this mindset the stress went. He simply had 4-5 sleeps a day when other babies had 3. Once he reached the point of 1-2 sleeps a day he then slept longer….and now he is 2.5 and does a 2-3 hour day sleep in weekend (is at daycare during the week so knackered by saturday)
    Hope that helps.

  4. Loads of people have recommended Weissbluth’s Healthy Sleep Habits, Healthy Baby to me. I finally started reading it and it’s great. Weissbluth is a little condescending but very informative, and he treats parents like adults in the sense that he realizes that not all babies are the same and instead of proscribing a schedule gives information to help parents identify the appropriate schedule. It sounds like the book might be helpful to you.

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