Probably the biggest issue for any new mum, getting baby to sleep!
Well, I've had some success and quite a lot of failure. Nap time today seems to last only as long as he can keep the dummy in his mouth. For some reason he's just not managing to go deeply asleep, at least not for long. Sometimes I can pop him down in his moses basket and off he goes to the land of nod with nary a peep and I'm having to actively wake him for his next feed. This is, however, quite a rarity.
My usual routine for his daytime naps are as follows: -
Spend half an hour calmly cuddling him whilst sitting on the sofa with my finger in his mouth. Sometime this works like a charm and he goes right off, sometimes it seems to have no effect.
Pop him down carefully in the moses basket and wait and see....
Sometimes he'll sleep and sometimes he just wont. I usually end up hovering around with a dummy in my hand. If he's grumpy he needs it. He's sure needed it today, we've had a series of about ten minute long cat naps interspersed with grizzle, which is my cue to replace the dummy. I know a lot of the "professionals" say you shouldn't use them, but if the choice is that my baby either has the sleep he needs or spends ALL afternoon working himself into a state, I know which option I would choose. I had a dummy as a child, and I don't recall a great emotional upheval having to give it up. My son is also fast becoming a determined finger sucker and it wont be long before he works out how to get his thumb in there. All the professional people who go on and on about the problems of dummy use should spend a week with a baby who needs to sleep but doesn't want to. After all, the other choice is to spend the entire duration of his nap with my finger in his mouth, not good for either of us, really.
Aparently, cuddling him off to sleep is a bad idea too, he might get "dependant" on the cuddles just like the dummy. Bah humbug! At this age I want to give him as many cuddles as I can as it will no doubt feel like no time at all before he's pulling away because I'm being an embarrasing mum. While he's small I'm not at all bothered if he's a little cuddle dependant. He's a baby, he needs cuddles!
He also sleep grizzles. I suppose it's his sleep cycle - sometimes he's in the peaceful deep sleep phase, sometimes it's a lighter sleep and he will often make little noises in his sleep. It might be just baby babble, sometimes it's loud piggy like snorts and sometimes it's little cries. I watch him carefully when he does this and I have learned to my cost that picking up and cuddling him as soon as this starts is a bad idea. He is asleep and all I will be doing is waking him up. Sometimes the grizzles subside, perhaps they are just a bad dream. I'm not sure what a little boy of seven weeks and two days can dream about, but it's possible. Sometimes they don't go away and start getting louder and closer together. This is my cue to go and get his bottle ready as he's about to wake and will undoubtedly be hungry.
He's dropped off again now. The dummy has slipped from his mouth and for the first time in over an hour he hasn't instantly woken up with a cry. No - he's awake, it just took a little longer. Dummy is replaced and now I have to wait and see. When it fell out this time, it landed in his hand and his little fingers were gripping the teat quite firmly!! He's calm, but not dropping off again. The other problem is that he goes to rub his face and then knocks it out of his mouth. Being only tiny he can't put it back and grizzles. He is sleepy, but he doesn't understand, he just doesn't like the feeling.
Overnight he seems to do better. Andy is much better at calming him and he always has a big feed before night time sleeping. Quite often, it knocks him right out. At the moment his night sleeps go from 7.30pm to somewhere between midnight and two and then go on till between five and six. Andy likes to sleep downstairs until the late feed and our most recent purchase of a proper sofa bed has made this easier. After that, he comes upstairs with Joseph and I get up for the early feed. Sometimes he wakes me up early, but is still asleep himself. It's the funny little noises I mentioned earler. This is my cue to scamper off downstairs, baby, basket at all so Andy can sleep uninterupted until he has to get up for work. It's a good system, he's better at late night and I'm better at early mornings - with the proviso of a decent early night. It's a system I would recomend to new parents.
I am reliably informed that night sleeps only work as well as the day sleeps. A baby that's slept too much in the day wont sleep as well at night (well duh!) which is where a routine comes in a little handy. Day by day I'm starting to feel a little less like a lorry has run me over. It's more like a small car now, something VW Golf sized, perhaps. I'm hoping to downgrade to a Peel 50 soon, or even a small moped!
He has one other bad habit - waking up and screaming just when I can't run straight too him. Usually when I'm on the loo or similar. Babies, I can confirm have no sense of responsibility at one end and no sense of volume at the other. It's an old saying, but it sure is true!