She Says… Textbook

I realize that I haven’t written much about Emmett’s daily schedule or how much he sleeps or eats. You already know why (no, not just that he’s the 2nd child) — my new philosophy no longer hinges on schedules or counting hours or minutes or trying to “work on” changing the way things are. So I haven’t kept sleep logs or written down how many minutes he’s nursing on which sides when. And thank goodness for that.

Though I haven’t cracked open a single parenting or sleep book or website this time around, I think Emmett is pretty textbook for 3 months old.*

He goes to bed around 7pm and wakes up between 6am and 7am. During that time he usually gets up once around 1am or 2am to eat. If I’m lucky (ha!), he gets up twice, usually around 1am and 5am. Aside from those times, he’s totally silent (he never wakes and cries for no reason). There is a small (and getting larger) part of me that really, really wants to “work on” things so that he sticks to getting up once or even eliminates all night feedings altogether. But I’m resisting the urge. It doesn’t really work anyway; he’s on his own schedule.

Last night was one of those lucky nights when he got up twice and I was so physically exhausted by the 2nd time I heard him that I seriously contemplated letting him cry. Don’t judge me. We’ve all been there. But then I realized he’s still only 13 weeks old and some people’s babies wake up many, many more times throughout the night at this age (and older). And he was probably legitimately hungry. So I kicked myself in the butt, shuffled into his room and stuck my boob in his mouth. He was, in fact, hungry. Note to self: Don’t starve your child.

During the day I can see tiny glimmers of a real “schedule” falling into place without my intervention, but we’re still very loose. Emmett can be awake happily for about 1.5 hours before needing to sleep again. So usually I wake him up, change his diaper, feed him, “play” for the next 45-60 minutes, and then put him back down. And repeat. Naps are almost always 1 sleep cycle (45 minutes) but we’ve had the occasional 1.5 hour stretch as well. The old me would have been all, “I’m really working on extending his naps and helping him learn how to consolidate sleep blah blah blah”, but the new me is fine to squeeze my To Do’s into those 45 minute windows since they are pretty much guaranteed. Anything above that is icing on the cake.

He is super easy to put to sleep. Unlike his brother, who needed 30 minutes of rocking and a delicate transfer to the crib, Emmett is happy to pretty much happy to be plopped in the crib and to put himself to sleep. Sometimes I steal a few minutes of rocking him in his swaddle because he’s just too sweet to put down.

And then, of course, there are the random nights when he’s screaming bloody murder despite being fed and tired. But we won’t talk about those nights. They don’t happen very often, and for that I am extremely grateful.

As a result of his sleep schedule, that means he’s eating every 2-3 hours. Sometimes 2 on the dot if he got tired early, and sometimes 3 or even a little longer if he sleeps longer. On average, his nursing sessions take 20 minutes (15 on the fast/big side and 5 on the slow/small side). Sometimes gas gets the best of him and he barely eats anything, twisting and turning away. Other times he’s happy to suck and suck and suck for 45 minutes and it still seems as though he’s getting milk. At night he seems to like 30 minutes. It varies.

Thanks to an awesome supplement (GoLacta), my milk supply has increased and I think I’m making exactly the right amount of milk (as opposed to a few weeks ago when I was regularly supplementing with formula as needed). At night I still opt for a couple ounces of formula or milk I pumped the previous night at my bedtime so I can guarantee I won’t run dry before he’s finished (as I hate to disrupt bedtime with having to take him into the bathroom to make a surprise bottle, and often he really likes to tank up at bedtime). But in general I feel like we’ve hit a really good stride with supply and demand and understanding each other in the nursing department.

Emmett’s not a huge fan of tummy time, but he’s very strong. He loves to be held upright and we’ve just started using the Bumbo seat for short periods of time. He also loves his play mat with toys dangling down and has a mean right hook to knock them back and forth. He can hold your finger tighter than a boa constrictor squeezing its prey. He especially likes beating me up while we’re nursing.

All in all, he’s doing awesome. For a 3 month old.


* To everyone who I meet on the street and in the grocery line and at the doctor’s office who asks me if he’s sleeping through the night (and balks when I say he is not), SHUT YOUR TRAPS. It is totally, totally fine and normal that my 3 month old is not sleeping through the night yet. So please stop giving me that pitying look. I realize it is a common thing to ask a new parent, but really. Just don’t.


13 responses to “She Says… Textbook

  1. At his age, “sleeping through the night” is a five hour stretch, and he’s doing that! Go ahead and brag to those strangers.

  2. Angie All The Way

    It does not even compute in my brain that someone would presume that a newborn would be sleeping all night. I’m quite certain that any lucky Mama who’s baby does sleep through the night at this young age is more on the “exception” and not the “rule” side of things. You are so absolutely right about the “it doesn’t work anyway” comment. Each baby rules their own progress on pretty much everything!

  3. So jealous of your once or twice wake ups per night. I have a 6 month old who is not a good sleeper and often wakes 4-6 times per night! If we got 2 times per night, we would be jumping for joy! I have an older daughter about Owen’s age who was/is a great sleeper…’s hard when the second one is worse!

  4. At about 4 months I stopped answering Ali’s first whimpers and waited for full out cries. I also started her on a schedule at that time for my own sanity (8 am, 12 pm, 4 pm and bedtime). After a few nights of one feeding she started sleeping through the night. Every now and again (maybe 1 time every 10 days) she wakes around 5:30 and I feed her and put her right back down, but most nights it’s all the way through. I also started with white noise and sometimes giving her a bottle at night before bed to help her tank up.

    I’m a lot like you. I was so worried with R and with A I am so easygoing. I have her on this schedule because it was time and she pretty much dictated it (I only nudged it along).

    I wish I could have been this version of myself with R because I would have been much happier as a new mom.

  5. Once or twice a night? I’m JEALOUS!!! My third baby is a terrible sleeper (boo to everyone who said they would be my best) and at the moment he’s up every 1.5 hours – he’s 4.5 months old and this has been going on for weeks. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Sounds like Emmet is doing perfectly, and your happiness with him and life is so evident on your posts – it’s wonderful!

  6. Sorry typo! I meant Emmett (love that name)

  7. Erm, my baby is going to be a year old and the only reason he’s not getting up at night is because we forced night weaning – and when I say not getting up at night I’m ignoring the 11 p.m. feeding since that’s just before my bedtime…

  8. You go, Kate. Seriously.

  9. I never ask anyone if their kid is sleeping through the night… I always say “are you letting your mommy sleep?” That way it is just a question without any expectations, and no matter what the answer is of how many hours I say, “WOW, that is great!!!” 🙂

  10. Christine Griffin

    Why do people think babies are suppose to sleep all night long ? Who started that vicious rumor ? Babies eat and babies sleep. They poop and cry in between. There is no rocket science needed. You are doing a beautiful job mom. Enjoy him.

  11. We get that sleep comment, too. Except it’s always phrased like “do you remember what sleep felt like? har har har.” and we just reply, “actually, Miriam is a great sleeper and we haven’t felt sleep deprived.” Besides, M sounds like your Emmett except she goes to bed a bit later. Bed around 10 pm, sleeps until 5, eats, back to sleep until 8. It’s glorious.

  12. Ya, ppl are crazy to think that babies should sleep through the night so young. Waking up 1-2x in 12 hrs is SO normal at that age — and honestly, much less than my daughter was waking up at 3 months!

    Your scheduling philosophy (or lack thereof) sounds pretty much like mine. 🙂 I found it WAY less stressful to just go with the flow of those 2-3 hour cycles of eat, play, eat, sleep – repeat… .than to worry about scheduling and such. I’m glad you’re feeling calm and confident this time around!

  13. Too sleep-deprived to even come up with something funny or pithy to say. Sounds like you have an awesome situation and whoever the crazies are that are asking if he sleeps through the night – booooo! They’re nuts. Now back to my 5-week-old (the 3rd baby, who was supposed to be the easy one, according to all sources!) who does not sleep for more than an hour, day or night, unless she is upright on one of our chests…yeah…

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 )

Google+ photo

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

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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


Connecting to %s