Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Sleep Lately?

"Is he sleeping through the night?" "Getting much sleep lately [ha, ha, ha]?" "Are you using a sleep schedule?  Spending the first three months getting him on a sleep schedule will really pay off in the long run." People love to talk to new parents about their lack of sleep.  I think it helps remind them why they are glad to not be living with an infant. 

Amanda and I find these questions difficult to answer because we do not have the goal everyone wants to hear you have reached.  "He slept through the night!"  Of course we will be relieved when he starts sleeping in longer stretches.  Four hours of continuous sleep would be amazing!  But, we do not expect him to sleep through the night for months.  Breastfed babies need to eat more frequently than babies fed formula so eight hours of sleep is not realistic (and would be horrible for retaining a milk supply).  Instead we sleep when we can, and minimize how much of a disturbance late night feedings are by his sleeping in our bed.

The one thing I wasn't expecting, and was a pleasant surprise when it was happening, was how little sleep we needed the first couple of weeks.  We would take 15 minute naps and feel as though we had slept 8 hours.  Oxytocin, adreneline - hormones can be a great thing, though most adolescents may disagree.  Unfortunately for him, Piper did not get this hormone boost and has found the last few weeks exhausting.

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