Baby routine 

Ellen is 8 weeks old today. This is a big hooray on many levels! One being that I had my 2nd and final postpartum checkup, and I’m cleared by the doc as healed and normal! So far, I don’t even need any physical therapy, although my need for pelvic floor work didn’t reveal itself until later in the game after Lewis, so there’s still a chance down the road, I suppose.

The other fun thing that happens at 8 weeks is that one of my favorite mommy bloggers (Lucie’s List) sends out an email about baby sleep routines. This email was a game changer with Lewis, and I have been looking forward to it for weeks this time around.

The email is basically about observing your baby for patterns in their daytime sleep so you can loosely structure a routine for them (and yourself!). The blogger is genius because she doesn’t recommend a rigid schedule, but instead suggests interval patterns – i.e. how long does your baby stay awake between periods of sleep? 

Maybe, for example, your kid stays awake for 1 hour after waking in the morning, 2 hours after that nap, 3 after the next, and 2 before bedtime. So whenever your kid wakes up, you have a general idea of when the next time you should put them down for a nap should be. 

Anyway, philosophy aside, the arrival of this email marks the start of me tracking Ellen’s sleep, instead of just her feedings. I’ve already started to notice some patterns, but the app I use to track everything will give me actual timelines of each day, side by side, so I can see what those patterns actually look like, giving me some order in all the chaos. 

The beauty in all of this is that I get all the predictability you can expect out of a baby (which is variable, at best!) without trying to force anything. The patterns are already there! She’s already doing all of this, I’ll just get to see it and understand her better and therefore be able to set life up as best as possible for a well rested baby, and therefore (hopefully) easy days for all!

The other sleep routine thing I have decided to take on is Ellen’s crib. She slept a couple nights in there a few weeks back, but it didn’t go awesome, so I put her back in the rock n play. I have been thinking it would be good to get her in the crib sooner rather than later, since I’ll be going back to work soon, and I would hate to go through a rough transition when my brain is needed the following morning. Better to get it out of the way now!

With that in mind, I tried her in her crib last night for her first stretch, but she startled herself awake after an hour. Without the sides of the rock n play to squeeze her, she flailed in the big old crib so much that she freaked out and screamed bloody murder.

Fail. Back in the rock n play.

My new strategy is to do some naps in the crib before going for night time. I got about an hour out of her today. She startled a few times, but fell back asleep on her own. Ultimately she didn’t get all the sleep she needed, so she finished off her nap in my lap after I comforted her following a particularly upsetting startling incident. It’s a work in progress, but I think it’s a good start!

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