This is gonna be a rough, all over the place post. Apologies in advance. I’m beyond tired.
I jinxed things. From two to eight weeks of age Sabine was a champion sleeper. She would go down easily and sleep a good 4-6 hour stretch followed by one or two additional 2 hour stretches. It was fabulous. Magical even. I would tell people what a great sleeper she was and then knock on wood because some little part of me knew that it was too good to be true.
And then Sabine turned 9 weeks and all our great sleeping went out the window. For the past week she has slept in one to two hour blocks, waking in a red faced screaming tizzy to eat. She eats lazily for anywhere from 20 to 60 minutes and then falls back asleep, just to wake up an hour or two later wanting another round.
Initially I thought we were in a growth spurt. She actually looks to have grown quite a bit the past week or so, filling out more and finally starting to look like a 2 month old. In fact, I have not had a stranger ask if she was premature in over a week (seriously – anyone reading this who sees a small baby. DO NOT ASK THE MOM IF HE/SHE WAS PREMATURE. It is a horrible thing to ask regardless of if the baby was or was not born early. Not everyone squeezes out a 9 pounder.) However, if this was a growth spurt it should have tapered off by now, right?
I also worried my supply was dropping and that Sabine was not getting enough to eat so I let her stay on the breast nibbling as much as she wanted all week to boost supply and started taking Fenugreek (my armpits smell of maple syrup. Jealous much?) The Fenugreek is a wonder herb for me. In 24 hours time my supply was noticeably greater and Sabine spent more time during the day actively eating rather than passively nibbling. But still, poor sleep.
The real kicker is that Sabine has also stopped napping. I could handle rough nights if she had two or three solid naps during the day for me to catch a little extra sleep but instead our naps have gone from me rocking her to sleep and then putting her down for two hours, to two to four hour marathon sessions of her laying in my arms, leisurely nibbling at my breast and dozing while I was Sopranos. As soon as I put her down her eyes pop open and she starts to cry.
Because of the lack of naps and the mediocre day time feedings, it is taking literally from 5 p.m. to 8 or 9 p.m. to get her to sleep for “the night.” Which is really only 2 hours or so and feel so. damn. futile.
All of this is making for horrible latching. I’m too tired to correct and Sabine, well, she is on the boob so damn much that it seems impossible to teach her new ways. Her latch is unbelievably shallow, my nipples hurt and parts of my breasts are being ineffectively drained setting the stage for another boob infection.
I don’t know what to do and am starting to freak out that we are raising a terrible sleeper. You know why? Confession time: I am breaking every sleep rule that has ever been given to me via some well-meaning assvice. Let us count the ways the world tells me I am fucking up my daughters ability to sleep:
- We swaddle. All. The. Time. If we don’t swaddle her then she was flail and wake herself up.
- Sabine still sleeps in her Rock ‘n Play. Swaddled in the Rock ‘n Play. Swaddled and not strapped in meaning I am never completely asleep at night because I’m too freaked out that she is not strapped down.
- I let her nurse to sleep.
- I let her pacify on the breast.
- We use white noise. Everywhere.
- I do not let her cry it out. Ever. (In my mind, tiny babies just should not cry it out. They don’t understand yet.
I am becoming desperate. I’m ready to start transitioning her to the cosleeper where she can sleep more safely and I can more easily nurse at night but I’m afraid to rock the boat even more. On the other hand, why the hell not start the transition now, when no one is sleeping… ever?
So I turn to you, experienced mamas, breastfeeders, sleep gurus, etc. What are your thoughts? What am I doing wrong? What can I do to improve this situation. We have lots of daytime stimulation through play, toys, singing, long walks outside, etc. We have started spending 30 minutes in the park across the street each day watching other kids play (something Sabine loves to do). I snuggle her lots, tell her I love her. Keep her clean, dry, warm, etc. I work hard to keep her fed, although it is a challenge when she just wants to pacify on the boob (she has completely rejected a pacifier and won’t even entertain the idea anymore). This coming Thursday I’m going to the monthly La Leche League meeting in the Bronx to address our crappy latch problems. Is is possible a crappy latch can be causing all of this sleep trouble?
Sorry for the scattered post. I’m tired. My baby is tired. My husband is… well, not tired as the jerk is in the bedroom snoring away while I feed his cats, baby and make his lunch but THAT is another post for another day!