Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Sleeping Through the Night

I love a solid, nightly niner. If I don't get at least eight hours more than two nights in a row, I become pretty non-functioning. I've always been like this. I read somewhere that insightful, creative people need more sleep, so, sure. Either that or I'm a bum.

Our baby, however, is no such lazy ass. At the orphanage, they fed her every four hours, and if she was sleeping, they would wake her up to feed her. So of course, this is how she came to us. We figured this would pass when no one was waking her up, but it didn't. And I was pretty sad about it.

One morning I met some mamma-girlfriends at the bagel shop and I was all bleary-eyed with my bangs sticking straight up off my forehead (I did not know this until hours later; ha ha ha aren't my friends funny) and they gave me some tech support.

Here's how it went:

1) We stuffed her silly right before going to sleep -- solid foods and a bottle.
2) When she woke up in the middle of the night, we offered only a bottle of water, and we didn't change her diaper or make it into a smile fest. Just business, nothing to see here, kid.
3) The bottle of water didn't work -- she is no fool -- and she screamed until we gave her milk. She also wet through her diaper, even the special nighttime ones, and was rightly mad about it.
4) We regrouped.
5) We wrapped her in two diapers and gradually diluted her formula (three to two to one scoop) until, at one scoop, she chose to stay in bed. Sometimes she still wakes up, has a little chat with herself and/or moans a bit, but then back to sleep while we lay in bed and thank God.

Somehow this is all so obvious now, writing it, but it took experienced, rested people to point it out. Within four days of diluted formula, she started sleeping for 8 to 10 hours, waking up for a bottle and a diaper change, then back to sleep for another three hours!! Eleven hours of sleep, people!! Sometimes 13 hours!!

From here, Dessi will take her first steps, speak her first words, and, ultimately, become president of the United States or a bush doctor in the Congo, but sleeping for 12 hours will always be her finest and most crowning achievement.


Katy said...

Oooohh, more brilliant and valuable insight. I beleive our babies may be fed every three hours these days? I have wondered how this transition will happen. Thanks. And congratulations on the sleep!

Anna said...

sleep, the ever elusive accomplishment.
My daughter did not sleep through the night until she was three years old. sometimes i just ended up sleeping in her bed with her, or in my bed with me.
im gearing up again...