You know what my prayer is every night? For Elon to extend his sleep. Elon is a demanding baby. He is not a colic baby but he needs to get what he wants when he asks for it. Pronto. In a way, like me. Yes totally like me so I understand my son. But sometimes I find myself giving into his whims spoiling him at a very young age. And sometimes at night, I would be left with a very shallow sleep waiting for Elon’s cry so I can answer to his call. After a week of giving in, I have decided to give him a schedule. But of course he does not follow this schedule. Instead, he has his own. The most challenging for me is at night – while some babies would sleep through it – Elon would for sure wake up to eat, cuddle or whatever he has in mind.
At first, the 2-3 hours interval was guaranteed. He would sleep through it. But there had been times that he won’t. He would not necessarily wake up but he would make this sound like he is pushing something out of his body. You know, like a grown constipated/gassy human being. This can go on for hours. He won’t stop until he spits milk up, he farts really loud, or poos a handful. I try to help him out on this gas issue by holding him, burping him but the gas seem to never end. But this is only one of his issues. There are more reasons, which he decides, why he wakes up when he wakes up.
Now, I have found myself changing up my prayer every night to “please Lord, two hours is enough and three hours is a blessing”.
By principle of trial and error, I have helped Elon slept more during the night and nap during the day. Here are some things that work:
The Double Swaddle
At the hospital when Elon was born, he was double swaddled. Nurses explained that this was because newborns have different body temperatures (same as the mother’s temperature in the womb) so they need to feel warmer thus the double layer of cloths. Now that Elon is a month old, the double swaddling secures him from moving his arms and legs. I think this makes him feel like when he was still in the womb with little less space to move. Imitating the womb definitely helped out. He does not only feel warmer but it secures his body so he doesn’t shiver like he is falling. Double swaddling has helped him sleep for five straight hours. This has been his longest sleep so far.
I know some parents are against the use of pacifier because of future dental issues. But when your son is eating every hour from your oversupply of milk, I guess it is okay to take things down a notch. Elon can stay on the boob for an hour (yes with active sucking). But sometimes it feels like my boob has become his “security blanket”. I notice that sometimes he really is not hungry but he wants to be near the boob to sleep. I discovered this because he usually eats for 20 minutes. After this I know he is full. Sometimes after 30 minutes after the feed and he still is not sleeping, he would cry and the only way to calm him down is to give him the boob. And after 3-5 minutes of suckling, he would sleep. So see? My boob is his security blanket. Maybe I should start calling it security boob. At 4 weeks was when I started him on the pacifier as little as possible. We use this to calm him down especially when he just ate. The pacifier helps in putting him to sleep as well but he is not dependent on it. At least not yet.
Okay, so my cousin was kind enough to lent Elon their MamaRoo. The MamaRoo was supposed to help colicky babies by using different settings like ocean, car ride, etc. It can also help soothe non colicky babies by rocking them or swinging them while in it. But alas, this expensive thing does not work on Elon. As soon as he is placed in the MamaRoo, he knows it’s a fake sensation. Elon loves car rides. But when I use the Car Ride setting on the MamaRoo he just knows it’s not the real thing. But you know what works for Elon? The motorized swing. This is the cheaper alternative to the MamaRoo. During the day, Elon naps in the InGenuity swing. It helps so I can get my chores done. I turn off the swing as soon as he is fast asleep.
The Tummy Time (with adult supervision)
Elon likes it when he sleeps on his tummy. He sleeps like this while we cuddle him. It sort of looks like this: This was also a way for Elon and Edward to have their bonding time as soon as Edward gets home. I, on the other hand, gets to shower. Look at them being all peaceful and calm like he did not just cry while turning red before the photo was taken. Edward and I think Elon likes this sleeping position because he can hear our heartbeats. It also secures Elon that he is not left alone.
The Baby Carrier
I have only tried it today and it works! Elon fell asleep but the only problem was getting him off it. He wakes up as soon as he was put down in his crib.Sharing you these info because it had helped me keep my sanity. Sometimes the crying is deafening. But when I see Elon sleeping soundly, calm, peaceful, and playing, I know I made the right decision to try to know what works for him and me.
Every baby is different. Some may love the MamaRoo some may love the Swing. Some have not used any pacifier (salute!) but some may need it. Whatever works for the baby, I am sure all mothers are the same – they want their babies safe!
So about my prayer, every night now, my prayer has become Elon’s extension of his sleep – because two hours of his sleep is golden but three hours of his sleep is a blessing. I will let you know when he finally slept through the night but we might still be months away from it. Good luck to all the mommas!