I've been putting off writing this, because sleep has been SO HARD for the last 6 weeks! And recently some new things have come to light that might explain why...but not make it any easier. So much of this plan DIDN'T work, that I thought it was my fault and that I'm a bad mother. And some of it was my fail to be consistent, but it's so hard to remember to do everything and be patient and consistent when you're so tired all you can think about all day is sleeping! But now I realize that it's not all my fault. My baby doesn't sleep, and it's likely related to her brain injury. Somehow this is both relieving and scary as hell. On those nights that I'd be sitting on the couch WILLING my baby to just GO.TO.SLEEP. thoughts would cross my mind like, "what if this is neurological and she only sleeps 5-6 hours a night for the rest of her life?!" Well, the horrifying news is that it probably is neurological, but the good news is that there are ways to help her get more sleep...which she so desperately needs so that she can grow into a healthy little girl.
So, after 10 days of implementing this sleep plan, here's what I came up with:
-Sadie falls asleep best on the couch in the living room (because this is where she usually naps), even though the lights are on and we're usually watching a movie.
-Number of nights Sadie went to sleep in her bed BEFORE 9:00: 3
-Sadie went to sleep in her bed BEFORE midnight 4 times.
-Sadie went to sleep in her bed woke up 10-30 minutes later 5 times
-Sadie woke up in the night and never went back to sleep (before the sun came up) 3 times
-Number of days Sadie took 3 naps of at least 45 minutes in length: 3 (wow, I thought we were doing so well with naps, I guess not)
-Number of days Sadie took 2 naps of at least an hour in length: 5 (I guess she is transitioning to 2 naps a day instead of 3)
What are my conclusions on all of this?
1. We need a routine. Everything throughout the day needs to be scheduled out. And that's hard for me because I am not one of those people who operates well on repetition. I mean, when I drove to work, I had to change up my route from time to time because the monotony drove me crazy! So, this is hard for me, but it's something I'm going to have to do for my child so that she knows what to expect and what is expected of her throughout the day...including when it's time to sleep, eat, play, etc.
2. White Noise is saving us all. I found a white noise app for my phone and we listen to a rain storm all night every night. This doesn't only help Sadie tune out outside noises, but it helps Brian and I sleep also. This is saving us all.
3. Pulling the crib up to our bed has proven a good idea. Even if Sadie doesn't sleep in it, it's nice to have it there so that I can veer closer to the edge of the bed without worrying about the drop-off, and so that when she DOES wake up in the middle of the night and just wants to kick and be happy, I can shovel her over there, then turn over and go back to sleep! This keeps me from having to get up and allows me to get a LITTLE more rest.
4. Sadie isn't necessarily learning to fall asleep without sucking, but she is learning to sleep without it. I've been making a point to pull the nipple as soon as I know she's asleep. This helps a lot when we're in bed, because once she's asleep and NOT attached to me, I can get more comfortable.
5. I had an idea what Sadie's lovey would be, but it turned out to be something else. We've done really well with this part of the plan. I think Sadie might even be associating cuddling up with her pink blankie as time for sleep, because naps have been going really well since I realized the pink blankie was the lovey.
6. We switched up our bedtime routine a little. We used to do bath, story, medicine, sleep...but then we realized that the medicine sometimes makes her angry, or she chokes and gags and gets all worked up after just getting all relaxed and sleepy in the tub. So, we do medicine now BEFORE the bath. It's nice to do it this way because then we're not watching the clock once we're in the tub, and the hard part is out of the way. It allows us to just relax, go at our own pace, and allows Sadie to fall asleep earlier.
7. Lullabies? We made it through a couple days of that before I realized I was waking up in the night with them in my head!! It got really annoying...the white noise works so much better anyway.
As with most things, I'm finding that most stuff has good ideas, just not necessarily for my baby. So we'll take what we can use and store the rest for future use, at least it's good information.