Starting daycare and sleep routines…

Tomorrow is Brady’s first day at daycare.  I’m nervous and I think that’s normal.  I mean, I know it’s normal.  I was nervous as heck for Makenzie first day 3 years ago.  She was tough though.  Brian tried for weeks and weeks (ok more like months) for her to take a bottle and she just screamed  her little face off at him.  She went 2 full days at daycare without eating and I would promptly nurse her as soon as I got there.  Of course her belly was so hungry and she sucked down milk as fast as she could that the moment I would bring her up to burp she puked everything, everywhere.  It was a disaster and I seriously contemplated quitting my job so I could stay at home with my “starving” baby.  But then on the 3rd day she took a bottle from one of the girls and although she remained pretty reluctant to continue doing so, she did ok.  She weaned from bottles at 10 months old, went to a sippy cup at daycare and weaned from her morning and before bed feedings by 14 months.

Makenzie practically came out of my womb sleeping and everyone, and I mean everyone, told us how not normal she was.  She napped easy, she went to bed easy, she slept all night long once we could stop waking her at night to eat, and we could even lay her in her crib awake at 4 months old and she would drift off to la la land on her own and we wouldn’t hear a peep from her until 12 hours later around 7a the next morning.

Brady on the other hand….. he’s been a tougher cookie in the sleep department.  Up until just recently, like a few days ago, he’s been our catnapper.  I’m talking he would take five 30 minute naps per day and this started pretty early on, around 5 weeks old.  I watched his wake times like a hawk and tried not to keep him up too long.  I tried putting him to sleep within an hour of waking but nothing really seemed to do the trick to extend his nap times.  He is very sensitive to his wake times as well.  He goes from smiling to purple face crying within minutes and we know it’s time to wrap him up and start the sleep process.  We go into his room, change his diaper (through the screaming), swaddle him up, turn up the white noise (which if you didn’t know any better, you’d think there was a Jet Airliner flying right past his window), and we bounce with him in the cradle position.  For naps it usually takes 5 minutes tops and he is out like a light.  Recently I’ve been trying to put him down the second his eyes get droopy so it’s more of that “awake but drowsy” nonsense all the sleep experts talk about.  At night, it’s a bigger chore.  Those cat naps make for one very tired baby come 6p.  I usually give him a quick bath and then go into his room, swaddle him up, and start nursing him.  Most of the time he falls asleep eating within 5-10 minutes and that’s a pretty good indication that he is over tired.  So I’ve been trying REALLY hard to follow the EASY schedule, which is eat, play, sleep, repeat.  I’ve also been trying to put him down no later than 90 minutes after his last wake time and that has been helping I think.

Yesterday he had the best day of naps ever and he went to bed relatively well.  He took 4 naps, the first 2 both were within 90 minutes of waking and lasted for 55 minutes each.  His third nap we put him down after an hour and 15 minutes of waking and he slept 2 1/2 hours.  He got a 4th cat nap in at 5:05 and slept for 35 minutes.  By 6:30p I had given him a bath and he was nursing before bedtime.  It took us a little longer to get him down because it seemed like he was wide awake so I think the key is on days that he has good naps, his last wake time before bed will be a bit longer.  Nonetheless he went to bed at 8p and slept till 5:15a.  He did wake once at 2:15 but he put himself back to sleep.  I fed him at 5:15 then put him back to bed and he woke for the day at 6:50.

He’s currently taking nap #1 and it’s been a solid two hours.  He did wake up once at 8:45 and looked around for a bit but by 9a he had fallen back asleep.  And just 5 minutes ago he woke up again but glancing at the video monitor he is sleeping yet again.  So… he is either growing or he has figured out that his crib isn’t that bad of a place to be and sleep is a good thing during the day (and at night).  After all as the experts say, sleep begets sleep.  So the better they sleep during the day, the easy it will be to get them to sleep at night.

Which is why daycare makes me nervous.  It’s loud, bright, it’s not home and there won’t be any jet airline like white noise for him.  I know he will adjust and figure it out but just when I feel like we may have figured it out, it will all have to change on him.  That and we are approaching the dreaded Wonder Week #4 and 4 month sleep regression.  I’m hoping there won’t be much to post about in the next month or so in regards to those two topics but I guess time will only tell….

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