building a sane routine

I’m trying to build a sane routine during the day that both Emma and I can live with. Since she was born, each day was pretty much whatever happened, happened. There wasn’t really any routine, except that she slept in our bed at night, and fed a few times, and after her 6am feed, went down with John to have breakfast, then came back to bed with me til 9. After that, it was a constant ordered chaos of feeding, napping, playtime and outings. But really, neither she nor I really knew what was going to happen next. Sometimes she nursed off to a nap (which usually only lasted 20 or 30 minutes because she would awake not nursing and get upset), sometimes she’d have a 2 minute rest after nursing, have a big stretch and be playful. I think I often miss her tired cues, because she seems to be tired all the time… now if we can nip this catnapping habit of hers, then she’d be more rested. I’d like to get out and walk everyday around the same time (after lunch). That would mean her mid-day nap is almost guaranteed to be longer (for awhile anyway, until she discovers that there’s a world outside the stroller!)

However, her night sleep in her own bed seems to be settling well. The last 3 nights she’s gone to sleep in her own cradle without being nursed. She does in the cradle drowsy and we pat, shh or gently rock her to dreamland. Then I dreamfeed between 11 and 12. She has woken up around 1:30 and 3:30 each night. I’m sure she doesn’t really need to eat at 1:30, but I did feed her last night. Tonight we’ll just try to get her back to sleep. Last night, when she woke at 3:30, John coaxed her back to sleep and she slept until 5:40 am, when she came to bed and fed. So that wasn’t so bad! Better than the 3:30am morning where she wouldn’t settle back down…

Today was a nice routine, which included a long walk, during which Emma slept (finally a longer daytime nap!) I did wake her up halfway by accident. I was in Winner’s contemplating buying a sling, so I decided to put her in it to try. Sometimes I can pick her up while she’s asleep and she would settle back down. But she downright woke up, and was cranky for a bit. I put her in the sling, and she was like, what the heck, this is not the wide open space I’m starting to get used to. I put her back in the stroller, and she eventually drifted off back to sleep. I think that as a spirited baby, she really needs help blocking out stimulation to get to sleep. She isn’t sure how to turn off. When she gets the 7-mile-stare, if she’s staring at something really boring, she could easily drop off (I think). But if she stares and there’s too much other stuff happening, she doesn’t want to miss it and end up getting spastic and cranky.

But then again, she’s only 8 weeks old. I don’t want to fight with her. She won’t be so little and dependant on me for very long, so I do want to enjoy her and love and cuddle her as much as possible, while fostering her development and independence. So we’ll keep working on the napping… the nighttimes seem to be working (hooray!) – she’s down now and hopefully will stay (she already woke once…)

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