Remember how I was complaining about Miss Baby's new before-the-newspaper delivery wakeup time? How things change. For a week, she was sleeping about 10.5 hours a night, and waking up at least once, then getting up at 6am. This past week, she's gotten up between 8:30 and 9:15 am, after sleeping 12.5 to 14 hours, with one or zero ten-minute wakeups in the night.
(Please don't throw shoes at me. I'm setting up a mental exercise, not bragging. I swear I don't drug the baby ...)
Sleep, with Miss Baby, is a zero-sum game. So if she sleeps more at night, then ... she. doesn't. sleep. during. the. day. Barely at all. Saturday, she had three naps, of 15, 24, and 22 minutes duration. (Yes, I track these things. I'm a control freak.)
And. We've discovered by trial and error, and then more trial (some very trying trials indeed) that she sleeps best and soundest at night if left to her own devices after her nighttime wind-down routine. That's right. The dreaded CIO. And C she does. The IO can take from 5 to 45 minutes. Minutes of agony and indecision for her parents.
Anyhow, the point of this post is to pose some dilemmas ... the kind of thing I think about during the pre-sleep hollering, the middle of the night feedings, the long and short naps. I wonder what you think.
* if you could lengthen your baby's night-time sleep, but only at the expense of daytime naps, would you? So, in this scenario, you trade a 10 hour night and three 30-40 minute naps for a 12-13 hour night and two or three 15-20 minutes naps. In both scenarios, baby is a little grumpy from tiredness by suppertime. Notice that option 'b' sees baby closing in on a daily 14 hours of sleep, a milestone rarely achieved in option 'a'.
* if you could get your baby to sleep through the night, but only by letting her cry it out for 0-45 minutes every single night, would? In this scenario, you trade a peaceful (if physically taxing and drawn-out) bedtime with 2 night-time wakeups for an earsplitting and heartrending bedtime with zero night-time wakeups. In both scenarios, baby wakes up in the morning giggling.
* do you dare tell anyone you let your baby cry it out? Especially if you believe, for the most part, in attachment parenting? Even if she seems to cry cry cry at bedtime regardless of whether she's being actively soothed or left to her own devices? Even if getting away from the screaming keeps you from getting overwhelmed, bitter, angry, and desperate? Even if baby always greets you with a smile and a wiggle in the morning?
Seems like everyone is thinking and writing about sleep lately. I've read so many books on sleep, I can spout chapter and verse of everyone from CIO-Weisbluth to PU/PD-'Baby Whisperer'. Some things work, or work for a time, or don't work, or feel too awful or too hard or too silly. For the record, Miss Baby is lullabied and patted to no-cry sleep for all her naps. And midnight feedings see her breastfed for 10 minutes and deposited without fuss or protest back into her crib. But nothing seems to really do the trick at bedtime--and yes, she's tired but not overtired when we bathe, and massage, and cuddle, and breastfeed her before the inevitable screaming (mixed with whining, sighing, cooing, and halloo-ing) commences.
Dilemmas. What do you think?