It has been interesting to observe PK's sleep patterns over the past two months. In her first month of life, PK used to sleep quite a lot during the day, waking up only to eat and for diaper changes. The wake-ups during diaper changes were against her will. She used to always cry during diaper changes. I think it had to do with feeling cold during the diaper changes. Being stripped down during a diaper change and having a cold diaper wipe against her butt was probably not her cup 'o tea. Somewhere along the way, however, diaper changes stopped bugging her and now she's actually both happy and grateful when I change her diaper. Yay! But I digress...
So back to the sleep thing. She'd sleep during the day in 3-hour spurts, and she'd sleep during the night in 1-2 hour spurts. Day and night were reversed in PK Land. I really should've napped during the day while she napped, but I'm not much of a napper. Besides, I wanted to take the opportunity to catch up on housework and other tasks while she slept. You can imagine how tired I was in those early days.
Somewhere along the line, PK started becoming more alert during the day and decided that nighttime was for sleeping. By that point, I'd learned to appreciate nap-time, but unfortunately, it was too late - PK no longer slept for 3-hour stretches during the day. Nowadays I'm lucky if I get 45 minutes out of her. The good news is that she sleeps longer at night. I'd like to think that this is partially a result of the introduction of her nighttime routine quite early on. It took us a while to get it down and make it consistent, but I think we've finally got a good routine going.
We begin PK's nighttime routine with her bath. We used to bathe her every 2 days, but I started feeling that bath nights became a chore since we had the day off from baths. It also didn't help that PK HATED baths. Switching to daily baths helped PK get into a her nighttime routine and made bath time less of a chore for us. It also made us feel less guilty about missing a bath for one reason or other. If we missed a bath on bath day, then PK could end up going 2 days without a bath instead of 1 day.
After her bath, we feed PK. Even if I've got boobs full of milky goodness at the time, we tend to formula feed her before bed more often than not. Besides, I like to have my boobs nice and full at night so that I can pump right before bed. So why the formula feed before bed, you ask? Well, formula knocks her out for longer than breast milk does, which means that mom and dad get to sleep too! Granted, the first time that PK slept more than 3 hours, both the hubby and I got less sleep because we were worried about why she wouldn't wake up to feed. Can't win, eh?
Since PK has a formula feed before bed, the hubby can feed her while I read her a bedtime story. I love reading to PK at night, especially Dr. Seuss stories. We bought her a big book with a collection of 12 or so Dr. Seuss stories (did I mention this in a previous post already?) from which I read almost every night. We also read her Goodnight Moon and The Bear Snores On just to shake things up a bit.
Storytime usually leaves her a bit drowsy, so after I'm done reading, we put her in her Grobag and put her in her crib. She's not necessarily asleep when we put her in her crib, but she seems to actually fall asleep on her own these days, as long as her pacifier is in her mouth.
These days, PK seems to go to bed between 7:30 and 9pm, and usually winds up sleeping for 8-hour stretches. The 8 hours of consecutive sleep is new and has only started happening over the past week. We'd managed to get 5 hours of consecutive sleep out of her in the past, which in itself was a godsend to us. Waking up after 5 hours of sleep felt refreshing compared to waking up after 3 hours of sleep. I don't know these 8-hour sleeps will last, but I hope they do. Some of my mommy friends tell me that their little ones went through a phase of sleeping for 8 hours at night, but that was short-lived, lasting about one week. Let's just hope that PK's newest trend sticks of a little longer than that, because my week is almost up!