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A good day... [Aug. 29th, 2008|01:58 pm]
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[mood |cheerfulcheerful]

Lex has been sleeping long during parts of the day, and waking to be fed every 2 1/2 hours during the night. Given a feed takes approximately an hour, and then there'd be a nappy change during which Lex screamed as soon as we started to remove his clothes, and got more and more worked up as the change went on, and then we'd need to settle him... it made for a rather broken night.

The sleepless nights and nightmarish nappy changes had been taking their toll on Sharon. She was getting drained, physically and emotionally. I had been getting up to deal with nappy changes already, but now started sitting up with her during the night-time feeds as well, so she had someone she could talk to overnight. I may not be able to feed Lex's guts, but I could feed Sharon's sanity.

One of the best pieces of advice we've been given, other than 'Don't wait for things to get back to normal - this is normal now,' was 'The baby moves in with you, you don't move in with it.' So while we knew we couldn't expect him to work to a solid routine, we could attempt to shape his needs in a direction that would suit us better.

So yesterday we changed the rules on Lex. From the morning, after he'd fed we'd let him sleep/rest for no more than two hours, then feed and change him again. If he didn't want to feed, he'd get so upset by being changed, that then he wanted to feed out of the need for comfort. The plan being to (hopefully) have him have the three or four hour sleep during the night instead of during the day. We didn't know if it would work. We thought we may need to do it for a few days to see any change.

Yesterday was a hard, hard day. He was really screaming right through nappy changes, Lex's habit of soiling a fresh nappy within minutes of it being on had hit a new high (5 nappies in 2 changes), and he had developed mild nappy rash.

So last night he slept from about 12:30 to 2:30am, woke, had a feed, and then we couldn't get him to settle until around 4:30. But then... He slept until just before 10am! Over five hours of sleep in a session! It was like a gift from Heaven!

And today... he's been mostly fine through the nappy changes, only some very, very minor grizzling on the first (which ended up being an average two-nappy change), and screaming the house down only at the very end of the second.

It's the first time we've felt we were getting somewhere since he was born. While we would have felt that way with just the two quieter nappy changes, the extra sleep was a real bonus. We know it won't last, he'll change the rules again at some surprise random point, probably tonight. But getting a day when it's noticably easier than the hopeless first few days, when it seemed like it would never be simple, makes all the difference.

We've had our first really good day. Even if we have another run of rough ones, we know there'll be another good one coming.

At some point.


[User Picture]From: kaths
2008-08-29 05:01 am (UTC)
Shame he's got some nappy rash, otherwise you could just skip some of the nappy changes during the night (if it's not too dirty a nappy), and that'd help keep him calm.

Yep, their routine does change eventually, although without a proper experiment with twins, it's hard to know whether it's correlation or causation in terms of you trying to manipulate things with waking him.

How's the breastfeeding going?
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[User Picture]From: callistra
2008-08-29 05:17 am (UTC)
That's excellent.
And yes, the baby is part of YOUR lives, not the other way around, same for when they get older too.

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[User Picture]From: ariaflame
2008-08-29 05:20 am (UTC)
I'm told that learning to grab naps whenever they're sleeping is a useful parent skill at this stage.
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[User Picture]From: satyapriya
2008-08-29 07:13 am (UTC)
I remember, in desperation, doing a reiki absent healing on TeenBoy when he was a baby, to find out why he slept all afternoon and whooped it up all night.
A very mature voice said, in the healing: "Once you let go of your false perceptions of time, you will manage this a lot better".
So, I learned to sleep when he did, and things did get better. And he's still a night owl now.
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From: fe2h2o
2008-08-29 09:59 am (UTC)

Glad things are going well:-)

I have been terribly slack in sending my congratulations... I am so pleased and excited for all three of you:-) (It's just Lex's arrival timed almost exactly with me hitting the 'I'm _so_ ready for this to be over' stage—and so my ability to respond has been ...limited...)

Hang in there:-) It does get _so_ much better! (and if it really doesn't, there are resources around to help). And next thing you know, they are able to look after you!
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From: fe2h2o
2008-08-29 12:38 pm (UTC)

Co-sleeping was going to be one of the things I suggested too, but given the early stages of breastfeeding (and not knowing how well it's going), I figured they may want a bit more 'learning' time before doing it while asleep:-)

The other thing is to change the nappy (if necessary) while feeding... but once again, probably better left until nursing doesn't require attention.
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