May 5, 2011

I Got {Circadian} Rhythm, Who Could Ask for Anything More

Complex sciences and math such as astrophysics and biochemistry are totally elusive to me, as is the perfect equation regarding my son's ability to sleep for more than 45 minutes for naps and more than four hours at night.

As any good scientist would, I've experimented with a variety of combinations of food intake, amount of environmental light/sound, pre-nap rituals (including baths, books, and closely whispering please let this be the night you sleep all the way through) in order to find which will produce the most favorable results.

And as a good scientist would, I've made a record of my observations in order to form a hypothesis.

The most recent observations are as such:



experiment
result
variables
Do everything the book(s) tell me to do for a 4/5/6/7/8- month-old
10-30 minute naps at best, usually twice a day, 4-5 hour stretches of sleep at night
so busy trying to follow the book that I’m totally in my head; toddler may need breakfast/snack/etc. at same time baby needs nap. Also, coffee may be unavailable to help with focus throughout day unless I can get to the Dunkin' Donuts drive-thru.
nurse the child at first sign of upset
10-20 minute naps 2 x day, 2-4 hour stretches of sleep at night
unhappy breasts, exhausted mommy, unhappy/exhausted daddy, bottles & formula become a joke to the kid; wine, not coffee, becomes drink of preference (limited amounts so not to affect the many night feedings ahead).  Cannot seem to let the baby C-I-O, it makes me want to wretch.
MUST take into account variables that hinder shallow sleep, such as 102 year-old floorboards that creak all over house, a**holes who crank the bass in their car stereos at 1 pm, sirens, dogs, lawnmowers, etc.
feed every 3.5- 4 hours (with solid food before or after), nap following no less than two hours later
45 minutes to 1.5 hr naps, 2-3 times a day, 5-6 hour stretches of sleep at night

easier to get to the bank, grocery store, etc., easier to concentrate on needs of toddler without coffee or wine (no--seriously, I got a caffeine withdrawal headache yesterday because I hadn't had any coffee in two days)
stop worrying so much about it, concentrate on having a good time, feed every four hours (solids when the rest of us eat at the table--if these coincide, all the better), naps at first sign of eye-rubbing PLUS kvetching PLUS no longer happy anywhere
1-2 hour naps anywhere, including sitter service, car seat, crib, etc., and full night’s sleep with only 1-2 minor wakings for pacifier replacement...
YES!!!!  Hooray!!
pacifier and velvety lovees help falling asleep process along nicely; white noise not totally necessary but doesn’t hurt; baby prefers darkest environment possible.
A margarita is in order.



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