Saturday, May 1, 2010

Day 99: Night wakings all over the place

Mari has gotten down to a number of night wakings I consider more or less acceptable -- one or two. Though of course none would be ideal, it may be asking too much at this stage, especially given that Mari tends to sleep a fairly long stretch in total at night -- from about 7:30 AM to 6:30 AM. However, looking back at the so-useful graphs on, I see no pattern at all as to when the night wakings occur.

Mari does normally nurse when she wakes up. She definitely seems to need to nurse at least once at night, though whether she needs a second night feed is more questionable. However, given that she goes to bed at a fairly consistent time, her totally unpredictable night waking times make me wonder what's going on. Can it really be that sometimes she's hungry at 10:30 PM and other times, not until 5:00 AM? Or is something else going on? If so, what?

Especially if she wakes up early in the night, we try to get her back to sleep without feeding, but yesterday, I went out for awhile and left Jon in charge, only to find that Mari woke up at 10:15, a pretty much unheard-of hour for night wakings, and Jon was unable to get her back down, leading him to conclude she was hungry. I (stupidly) left the cell phone in my pocket and didn't hear it until he had called 11 times and Mari had been up more than an hour. Oops.

When I got home, I tried to feed her right away. When Mari's really hungry, she can go at me like a vampire. This time, she popped on and off the breast in a nonchalant manner, finally nursed from one breast, then rejected the second after only about 30 seconds. However, she then went back to sleep easily. So while she was hungry enough to eat, she didn't seem very hungry.

Mari seldom nurses to sleep now and I know she knows how to put herself back to sleep without nursing because sometimes I hear her cry out in the night, only to quickly stop without any intervention on our parts. Therefore, I've started to wonder if she's developed a sleep association not so much with nursing, but with me.

I'm always the one who puts Mari to bed. This makes sense because I nurse her because bed. I'm almost always the one who goes to her in the night. Again, this makes sense because she usually nurses if she's up at night (though occasionally I will soothe her without nursing, which may or may not work depending on how long it has been since she last nursed.) However, I don't want to be the only one who can respond to her and have her go back to sleep. (When I nurse her at night, she doesn't actually fall asleep on the breast, but she gets very close.)

Jon, of course, has work to do during the day. I'm on maternity leave. Mari is my job. Should we nonetheless make a point of having Jon respond to her more often when she wakes up at night, so I don't have to be there for her to be able to fall back asleep?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Day 93: Teething? Growth spurt? Wonder week? Or just plain fussy?

Mari has become fussier than usual again for the last several days, and I can't quite tell why. When she cries, she's screaming louder. She's having more difficulty going down without a fuss. Though we really have been trying to keep her to her usual schedule, she seems more sensitive to the slightest variation.

Also, though it used to be that she almost never woke up before about 1 AM, for the last couple of nights in a row, she has been waking up after only a few hours of sleep and screaming at the top of her lungs. The only way I've been able to get her to calm down has been through nursing. She has drank greedily from the boob at those times, making me think maybe it's a growth spurt. She has been eating more during the day too.

But tonight, though I nursed her and put her down, and she was quiet for awhile, she soon started crying again. Jon is upstairs with her as I write this. So maybe something other than hunger is bugging her -- maybe her teeth. Mari has been sucking on things and drooling like crazy. However, she has been doing that since she was about three months old, and she just got her first two bottom teeth recently. A few days ago I thought I felt swelling in her upper gums, but now it seems to be gone. So how do I tell if it's teething or not?

Another thought is that Mari is coming up to Wonder Week 37 (though she's currently 35.5 weeks). (For more on Wonder Weeks, see the book by that name or the brief overview here.) She certainly is crankier, clingier and having more trouble sleeping, so that would fit.

But what this comes down to is that I feel like I have no clue as to what's going on with my kid. Sigh.