Thursday, August 9, 2012

Sleep...Part Deux

Four months, people.  It has been four months.  Four months of no sleep.  Four months of wondering when the boys will sleep.  Four months of constant feedings every 3 hours (or sometimes 2 1/2 hours).

At three months I wrote about sleep and was sure by now things would be different.  They're not much different.

I had no fear, though.  I knew that the boys had their four month check up coming up and that my amazing, brilliant and compassionate doctor would have the answers to more sleep.  I'll describe our appointment.*  It went something like this...

Michael: Hi Dr. L.  We need to talk about sleep.
Dr. L: Sure.  What's going on?
Michael: Well, the boys aren't sleeping.  They still feed constantly.  I thought by three months they were supposed to stretch out their feedings a little more.
Dr. L: Yes, that's true.  What's a typical feeding schedule?
Michael: Well, let's say their last feeding before bed is maybe 9:00pm.  Then there's a feeding at 12:00am, 3:00am and 6:00am. 
Dr. L: Well, the 9:00pm and 6:00am feedings don't count as overnight feedings.  So the fact that your boys are only waking up twice duirng the night is good.
Michael: (muffled talking due to falling on the floor and crying in the fetal position)

(20 minutes pass)

Derek: Ummmm...Michael...are you OK?
Michael: Yes, I just want a new doctor.

* - appointment may or may not have happened like this.  The recollection of this appointment may have been compromised due to lack of sleep.

The literature the doctor gave us said "by four months of age, most bottle-fed babies sleep more than seven hours without feeding."  So what the doctor tells you in the office and what the doctor gives you to read when you're home are vastly different.  It seems doctors have a get-out-of-jail-free card by just falling back on the whole "every baby is different" excuse and then they distract you with the "you're doing a great job" line so I feel all proud of myself and forget I'm mad at her for having no answers!

If these kids weren't so darn cute I may have been upset.  But when they smile and giggle and nuzzle into my neck I don't care that I haven't slept.  They're also starting to notice each other a lot more.  It's fun to put them on a play mat together and watch them watch each other.  Maybe I should put them on a play mat with a cat.  The cats sleep a lot.  Maybe the cats can teach them a thing or two about sleep.

And, in the interest of full disclosure, the last two or three nights have been a little easier.  Aaron is up until 10:00 or 11:00 p.m. but then he is so exhausted he is starting sleeping longer stretches once in a while.  Jeff has been easy to get to sleep for a while now but I'm noticing he will sometimes sleep for longer than three hours as well.  I see progress!  Stay tuned.


  1. We checked out Baby Whisperer after seeing it on Doug and Chad's blog. We started doing the cluster feed thing (7, 9, 11) and it got Baxter to stretch to 5 hours pretty quick. Jeff calls it waterboarding, which horrifies me 0___o

  2. Once we started using the swaddlers and white noise machine our boys started sleeping longer stretches. I read quite a few books and tried a few different feeding techniques like the cluster feeding, but they didn't work for us. However you might as well try it, try all of it, what have you got to lose at this point?! ;)

  3. Major lack of sleep sucks. Big time. It won't last forever. I agree, try ALL of the strategies. One of 'ems got to work and once you're done trying every strategy that's out there, the boys will be 6 or 7 months old and sleeping through the night anyway! :)

  4. I would try the cluster feeding, with swaddling and the noise machine. I have NO IDEA if this works but I don't dare take any of them away for fear of middle of the night screams. GOOD LUCK, Michael....