Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Spica Sleeping

Sleep is a much discussed topic among new much sleep is your baby getting, is she sleeping thru the night yet? How many naps does she take? Is she sleeping in her crib yet? Well, this all takes a different slant when you have a baby in a body cast.

Before her closed reduction Addie and I had come to an agreement on the sleeping arrangements. Her dad and I tried for the first few weeks to have her sleep in her own crib, in her own room. However, after three weeks of poor baby waking every hour or so in need of comforting, only to get her back to sleep and try ever so gently to lay her back down in her crib to have her wake 5 minutes later crying out for comfort...well, we decided that something had to give. We would not survive the sleep deprivation this was wreaking on our lives! So, after one particularly bad night where no matter what we did Addison would not go to sleep, at 3 am in the morning I finally broke down and brought her to bed with me. Wouldn't you know it, she fell right asleep snuggling face to face with me. And so it went, until she got her spica cast.

The first night home she co-slept with us as she had done for the past two months and did not stir.  In hindsight I now realize this was due to the pain meds they had her on! For the second night was not so peaceful! She just could not settle. So that next day I decided to try an experiment. We had purchased a playard for Addie before she was born, thinking it would serve as the bassinet until she was ready to sleep in her own crib. From day 1 Addie wanted nothing to do with that playard/bassinet. We would lay her in it and she would immediately start screaming. Turns out our newborn was just a cuddle bug in need of body warmth! Prior to her surgery we did not make much of an effort to get her on any kind of schedule, we were so devastated that she was going to have to endure surgery and casting that we wanted to spoil her a little and so we let her dictate what she wanted. Being the happy baby she is, she wasn't too demanding and her needs were totally achievable so we said schedule be damned!

Just waking from her mid-morning nap in her playard
After that second night home following her surgery, I decided to give the playard another try. Sure enough, I set her down in it for a nap and she went right to sleep. She was now ready for a little independence. I think the stay in a hospital bed helped to expedite that somewhat, but we were pleased all the same. So, we moved the playard into our room, put a crib wedge in it to help prop up her head and padded it with lots and lots of blankets to help make it as soft as we could. That same night following the successful nap we put her down to sleep in the playard...and wouldn't you know it...she slept peacefully.

While I am happy to report Addison is, for the most part, a great napper...night sleeping is a bit of a challenge for her. When I chatted with my doctor about this issue, she simply told me that until Addison is out of the cast and able to reposition herself on her own Addison will likely continue to wake every 3 hours or so. Not the news or advice I had been hoping for as by mid-afternoon I am generally a zombie due to midnight, 3 am and 5 am wakings!!

Now, I mentioned earlier that before her cast went on, we were on no particular schedule but a funny thing happened on the way to the spica cast. Almost immediately following her surgery and casting, Addison started to develop her own schedule. Pretty soon, the time of day she needed her naps, her meals and her bedtime began to get more consistent. It really surprised me! It got so good that prior to her cast change, Addison had a few nights where she slept the whole night through (success, or so we thought!).

We try to socialize Addison a lot, so we take her to visit relatives and friends as often as we can but we have noticed that this does, indeed, disrupt her day to day routine. Following her cast change, sleeping has been a little more unpredictable again. She is still in her playard and continues to wake at midnight, 3 and 6 am for feedings but we are thinking that once the weather starts to cool a little, we will be moving her to her own bedroom. Our bedroom, where her current bed is situated, is in our basement so during these hot summer days it is much cooler for a baby in a cast. Her room is on our upper floor and while our house stays fairly cool, it still is likely more comfy for her to remain in the dark, cool basement for now. She is fast approaching the 6 month mark, so I am going to have to get the transition to her own room underway, we want to achieve that before then.

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