February 16, 2013

Sleep, and Lack There Of

My once perfect little sleeper is rebelling. We had three months of glorious, unheard of, newborn sleeping through the night. Then colds, travel, and transitioning to the crib hit. Crying-it-out was working, but this week was about as miserable as it could be. Last night, Nicki woke up not once, not twice, but five times. Even though she went back to sleep on her own four of those times, mommy got maybe three hours of sleep. Total.

We have three theories as to what might be going on

Teething – Her bottom left tooth has now cut through the gum although it still hasn’t fully erupted, but we only have a corner of her bottom right tooth peeking through. Although she’s showing some mild signs of teething discomfort, she doesn’t really seem effected by it. She’s still a very happy baby during the day. She’ll chomp on her teething toys, but doesn’t appear to need them.

Lingering Cough – Nick had her third baby cold from last Sunday to Wednesday. She had bad congestion and a cough and for a couple of nights needed to sleep at an incline. Her symptoms are mostly gone, but every once in a while we hear an errant cough.

Physically Cold – The last three times she woke up the temperature in the nursery was 66 and 67 degrees as reported by the bay monitor. (We didn’t think to check the temperature before that.) The thermometer in the nursery tracks the high and low temperatures at 64 and 75 degrees. That’s quite a range! We noticed over the summer that Nicki, like mommy, sleeps better in slightly warmer temperatures to colder temperatures. She had her longest stretch of sleep last night after we upped the thermostat.

Unfamiliar with the new routine – Once upon a time Nicki used to get drowsy in the bath tub. These days our little ducky prefers to swim and splash and play with all her bath toys. This left us with two options: (1) no toys in bath and a moratorium on splashing or (2) make bath time earlier and not part of bedtime. Since I love that she enjoys her bath so much, we opted for the second option. She now gets twenty plus minutes of light play after the bath to wind down. She’s adjusted to that part very well. That left the bed time routine at vitamin, night time milk, and story. Since that only last ten minutes, and the books say bed time routines should be 20 to 30 minutes, we’re adding in some lullaby and rocking cuddles. When I sing to her (which is so off key I’m surprised it doesn’t re-energize her to get away from mommy) I stroke her face. I’ve been doing this at nap time, so it’s nice nap time and bed time routines are becoming a little more similar.

So many variables when debugging baby behavior! I contemplated getting the baby connect app to track baby’s feeding and sleeping in the early days, but ultimately passed. We kept a log on paper for a few weeks, but didn’t end up needing it after that. It’s time we start again. We couldn’t remember when the difficulty sleeping started. Before teething? After teething? Has it been trending bad for a while? So I created a custom excel spreadsheet to track the variables I was interested in and show me trends. Time to put my data science skills to test.

I just have to keep reminding myself that she does have good nights. The last three months we’ve had bad weeks, but there are good weeks too. We will get back there again. This phase, too, shall pass.

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  1. […] month you got your first two teeth. We had a little bit of a rough patch sleep wise when they were coming in. It didn’t help that you were also getting over a cold. But […]

  2. […] never posted a follow up to my last baby sleep post, but Nicki slept through the night the very next day. Even though she was no longer waking up, she […]

  3. […] little over 2 months ago I decided to start tracking Nicki’s sleep. At the time she wasn’t sleeping very well and I wanted to have a dataset I could […]

  4. […] had a difficult time sleeping when her first two teeth were coming in. Of course there were other factors, and we weren’t sure if it was the teething keeping her […]

  5. […] they are there. You have been so incredibly good this time around, which makes me think last time it wasn’t the teething keeping you up. So far you’re still sleeping like a champ and we haven’t needed to give you anything […]


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