Wednesday, November 16, 2005

the lightbulb went on

After yet another night of frequent awakenings to feed, followed by yet another day of hunger-striking and insomnia, I rang the Plunket Line to get help. The nice woman on the other end of the line asked lots of questions, and in the process I realised that I don't really know what Baby's "hungry" cry sounds like. I always caught the little "cough, cough" noises and picked her up before it developed into a cry; now it looks as though I had it wrong all along.

Her theory was that Baby has indeed got day and night confusion, though only in the feeding sense (rather than in the sleep sense - she still knows that there's no Play Time when it's dark and quiet). Because of my habit of picking her up when she made noises in the night, Baby has been feeding so well at night that she doesn't need to feed much during the day. Obviously, it's better to have it the other way around.

Also, now that she's a little older (14 weeks tomorrow), she can go for longer between feeds; I can no longer assume that she'll get hungry every three hours.

Oh...

So tonight, when Baby makes noises I'm to stay put in my bed in case she settles herself for another round of Z's. If she starts crying I have to determine whether she's hungry (perhaps by looking for the rooting movement) before feeding her; preferably I'm to try to settle her back to sleep without feeding her, so she'll be nice and hungry in the morning.

Here's hoping...

7 comments:

Tim B said...

Hi Violet - This is the only way I could find to contact you! I would like permission to use one of your photos to decorate a site I am building:
http://acid.co.nz:8080/hamilton_and_nz/cities_and_locations/napier/
That's only a preview website, so it's not on the live internet.
Please let me know if this is OK - contact me at http://powersite.co.nz/contact/
Thanks, Tim Bromhead, Hamilton, NZ

Juliabohemian said...

it takes practice. just don't be afraid to let her cry a little. If she has been fed already then she isn't starving. She will learn to comfort herself and fall back asleep.

Gekko said...

I don't know if it's directly relevant to your case but if she repeatedly demands attention at night the controlled crying technique might be helpful.

Violet said...

tim b: Hi Tim, I'll get in touch with you via email

juliabohemian: yeah, but it's tough deciding at which point she's cried enough...before she gets all hysterical and unconsolable...

gekko: I really want to avoid letting her cry it out this early on. Perhaps after she turns 6 months, if things don't improve.

Urban Chick said...

gosh, it's so tough

i never could *read* the cries...all that stuff about maternal instinct is bunkum

i have managed to avoid controlled crying with my two (SO FAR!) and i am a total wimp so i'm not sure i could do it anyway

how about the pick up put down technique recommended by the baby whisperer?

or, assuming you are still bf-ing her, can you partner go to settle her when she cries in the night in case she smells your milk (sorry if that is TMI for anyone!)?

good luck!

Violet said...

urban chick: it's hard alright. This plan lasted exactly one night - I was able to resettle her when she woke at 2.30am, but when she woke at 4.30am all I could do was put her off for half an hour. Then I spent half an hour after the feed resettling her (when I normally wouln't need to). I'm having another go this week.

Urban Chick said...

well, if it's any consolation, we had the night from hell too!

both chicklets woke, and #2 howled for two solid hours (because i am trying to cut out night milk which went back to at, er, 20 months) but we had to give up at 5am 'cause he as beside himself and the rest of us were VERY tired

funnily enough though, i feel fairly spritely this morning - bet it HITS tomorrow!

oh the joys...