Thursday, April 05, 2012

and then there was no swaddle

after swaddling saved my aching back (in december), i was starting to wonder when swaddling avery was going to stop working and how we would EVER break her from it. i imagined no napping and hours trying to get her to sleep at night.

a couple weeks ago, avery was having a hard time falling asleep at bedtime. wiggling and wiggling out of her swaddle. i would re-wrap and re-wrap until she was so hot from the combo of wiggling and being wrapped in a blanket that we'd have to take her out of bed, cool her down, and then begin again. one night, i suggested to tim that we just not swaddle. maybe swaddling was the problem now. so we put her in bed with just a sleep sack on. it took hours to fall asleep. (let me interject here that during the hours of trying to falling asleep both swaddled and not swaddled, she was mostly happy and smiley when we'd go in - such a funny girl) it didn't seem to be much better. we went back and forth swaddling and not. it occurred to me after about a week of this that we had really slacked off in the "bedtime routine" area with avery. when you wrapped her up, she knew it was routine needed. ben had a very set routine when he was a baby - always had a bath, clean pjs, then a bottle before bed. we did that routine no matter where we were and he always fell asleep so well. after a terrible evening of trying to put avery to bed at my parents and having no luck, i decided that we needed to start a routine for her. late in the game but i hoped it wasn't TOO late.

some days avery's "last" bottle would be at 5ish which didn't make sense to put her down then so if she woke up at 8 or 9, we'd feed her again. it didn't mean that she slept in the next morning - she still woke up between 6:30 - 7:30am. so now, we try to push her an extra hour to 6pm at least, by giving her some baby food at 5pm and then keeping her occupied with ben and then giving her a bath. the routine i've tried all week: bath, clean pjs, bottle, book, bed.

the first night - over an hour to fall asleep with no swaddle. next night - only half an hour or so. the night after that - less. it seems like the routine is taking. or else she's just getting used to not being swaddled and it has nothing to do with routine - who knows? my hope is that after staying home and making sure we have this routine down pat for a few weeks, we will attempt to venture out again and the bath/pjs/bottle/book routine will make falling asleep easier in her playpen too.

we were still swaddling at nap time and it was going fine. then yesterday, twice i noticed that she'd fallen asleep even though her arm had wiggled out of the wrap. today, i didn't swaddle and even though i had to go in a few times to re-insert the soother, she's fallen fast asleep within a few minutes for every nap! (yes, it's 2:15pm and she's on nap #3 - i told you this kid is a huge napper) and there you have it! the swaddle is officially gone! no huge fight, no sleepless nights...just finished! amazing.

***minutes after posting this, avery had only a 20 minute nap and then wouldn't go back to sleep even when swaddled. guess we're not out of the woods yet. way to keep it real, avery! ;)

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