Monday, January 23, 2012

Sleep Issues Resolved

I haven’t mentioned this on the blog, mainly because I haven’t had time, but for the first few weeks of Carter’s life, he was having some SERIOUS sleep issues.  Our pediatrician said he was a hyper-alert baby, meaning that he just didn’t need as much sleep as other newborns typically get.  Most babies, you may have heard, will sleep anywhere from 15-20 hours a day, waking up only for diaper changes and feedings.  Our little bundle of joy was barely getting 10-12 hours of sleep in a 24 hour period.  This was incredibly difficult on mom and dad.  Carter definitely had his days and nights mixed up, a common thing in newborns.  A good chunk of his sleep was coming through long naps during the day and he wasn’t sleeping well at night.  On his first nights home, we were barely getting 2 hours of sleep at night. 

I couldn’t take it anymore and made  appointment with our pediatrician who gave us a different kind of formula to use for upset tummies (yes, I am still breastfeeding, but maybe 1 or 2 of Carter’s 8-12 feedings are formula supplement).  We had been using the formula the hospital used when he slept in the nursery, but apparently that was upsetting his stomach.  Once we started the new formula, we saw some improvement, though he was still having some sleep issues at night.  At that appointment, the pediatrician said that if it didn’t get better in so many days to call back and he’d put in an order for an acid blocker in case Carter had reflux.  Well we called back about 5 days later and got the prescription.  Once we gave it to Carter with his feedings, we saw a drastic difference.  The day we started the medicine, he got 16 hours of sleep.  SIXTEEN!!!  The next day it was 15 and has been falling in the 14-15 range since we started giving it to him.  I don’t know if this actually means he has reflux or not.  He shows no typical signs of reflux which is why the doc was hesitant to prescribe the medication.  I don’t think he thinks that was what was going on.  Justin and I don’t really think he has reflux either because he never spits up and he doesn’t always get fussy after he eats.  He does sometimes, but that’s usually when he just wants more food than what he was given. 

Either way, this medicine is helping him sleep much better.  In addition to the medicine, we think this bad boy has made a drastic difference as well:

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Everyone has heard that babies love to be swaddled really tight.  It reminds them of their time when they were smashed up in the womb (I’m glad one of us enjoyed that).  Well, my little one is a little Houdini and every time we try to  swaddle him, he gets out.  The swaddle blankets are just crap.  I’ve used all my swaddle blankets as actual blankets instead of swaddling with them.  The swaddle blankets that have velcro on them are better, but he can still get an arm out if he tries hard enough.  Seriously my kid is so strong.  Several people have commented on that including the nurse at the pediatricians office.  My sister actually suggested the above contraption and even bought us this one.  It’s called a Woombie.  It zips bottom to top and further snaps at the top over the zipper, making it essentially like a straitjacket and impossible to get out of.  It even looks like it’s choking him, but it’s not, I promise.  We put this on Carter and he’ll fight it to the death for about 5 minutes, but then he’s out.  We’ve also found that he can sleep in longer stretches when he’s in the woombie than when he isn’t swaddled at all.  It also helps with the startle reflex.  We had no idea what this was until we were told and Carter does this ALL.THE.TIME.  If a baby isn’t swaddled and his arms are free, he may be dreaming about something and scare himself to where his hands jump up and hit his face or his entire body will move very quickly and it will wake him up.  He literally will startle himself awake during naps and bedtime and then it would take forever to get him to go to sleep again.  The tightness of the woombie prevents the startle reflex from waking them up!!!  I would HIGHLY suggest this product if you are pregnant.

So the Morris household is doing much better now that we’re all getting more sleep.  There’s honestly nothing better than looking at Carter when he’s asleep in my arms and see him smiling.  He doesn’t have any control over his facial muscles yet, so he can’t smile when he’s awake.  But when he’s dreaming a good dream, his muscles make a smile and sometimes even a laugh.  Justin and I love seeing this.  It’s actually very amusing, particularly the laugh because it’s so loud and we would think it would wake him up, but it doesn’t.

A few more pictures I had for the past week:

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He likes sleeping on his daddy’s chest after a meal

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He loves to stare at his lion that hangs from his car seat

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This is how the startle reflex happens when they’re not swaddled.  See that hand by his face?   If he gets startled, both of his hands will jump into the air and wake him up.  It doesn’t always happen, but  it does more often than not.

Also, my sister did our newborn session a couple of weeks ago and she’s just now getting to do the editing for it and she sent me the following “sneak peak” picture:

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CANNOT WAIT to see the rest!!!  I’ll post them when I get them from her.

2 comments:

Annie and Greg said...

Hey Marcie, I'm a nanny for a 8-month old. He had problems with the startle reflex, and they ordered the Magic Sleep Suit. It worked like a charm once he grew out of being swaddled! You should check it out as a second option, or as a backup incase he outgrows the Woombie.

Lauren K said...

So glad you guys are getting more sleep.

I LOVE THE PHOTO!!! Carter is adorable!!

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