Sunday, November 02, 2008

Playgroup

Sorry I haven't posted in awhile; I had a major deadline yesterday that had me nose to the proverbial grindstone with not much extra energy or extra computer time.

Today we went to brunch with our long-neglected playgroup; they tend to meet right during Val's afternoon naptime. The good thing about playgroup is socializing with other new parents, seeing the development of babies a few months older than V, getting ideas about things to try with her and learning new information.

The downside of playgroup is that I start second-guessing myself about everything. Feeding, sleeping, diapering... We finally bought two diaper covers yesterday to test-drive with the cloth diapers; she's outgrown the ones we have and we've only been using the disposables for a long time. Not that there's been consensus in the household about that anyway... it's hard to cloth diaper if only one parent is into the idea. Anyway, there seems to be more interest in it now. But the sheer variety of diapering options out there is mind-numbing... paralyzing... sometimes it's easier just to do what you've been doing.

Val seems so thin compared to some of the other babies. She definitely likes her rice cereal and is into eating from a spoon. We want to get a food grinder to mush up stuff for her but haven't been able to find out yet. I hear you can get them at Greenstar though - one thing we learned at playgroup today :-) I worry that I'm not feeding her enough.
And then there's SLEEP - the big one. She's kind of on our night-owl schedule. It seems like all the other babies go to sleep between 6 or 7 p.m., but V. goes to sleep between 10 and 11. Then she sleeps until about 9 a.m. Of course, she nurses up to 4 times during the night. Now that she's back in bed with us, I don't really wake up all the way and I actually feel more rested in the morning than when she was sleeping in the crib and I'd get up twice in the night to feed her. But anyway, I wonder if we're messing up her circadean rhythm by keeping this weird schedule? Can we really shift her schedule earlier? She takes a long nap between 4-8. Sometimes she falls asleep at 6 or so, and can sleep until 9, but then she wakes up for at least 2 hours, sometimes more. There have been nights when she wouldn't go to sleep again until 1 or 2 a.m. Which is crazy-making. But we'd definitely have to do some things differently if we wanted to change her schedule.

6 comments:

Rachel said...

The best advice my Mom gave me was do what works best for your family.

LG goes to bed at 7:30 and wakes up a little before 8. SB goes to bed between 8 and 8:30 and gets up around 7.

If you like your schedule, leave it alone. If you don't, then try something different. You may want to try waking her up from her afternoon nap after an hour or so and then see if putting her down around 8 works. I found with LG it usually took 3 or 4 days for me to determine if a new schedule worked, so give it a little time.

Elizabeth said...

You know, the sleep schedule would be perfect if:
1) I didn't have to get up at 7 a.m. to teach two mornings a week. Because Val goes to sleep late, this means I am very short on sleep those mornings.
2) We didn't have department colloquium from 3:30-5:00 on Fridays. Because this is prime naptime, I have't been to colloquium in months. It's not a huge deal, but socializing at department events is just good professional practice.
3) She was SURE to go to sleep by 11. Lately she's been pretty consistent. But the nights when she won't go to sleep until after midnight are killers.

Other than that, the only issue I have is that it doesn't seem *normal*! For a baby to go to bed that LATE! And I wonder if we're being bad parents!!!!!

I used to think it was hilarious that there exists a society for the anthropology of sleep, but now I totally get it. Sleep is a natural human need, but there is so much about how we do it that is culturally contingent. Just think about it. T. came back from four years in Africa with the habit of taking naps under his desk or on the grass outside (when warm) whenever he felt like it and people thought it was really weird, but for him it had become normal.

Ok, this is turning into its own post...!!!

Mrs. Spit said...

I have no advice. Other than to say that I think you are a great mum, and likely making really good choices.

And she's the cutest.

tara said...

if she is happy (mostly) during the day then she is probably getting enough sleep. as you pointed out, all of us need different amounts of sleep.

Anita said...

I know it's hard, but try not to compare your baby to other babies. Humans come in a huge range of shapes and sizes. Sometimes it's hard to believe two people are the same species. As long as you are nursing you can be confident that she is healthy. About bedtime, remember, she can't tell time and has no idea that she is staying up "late". Like Rachel said, do what works for YOU. Sleep is wonderful, if I don't get enough, I feel it too.

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