Sunday, October 26, 2008

That Little Ol' Thing Called Sleep

When Cale wasn't quite 24 hours old, he slept 5 hours through the night (between speedy labor and decent sleep, I felt pretty good, considering -- and one of the night nurses who chatted with me in the hall was startled that I was a mom not a support person). During Cale's early months, he slept 4 or 5 hours most nights unless I had eaten one of his allergens (dairy slams his gut into overdrive; soy and eggs keep him, and therefore me, awake). Then came his interest in food. He would follow every little movement of my fork from plate to mouth. He wanted the fork. He wanted what was on the fork. He wanted to nurse all the time, non-stop if he could. So despite our concerns about his allergies, we started baby food. We knew it was time.

So I was merely flipping past the "Signs of Readiness" section in a baby feeding booklet when a passage caught my eye. Turns out, one of the signs of readiness for food is a dramatic change to more frequent night wakings! I'd hate to think how long I've been trapped in the land of poor sleep, but it's been at least a month. And no wonder his best sleep is usually the first round: he gets baby food, then he gets to nurse. Double food and a sacked-out baby. As the night goes on, his sleep cycles get shorter. But it jibes so well with his eating habits: Cale is hungry! He's not very interested in baby food, so he wakes up sooner ...

I need a plan to get Cale back on his original sleeping plan, but I feel more optimistic now. I thought maybe he had a fourth allergy (probably wheat, the tough one to eliminate), and I was going to have to work through an elimination diet (still possible, since it explains the poor sleep), but I think more food is a better fit (it explains why his poor sleep started when it did). So now to have ideas to keep Cale full longer ...

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