Friday, April 20, 2012

What works for me with Babywise

Ava Joy, 4 mo. Sleeping at the hair salon.

A while back, I briefly wrote about my early experiences with breastfeeding Abigail, and how we overcame obstacles and breastfed for 18 months... Babywise being a part of that story. I also wrote about my Babywise experience with JohnAndrew. So, it's probably about time I write a bit about Ava Joy and what's working for us.

First, let me start by saying that Ava Joy has been my best nurser. This has meant that our breastfeeding experience has been not only physically easy, but emotionally pleasant as well. I did not experience PPD like I did after Abigail's birth, or even deep baby blues like I did after JohnAndrew's birth. On the other hand, I have felt physically exhausted. But overall, the only problem with breastfeeding that I have had thus far with Ava Joy was one slightly blocked duct which resolved within 48 hours or so.

Establishing an eat-play-sleep cycle with her was pretty easy. She loves her some momma milk, but also likes to play with her siblings, crack up with momma, or just explore the world. The hardest part has been the fact that we spend quite a bit of time in the car (between school pick ups/drop offs, activities, errands, etc), so while the cycle is established, a good "schedule" that gets her up at the same time each morning, napping at approximately the same time each morning and afternoon, and down to bed at the same time each night is just not happening.

I think that has a lot to do with her sleep patterns. She started sleeping through the night (7 hours) at 6 weeks. I would nurse her, burp her, then lay her drowsy self down and off to dreamland she would float.

And then the stomach bug hit.

And we went to Vegas.

And we had a big brother who was waking up 6 times a night while cutting molars.

And, and, and...

And here we are with a baby girl who still wakes frequently at night. She doesn't need to eat and is easily soothed back to sleep, but she still wakes frequently (even if she is in bed with you.) And if she is in bed with me? Well, she's not hungry and doesn't want milk, but boy, she is a picture of conflict because she wants to nurse!

Sorry, baby, you can't have one without the other.

Babywise, of course, would suggest letting her cry it out. But we know CIO doesn't work for us. Fuss for a few minutes? Maybe. But cry it out? Not so much.

So my once sleeping-thru-the-night baby is a frequent waker, and I am not getting much sleep, and our day still starts at 5:45am and ends about 11pm, and I still have sleep anxiety, so basically, I am one hot (exhausted) mess.

But the kids are happy and healthy. And school ends in 5 weeks. And I'll be with family for 7 weeks over the summer (which will hopefully mean some more support, rest, and a plan to help Ava Joy sleep a little better.)

Until then, feel free to pray for our little family! We'll take all the extra grace and mercy we can get over here!!!

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