Stories and thoughts from day to day life in the Bullard Family

Tracking Baby’s Sleep, Feedings, and Other Exciting Events May 31, 2011

Filed under: Parenting — parentsong @ 11:49 pm
Tags: , ,

In my obsession with sleep, I can tell you exactly how much my baby is averaging per week. I have this data from the day he was born.  I can’t imagine how much I would guess he sleeps. It would either be more than what he actually gets, or less, depending on how stressed out I’m feeling. Tracking his sleep helps me keep it real, so to speak.

If you work and your baby is on a schedule, say waking up at the same time everyday and going to bed at the same time and sleeping on the day care nap schedule, then you probably have a pretty good idea of how much sleep he or she is getting. If you are home with your child/ren, then it might be more difficult to tell how much sleep he or she gets because the day is just not that cut and dry. Unless you have one of those babies who sleeps when you want them to, there has to be some way of keeping track of it all.

We tracked our daughter’s daily happenings for 18 months. Sounds a bit neurotic, perhaps. But we then understood her much better without having to impose our unreliable memories or stressed perspectives on her. It helped us to respect her natural sleepy times and active times. Most of all, it helped us make sure she was getting enough rest, something that is hard to come by for people of all ages these days.

When establishing a schedule for an infant, it is suggested by several sleep “experts” that you mark wake and sleep times for a few days so that a pattern can be seen. After 14 weeks of tracking Gabriel, we are still waiting for a pattern. Actually, there is a pattern: he falls back to sleep about an hour after waking. Great! So rather than fight his cries (“How can he be tired, he just woke up!”), I can head him off at the pass and put him down. I’m hoping to find some more patterns as he moves through the fourth month. Then we can begin shaping his patterns to ones that are better for him and us. This might be earlier bed times, regular naps, regular night feedings, and establishing a clear routine for these things.

More to come on how we will embark on the adventure of sleep training. And hopefully reap great rewards of sleeping for more than 90 minutes at a time!


2 Responses to “Tracking Baby’s Sleep, Feedings, and Other Exciting Events”

  1. Kelly Gould Says:

    Did you ever read babywise? It worked great w/ Autumn, but she never slept through the night. at least she wasn’t demand feeding for ages. Now (14 months) she sleeps conked out for the whole night. She’s been doing that since about 11 months (not eleven weeks like the book promised, but…I’ll take it!!) Plus, I was not neurotic or even really obedient about not nursing her to sleep. I would do it every morning over the course of 3-4 hours so I could pretend I was getting rest.

    • parentsong Says:

      I have read it and it wasn’t for me. A bit too structured and, um, inhumane. I mean, the flow of the schedule that he suggests putting your baby on makes sense (though this is not the only book that suggests this type of schedule). I know it has worked for a lot of parents, but I think they had an easy baby (certainly not a colicky baby) and the parents who use this are probably more organized and keep a tidy schedule. I’m working on some more sleep posts, it’s become my latest obsession. Thanks for spending so much time reading and commenting!

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