Sleep, the Hidden “S” in Fussiness

But first, as usual, a few new pictures!

Here we are apple picking at our Rockland Mommy’s Meetup Gathering:

Apple picking

Apple picking

You may notice that A) I am wearing the green sweater from Target that I blogged about and B) I am wearing Jasper in our BabyHawk Carrier.  (Jasper is also wearing the adorable hat his Great Auntie Diane knitted for him!)

And here are a few new ones of Jasper:

His Eyelashes seem to get longer every day, we still can’t tell what color his eyes are/will be though!

Ok, back to the “S” in Fussiness..

I’m talking about “Sleep.”

In preparation for Jasper entering Daycare in about two weeks I have been desperately reading the few baby books I have including Secrets from the Baby Whisperer by Tracy Hogg.

I don’t agree with all of her ideas, but she has a method she calls “E.A.S.Y” for each feeding cycle which is an acronym for “Eat, Activity, Sleep and “You” (You being time for mommy while baby sleeps).

Her reasoning for putting things in that order (rather than Eat and sleep as many babies fall asleep at the breast or bottle) is that one, you don’t want your baby to become totally dependent on eating to fall asleep and two, its normal for people to eat and then do something (i.e go to work, school etc) rather than fall asleep right away.

I was a little dubious about how this would work because it seems like MORE work for me having to soothe Jasper to sleep after an activity rather than letting him sleep after eating and then do an activity.

Tracy advocates a schedule for mom’s sanity as well as baby’s comfort, her reasoning being that baby’s are soothed by knowing what to expect.

Truth be told, I really had no idea if we even had a schedule or pattern until I started just keeping track to see.. it turns out, not only did we have a schedule, but it was like clockwork!

Every two hours Jasper eats (that I did know and had been keeping track of,) but what I didn’t realize until this book is that he really did start to exhibit signs of sleepiness about an hour into his activity time and about 30 minutes before he was due to eat again. It might be a yawn, a glazed stare or, if I miss the early signs just all out crying and fussiness.

This is his way of saying “mommy, put me to sleep.”

The fact that I JUST this week realized that he needs to be put down for a nap every two hours makes me look back at his first 7 weeks (the “dark” ages of Jasper) when he was so fussy and colicky and wonder if much of the time when he was crying for “no reason” he was just tired and we didn’t realize it!

Of course he would nap, sometimes even for long stretches, but it was ONLY if he happened to fall asleep himself at the breast. We, in our infinite inexperience thought that if he was tired he would sleep by himself just because he SOMEtimes did.

Even now that I have him on a nap schedule, I am consistently amazed at how quickly and intensely Jasper will melt down when over tired and it makes it even more unbelievable (and seemingly cruel!) that we didn’t pick up on this earlier.

I am admitting to what seems like such a stupid parenting gaffe only because I hope it may help some of you out there if you are going through what we went through – I know you need all the help you can get!

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Michele says:

Ari – you’re looking great with your little Jasper, he’s just perfect! So beautiful!!!

I forgot to mention when we spoke about how important the regular naps are for Leo too…the only way to avert melt-downs is keeping him well-rested, and well-fed.

Let me know what you find out tomorrow. I’ve got my fingers crossed that the pump won’t end up playing a bigger role than you originally anticipated.

Lots of love, and hugs of encouragement!

Kath says:

You look beautiful. He looks beautiful.

That’s all I can say because everyone above said it first. I’m just catching up on your blog because I’ve been VERY busy and happen to, at this moment, have some of that “You” time you mention. :)

ariana says:

California girl.. oh yes, the happiest baby on the block is a life saver! I actually have the DVD and the book. The dvd is amazing. There is a package deal of DVD with miracle blanket that I got for my shower you can get on if you don’t have the miracle blanket, I would recommend getting that combo. Basically for our naps he must be swaddled and bounced to sleep in the sideways position with white noise. (that’s three of the Ss that Karp talks about, swaddle, shush (noise) and sideways.

Let us know how it goes!!

Oh, and thanks.. I think he’s pretty damn cute too ;)

Wow… so I take it he is doing much better with the naps now? Maybe I’ll pick up that book… sounds interesting.

And Jasper is the CUTEST little guy ever. Seriously, you have one casanova on your hands!

Jamie says:

I also HIGHLY recommend The Happiest Baby on the Block–it has helped me so much with getting my little boy to fall asleep. He loves to fight it even when he is super exhausted. He went from 4 hours of sleep a night to 7-8 in the four days I’ve been trying it! I loved a lot of principles in The Baby Whisperer and Babywise as well…

ariana says:

Thanks Merrilee! I am looking forward to hearing some good news from you soon..

Jaimie, we have the opposite problems, Jasper will sleep in his crib during the day but only on me at night.. yeah, I know, baaaaad habit! I have similar hopes for 3 months, we’ll see, good luck to both of us ;)

Jaimie says:

Ariana, it is amazing to me how much we have in common! I have the Moby and the Babyhawk too as my main carriers and like/dislike them both for the reasons you listed. My son is 10 weeks old now and I read the Baby Whisperer book. He really does follow the pattern she describes, and I do have to start soothing him to sleep after an hour or so of wakefulness. Unfortunately, although he sleeps all night in his crib (with a few wake-ups to feed) he just won’t sleep in his crib during the daytime. I can’t figure out why. So, the Moby is indispensable for lulling him to sleep, and then cradling him during his naps. I’m hopeful that when he hits 3 months his system will magically mature enough to nap on his own during the day …

I’m just catching up on my blog reading after quite a long blog hiatus….OMG, I was gone so long , he’s actually here!!!!!
He’s so handsome and the photos you take of him are just precious!!!! Congratulations!!! His arrival gives me hope ; )

Lindy says:

We all miss cues that our babies give as first-time parents. It makes me chuckle though. In the reverse situation, when my daughter was around 18 months old, I would have a horribly frustrating morning getting her to take the “mid-morning” nap she had always taken. She would cry and scream…I would scream and cry. My Mom suggested that maybe she WASN’T tired. Little did I know that it was her “milestone” moment of needing to drop that nap and only have her afternoon nap. I could have shaved of WEEKS of aggravation had I picked up on that cue!!!

No worries! This will go in your jar of “parental misfires”. You’ll realize, as a first time parent, how quickly that jar seems to fill up. Ha! Ha! Jasper will grow up fine and love you just the same. That’s the joy of being a Mommy!

ariana says:

Suzanne, glad you delurked! I have a sound machine too (on the nest it’s referred to as the “baby crack machine” but it never seemed to affect Jasper one way or another, maybe I should try it louder ;)

As for your questions, 1) the onesie said “Shhh, I’m watching the game with dad”.. and you’re right, he hasn’t worn it yet.. now that you mention it, I’m not even sure where it is. I’m going to ask Jeff when he gets back from Costco if he’s seen it. THere are so many things he never even got to wear once, its terrible! 2)He became Japer (Jack as a middle name) because even though I wanted to name him Jack after my grandfather I just wasn’t happy with how popular the name Jack is becoming among children his age. I LOVE the name, but I’ve always wanted to name my children something a bit more on the unusual side.

If you get a rebel, you definitely wont regret it!

Sarah, I don’t know if we (or my ovaries) have it in us, but I can already see that things would be alot easier a second time around!

Wow, four hours.. amazing, I’m very lucky if I get three!

As for the pictures, I do almost always adjust in photoshop. There is a great tip on a blog that I use often which is to make three duplicate layers of your image, the second one change to screen mode and the third one change to overlay mode and adjust the opacity of those two layers and the pictures really pop!

Chantal, I think Jasper would LOVE that, I might need to introduce something new into the rotation if he gets bored of his mobiles and playmat.

Dawn says:

So glad you’ve cracked the Jasper code! Trust your instincts when you know something must be up. You may not know everything yet but he’ll teach you! ;)

Sarah says:

As a first time parent you have all the excuses in the world. That’s why many have a second child; to learn what they did wrong by the first. :) I’m glad you read the book and didn’t poo poo it off because you learned a valueable lesson from it. You get to have mommy time now!!! I have alway done the feed/wake/sleep method. This is our 3rd child and our 2 month old breast fed girl
( born the 18th of August)has slept from 9pm-6am three times already! I wanted her to go 4 hours in between feedings and she always has since she’s been born!
By the way, I have to ask, how do you get the background to your pics SO white. I LOVE your pictures. Is it just the cameras setting?? They just pop!! Of course it helps to have a cutie!
Good luck to you and hope he sleeps well now!!

Chantal says:

yay, i’m so glad things are finally starting to calm down for you and jasper.

just a note for mandoo (congratulations! and ariana – and anybody else: i have the mattel ocean wonders aquarium ( and annora started to really enjoy it at about 8 weeks. this is the one toy that she’s fascinated with and is the only reason why i manage to put away the laundry. just wanted to let you know since you were talking about must buys.

Suzanne says:

Hi Ariana, First time ‘comment-er’ (one of my expectant friends told me about your blog when you were about a week away from delivering… SHE is now 5 days from her due date!) CONGRATS to you and your husband! Jasper is a DOLL!

I have a 15 month old son. I tried Tracy’s plan, but Dylan would NEVER fall asleep. I tried everything! He pretty much just cried the whole first 6-8 weeks (just in time for me to go back to work) What saved me was a sound machine that made white noise. Basically, I just had to get the white-noise a little louder than his crying and he’d fall right to sleep. It was AMAZING! We still use it and our daycare provider has one too for naps. He sleeps like a CHAMP!

Anyway, you are NOT cruel. And Jasper will probably switch up routines on you quite a few times over the next few months. The best part is that you are getting to know him so much better; you are reading his cues and that makes you a GREAT mom.

Sorry this is long, but I am wondering about two things… 1) where is that cute onsie from the blog before Jasper was born… it said something like ‘watchin football with daddy’? has he been in that thing yet? and 2) How did he become Jasper? When I read thru the blog last week, I could swear you originally decided on Jack. Just curious ;)

I love the blog! Thanks for sharing! Your pictures are so beautiful, now I want a ‘REBEL’ too! ;) Good luck with pumping and returning to work too.

Jill says:

Thank goodness for your blog. You are a lifesaver for us moms-to-be! The pics, as always, are gorgeous. :)

Melanie says:

I read the baby whisperer at about 8 weeks also and realized the same mistakes!! once i got her on a routine and a good nap pattern, my life was SO much better!! I also used her methods on sleep… tanking up before bed. it SO worked, by 9 weeks she was STTN from about 8:30pm-6am… and now she pretty much goes 7pm-7am. I *HEART* Tracey :-)

Jennifer says:

What a great photo. And he’s smiling! You guys look super cute.

It really, really does help infants, babies and toddler(and beyond) to have a consistent routine for napping and for bedtime. It helps them and and it helps you. And it sounds like you may have cracked the sleep code for your little guy. Congratulations!

mandoo says:

Thanks! definitely obsessed with the babyhawk already and will have to add that to our list of must buys. I’m also going to take a serious look at the Uppa baby, thank goodness for your blog!

ariana says:

Thanks mandoo, and HUGE congratulations!!! Hopefully you can learn from some of our mistakes ;)

mandoo says:

I love that first photo of you and Jasper!

Just found out about two weeks ago that we’re expecting, in early June. A surprise, but we’re starting to get excited and I’m glad to have your blog to turn to as we try to get a handle on things.