October 03, 2010 | by Rachel
Dale is a sweet one, but she has really challenged our sleep capabilities. Since birth she's been a regular newborn sleepyhead, incapable of keeping her eyes open despite our efforts, sleeping through the most rambunctious times with Win and Harriet, and regularly sleeping for 5 hour stretches in the afternoons. But all of this is only during the day. At night she is as alert and chipper as can be. From 10pm to 4am, and sometimes as much at 9pm to 7am, she is awake. Just plain awake. If I put her in her bassinet, she cries. If I nurse her to sleep she wakes when we're done nursing. If I sleep with her, she stays awake. This means that I get no more than 2 hours sleep at night. After doing that for 5 night in a row Jared started taking every other night shift and just delivering her to me for feedings. This is not a way to live. I can do infant sleep deprivation, but this is just too much for us to handle for too much longer. With lowered immune systems from this severe lack of sleep I'm afraid that one of us is going to get sick on top of it all. And I've read on every baby forum out there, "sleep when the baby sleeps." But about the time that she was finally nodding off for the day is the time that my biological clock was telling me to wake up and be alert. I just hadn't switched into 3rd shift mode yet. And as soon as the kids came back, that wasn't an option anyway. I did force myself to stay in be during the day when she was sleeping. So far, I've read every book on infant sleep that I can get my hands on, from Ferber to Sears, Pantley to Ezzo, Karp, Moore, Hogg and several more. These books are strewn about our house, laying upside down and open to the last page we were re-reading. Anything that will give us hope that we can sleep for more than 2 hours at night. Okay, all that to say, last night was a break through! She slept through the night, the whole night! I did feed her about every 3 hours throughout, but other than that she was sleeping. YAY DALE!!! It was a wonderful thing. Hopefully she's got this thing figured out. I expect that it might be a 2 steps forward one step back process. But now we feel hopeful that the end is near. Dale, you're real little, and you have a lot to learn. I'm glad that you are learning day from night. Good job!