Monday, 1 October 2012

Watch Me Grow - Nineteen Weeks

Week nineteen was full of excitement! My mom was down to visit and Kaitlin loved having her Grandma around! We started to get some more giggles out of her and she started talking more while she is pushing up on her tummy. She also started to scoot her butt up and move her legs around while on her stomach - is this a precursor to crawling?!?! Yikes!

It was also exciting because we started letting her cry it out at bedtime. I'm going to write a separate post on our experience but let's just say I am now a believer. 

Kaitlin also rolled over in her crib at bedtime while swaddled. We are still using velcro swaddles so this is scary because she can't use her arms to help roll herself back over or push her chest up. We tried going swaddle free on Saturday (might as well just rip the band-aid off and go cold turkey, right?) and that was a HUGE mistake. Personally I just don't think she's ready to be unswaddled yet, even though she is turning over. Of course I want to do what is safest for her but at the same time she can't calm herself enough to fall asleep without the swaddle. Her arms and hands are all up in her face and she hasn't figured out yet that sleeping on your stomach is amazing. She missed two naps on Saturday morning and was exhausted after being awake for six hours. But she would.not.stop.crying. And she wouldn't put her hands down and go to sleep. I finally caved and swaddled her and then she fell sound asleep for two hours.

So now I am working on slowly getting rid of the swaddle. Surprisingly, when/if she breaks one or both arms out of the swaddle when she is asleep she is fine - she doesn't really wake up that much more than when she is swaddled. The problem is getting her to go to sleep with her arms out - which so far has been a failure every time. I am trying different things now like leaving one arm out and one arm swaddled so she can get used to it, before moving on to leaving both arms out. I am also trying swaddling her with her arms at her face so she can at least try and self sooth but not have her arms flying all over the place. 

I know the biggest challenge for me is being consistent (which clearly I am not, as you can see above) and listening to her cry. I know that she needs to learn how to fall asleep without the swaddle as soon as possible. But it's hard being the only one at home during the day and listening to her cry because she can't sleep, and seeing her tired eyes. I cave too easily.

The only other solution I can think of is to try going swaddle free at bedtime (as opposed to starting with naps like I have been) and letting her cry it out. To me this just seems cruel! And I don't want her to get scared when she is stuck on her stomach and not have anyone come and help her.

Has anyone done this before? Am I crazy to think that letting her cry it out at bedtime without a swaddle is a bad idea? I need to find a solution quick - so we can all get back to sleeping better - and safely!


  1. Tracy get those wedges, that you can stick on each side of her so she doesn't or can't roll in her sleep. Crying it out is hard, really really hard....ON YOU! Good rule of thumb that most docs will tell you is no more than 20 mins. We always started slow, let them fuss for 5 minutes, then increase the time. When we got to 15 minutes most nights they had calmed on their own. 20 minutes feels like FOREVER! Try the wedges, and start her on waiting on you when she fusses during the day first before you jump into night time. Good luck Tracy. She's a beauty!

    1. Thanks vicki! I just wrote another post about letting her cry it out. We have been doing it now for two weeks and it (for the most part) gets better and better. We are still swaddling her for naps and bed, and only just yesterday she started rolling over again while swaddled. I called the pediatrician and she said that for the time being it was ok since she has the neck strength to turn her head if she ends up on her belly. Most of the time she has one arm out of the swaddle anyway so she ends up pushing herself up. But I have heard good things about the positioners (wedges)! Seems like almost everyone ends up letting their child cry it out to some degree at some point :)

  2. Poor thing. With Liam, we started weaning the swaddle at 6 weeks old, having him sleep on his stomach during his naps during the day so that I could keep an eye on him. Since he did so well with that, we let him go all night on his stomach and he sleeps so well. We do have to put him on one end of the bed and throughout the night he scoots to the other end. I know that you're supposed to put them 'back to sleep', but he was/is spitting up so much, that he'd get all choked up on it when he was on his back. Even though he still spits up on his stomach, he's able to scoot or move his head from side to side to get away from it. I do let Liam cry for 5 minutes, occasionally for 10 minutes and he usually falls asleep by either the 4 or 10 minute mark. Luckily I have a video monitor and can make sure he's okay. Oh, and if he ever has that, 'I'm really sad' cry, I go in and get him no matter what. Otherwise, it's just the 'Ma, I don't feel like going to sleep' cry that he quickly gets over because he's tired. I hope Kaitlin starts sleeping better for you soon! She is so precious, those cheeks especially!

    crackers & carrots

    1. Thanks Caroline! That was so smart of you guys to wean him of the swaddle at 6 weeks...if I ever have another one I am going to do the same thing! I kept thinking "we'll get rid of the swaddle once she has better arm control" and that hasn't happened yet! I kind of feel like we are a slave to the swaddle, but if it helps her sleep then Im going to keep doing it :) I am constantly checking the monitor to make sure she isnt on her tummy while swaddled, although (as I mentioned above) she can now turn her head and push herself up if she does end up that way. I'm excited for the day when she figures out that sleeping on your tummy is the best sleep ever! I still love sleeping that way (and am excited to return to doing that once Im done nursing!).

      Hope Liam is feeling better :)