The recent positive changes to Molly’s sleeping pattern are sticking (for now), after a temporary setback.
Molly got sick again a few days ago, and all the congestion and drainage was bugging her in her sleep. She had three tough nights, tossing and turning and waking up every hour or two. She was not sleeping much at school either during the day, and she was getting to be a bit of a mess.
Then, once her health improved, and we moved her out of her swaddle so she could position herself any way she wanted, she started sleeping like a maniac. On Wednesday night, she slept 12 hours, from 7 pm to 7 am! This is the famed “7 to 7” holy grail of baby sleeping that several other baby parents have told me just happened magically one day to their babies. (I don’t remember how or when this happened with Claire; I guess it wasn’t quite as momentous of an event). Molly is also falling asleep easier now without the swaddle. As long as the timing is right, I just turn on the white noise, cuddle with her while I sing Rock-a-bye Baby a few times, and put her in her crib. She usually throws herself on her side and falls asleep right away.
Proving it’s not a fluke, Molly has kept this 7 to 7 pattern up for the three nights since. The one gotcha is that she consistently wakes up one hour into her sleep, right during Claire’s own bedtime routine. Last night, Kit was out of commission, so I had to let Claire finish up her own teeth and hair brushing by herself and then watch a little extra TV while I went upstairs and soothed Molly back to sleep. There were no complaints from Claire on the extra TV!
Molly has been waking up around 4 am for a while now. It doesn’t matter if we put her to bed early or late, or how much she eats the night before; she usually wakes up around 4 am regardless. She starts talking and stirring. When we check on her, her eyes are normally wide open and she is smiling or even giggling when she sees us. Any other time of day, this is a very sweet sight. But not at 4 am! Go back to sleep! It’s 4 am! I am always repeating this mantra to Kit. I don’t want to see a giggling baby at 4 am. And of course it takes a while, sometimes 30 to 60 minutes, for Molly to fall back asleep. More often than not, I don’t get really back to sleep; I just dose until 6 am. If I feel peppy, I just get up early and get a few things done.
But last night was a different. Rather than the usual light babbling and stirring 4 am, Molly woke up really crying. When I checked on her, she was laying on her stomach. Now, we always put her to sleep on her back to help avoid the SIDS and what not. But tonight she had rolled herself onto her tummy in her sleep and sounded rather annoyed by it. I rolled her back on to her back (SIDS and what not) and gave her a pacifier because I really wanted to get back to sleep. Molly suddenly flipped herself back on her tummy and then immediately fell asleep, eyes closed and not a peep! This is the first time she has ever gone back to sleep that fast! And for the first time in memory, Claire woke me up that morning rather than Molly, and at 7 am no less! Molly was still sound asleep on her tummy until 7:30, shattering any past sleep-in records.
Perhaps I should be cautious about jinxing this, but this seems the like sleep breakthrough I had been waiting for. I dare to hope that this is the beginning of better and longer sleeping for Molly (and for me and Kit). Of course, I know better than that. Babies are notoriously unpredictable. Just when you think you have them figured out, they’ll throw something new at you. But I can say for sure that I enjoyed sleeping in until 7 am at least this one morning!