Thursday, September 1, 2011

Sleep Schedules and Daycares

B and I decided that it was time to start trying to put Mia on a regular sleep schedule. We're in the middle of transitioning her from a babysitter to a more structured daycare. A daycare requires that we actually commit to the same 3 or 4 days a week, every week. Since we can't do that, we also decided that Mia would only go to daycare two days a week, and the other days she'd either be at home with B on his day off, and that I'd up my take your daughter to work days (hereinafter TYDTWD) from one to two a week. Aside from giving her some consistency, it would also be really nice to predict when she'll go down during my workday, so that I can schedule my workload around it. I briefly thought about asking my boss whether I could work from home half the week from now on, but from my few weeks doing that during the last few weeks of my maternity leave, I know that it's a lot easier for me to do Parent from Work rather than Working from Home. I'm sure as time progresses, I'll have more thoughts on this to share.

We thought that since Mia wouldn't consistently be in one place every day, we'd at least try to implement a certain level of consistency in the timing of her feedings and naps. Before, we used to put her down when she was sleepy, feed her when she was fussy, etc. I'm a big fan of Amalah's, so I went through her advice columns at Alphamom and found The 2-3-4 Sleep Routine. This is a pretty straightforward sleep schedule, the short version being that she should take her first nap 2 hours after she wakes up, the second 3 hours after that, and then go to bed 4 hours after she wakes up from her second nap. At her age, I don't think doing anything more regimented would be beneficial, nor would it actually work.

So far we're on our 3rd day, and Mia's adopting more of a 3-2-4 schedule, and she's been pretty wonderful at sticking to that during the day. She has been pretty consistent with her bedtime since she was about 9 weeks old, and we've been doing a bedtime routine starting at 8:30 so that she can sleep at 9 ever since then, and doesn't wake up for her middle of the night feeding until around 3:30am. But, since we've started the 2-3-4 (yeah it's only been 3 days, so this could be totally meaningless and unrelated), she's woken up at 10, when B and I come into the room to go to bed, crying inconsolably and staying that way until around 11:30 when she settles back down. She'll still wake up around 3:30 for her nighttime feeding. We'll see how this nighttime schedule works out, but so far, we're pretty happy with the 2-3-4 (or 3-2-4 in our case), so I definitely recommend giving it a shot with your own babies.

Mia naps at work!

So, now that Mia is definitely going to be coming to work at least twice a week, I decided it was time to make some more premanent accomodations for her in my office. I already kept her bouncer chair at the office, but yesterday, I also brought in her pack'n'play, which has a mobile, and a changing station in the corner. It's been so conveninent having it so far, and I've found that her naps are much longer now that she's more comfortable. I probably should have realized that the bouncer was keeping her too upright for her to get a good amount of sleep in, but hey, I'm still new at this whole parent thing.

Mia's "new room", complete with laptop on the Pandora Lullaby station.
We haven't made a decision on which daycare she'll actually start going to for those few days a week, but we know we would like an In Home one, at least for now. We visited the first one last night, and she definitely seemed like a woman who watched kids out of her house. She did a few "baby voices" when she was talking, which is strange when talking to adults, but I suppose we won't hold this against her since she's around babies all day. A definite downside to her though, she's got 3 cats in the house. Now, I don't personally have a problem with cats, but B is slightly allergic, so we have no idea whether Mia will develop allergies as well. B also claims that her house totally smelled like cats, but that doesn't really bother me. Tonight, we're visiting a second In Home that is closer to my office, and slightly cheaper, but the woman didn't speak confidently on the phone when I called, so I'm a bit skeptical for now. I am hoping she's warm and friendly when we meet her in person, and just doesn't like talking on the phone. More on this later, too.

Lastly, guess who's totally got the whole head lifting thing down?

This girl!

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