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the eric update - day 139: is it sleepy time or wakey time?

while little odin is technically 139 days old, in age-adjusted terms, he's barely just a month old, since, from a developmental perspective, his body doesn't really care that he arrived 15 weeks early. that means that little odin's sleep schedule is much more like a newborn than it is like a 5 month old and we have to be very careful that we don't try to get him into a regular sleep schedule before his body is ready.

books like "healthy sleep habits, happy child" have really helped us get a handle on what to expect. most importantly, he still has no circadian rhythms or internal biological clocks yet, so there's absolutely no hope of getting him on any sort of sleep schedule. babies who are his age also become overtired after only an hour or two of wakefulness . overtiredness can lead to fussiness, so we're constantly attuned to how long he's been awake and reading his cues as to avoid the overtired downward spiral.

babies less than 6 weeks old also tend to fall asleep very late and don't sleep for very long during the day or night. so despite the fact that he's 139 days old, we're still all sleeping like there's a newborn in the house.

luckily, six weeks or so ( again, in age-adjusted terms ) seems to be the magic date after which 80 percent of babies become more settled at night and sleep for longer periods.

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11/20/2004 10:41:00 PM 2 comments


Watch out, pretty soon he's actually going to spend significant amounts of time awake, and he'll want to be constantly entertained (or fed, or changed, ...).

By Blogger Derek, at 3:22 AM  

I found Weisbluth's advice on napping to do a great deal in helping with sleep rhythms. Overall, that's a great book. The idea that sleep begets more sleep is so true! But, I can't remember now if there was advice in there on feeding. Anyone will tell you that nursing babies should never be on a strict feeding schedule as it can lead to loss of hunger cues and loss of milk supply. Bottom line, always go with your gut and common sense - if he's hungry, feed him. If he's tired, put him to bed - even if the book and the clock say it's not time. Nobody really sleeps through the night, that's a myth. It is not possible to have zero consciousness for 8 hours unless you're heavily drugged. As adults, we wake up many times although by morning we've forgotten about our wakings. Babies are no different except that when they wake up, they let you know about it. I would recommend the AAP's book on sleep. It is an interesting read. The wakings do space out eventually. Good luck!

By Blogger Candy, at 11:02 AM  

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this site chronicles the continuing adventures of my son, odin, who was unexpectedly born on the fourth of july at 25 weeks gestation, weighing 1 pound 7 ounces.

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