Little A has adopted the sleep schedule of Courtney Love. Up half the night - usually until 1 or 2AM!! - then sleeping alllll day long. Somedays she won't have awake time until the clocks rolls over into PM territory. Wtf.
Before I get berated for letting this happen, let me assure you that it is NOT for lack of trying. Trying to wake this little one up is futile - I may wake her for a second by irritating the hell out of her, but she goes right back to sleep. And who can blame her?! She's tired from her little party girl schedule! Unfortunately, however, I'm not at a point in my life where I can keep up with that kind of schedule (I'm not a college student for Christ's sake!), and so I've been consulting just about every imaginable source (books, internet, friends, family, strangers at S's gymnastics class...) for suggestions and advice on how to move kiddo's schedule up several hours. I know she's capable of night sleep, since once she's down she wakes only to eat, and usually without even opening her eyes, and she naps like a champ, which I find both encouraging and deeply frustrating.
Most people have confirmed that this type of night owl behavior is quite normal and common amongst babies this young, but I would like to do what I can to encourage healthier sleep habits if possible, and so I've gathered some ideas:
*Since she sleeps so deeply in her car seat during the day, it's been suggested that I put her in there when she's drowsy and I want her to fall asleep for the night, and then transfer her to her bed when she's deeply enough asleep. (If your baby sleeps deeply elsewhere, like a swing or bouncer, sub that item for the car seat. This applies to everything except having him/her fall asleep in your arms.)
*Put baby in their crib/bassinet/wherever you're trying to ultimately put them down for the night, and then help soothe them to sleep while they're laying there. (I DO NOT mean to have them cry-it-out while supervised. Babies before 4-6 months are not capable of self-soothing themselves to sleep.)
Last night I tried the latter with Ava, putting her down in her bassinet at 10PM with a full belly and looking pretty drowsy. She stayed asleep when I laid her down, but predictably woke up within five minutes fussing. I put her pacifier back in her mouth, and she fell back to sleep. A few minutes later, the same thing. This went on until 11:00, with her going longer and longer between the pacifier falling out and/or her fussing, and eventually at 11:15, she no longer woke up when it fell out and slept until she was ready to eat at 2:30.
Was it a long hour and fifteen minutes? Yep. Was it a hell of a lot shorter than holding her until she falls asleep, trying to lay her down and then inevitably picking her back up over and over into the wee hours of the night? Yep! Did we all get more rest of better quality than we ever have? YEP. Is it laying the foundation for better long-term sleep habits? Most definitely. She also then went a dive-hour stretch without eating, and then a four. Yay!
Here's hoping this method will take less and less time as we try it again each night!