Yesterday, I had an evening meeting to run, so my husband picked up and cared for the baby until I got home at 9:00 p.m. The sitter said she hadn't napped well in the afternoon, but she was fairly happy when she got home...for about 20 minutes. Then she began crying and continued for the better part of three hours.
By the time I got home, both of them were stressed out and exhausted.
With some finesse and fancy maneuvering, I was able to get the baby to calm down for awhile. She ate and then sat in her bouncy watching me wash bottles in the kitchen for about a half-hour. Then after much fussing, we finally managed to get her to sleep around 11:00. She slept fairly well last night, going back down without much difficulty after her 3:30 a.m. bottle, but this fussing thing is really tough.
My theory is that she's not getting enough sleep. She just doesn't nap well. She will usually take one or two sufficient naps (1-2 hours in length) at some point during the day, but all other naps are fitful and range in length from 20 to 45 minutes. I think this leaves her grumpy and makes it difficult for her to settle down at night. She's 8 weeks old. She needs more sleep!
So I have a question for you, blog friends. How do we get this girl to settle down and nap better? I don't know why she doesn't sleep well during the day. Perhaps she's overstimulated, or bit bewildered and anxious because she's spending her days with people other than Mommy (who spent most of her first seven weeks with her). Maybe that's why she can't settle down. But that doesn't explain why I had the same napping problem with her this weekend when we were both home with her. When she sleeps well at night, or after a long nap, she is so much happier and more cheerful, so I'm relatively sure that this fussiness is simply overtiredness. For instance, yesterday between 3:30 and 10:30, she had a total of 20 minutes of napping. She HAD to be exhausted. I don't want my baby to be exhausted. I want her to be well rested and well fed and happy, with thoughts of butterflies and rainbows and goodness and light...in a perfect world where babies are always cherubic and their mothers are well-rested and glowing with pride.
**Big Heavy Sigh**
I know this stage is finite, and I only have a few more weeks left of work before I can devote all my time to discerning and meeting the baby's every need. But any thoughts or advice about how to cope in the meantime would be welcome.