Friday, February 22, 2008

Sleep, please...

Remember the previously mentioned growth spurt? The one that caused Olivia to start waking after six hours of nighttime sleep, then five, then four? Well, she now rarely sleeps more than three hours at a time before waking. Even at night. And I am beside myself.

I honestly think it is affecting us both. I know it is affecting my ability to concentrate and focus (which is extremely inconvenient when I have just 8 working days left to train my replacement before SAHM...and I kind of need to be awake for those days). But I'm more concerned that sleeping short stretches might affect Olivia's neural development. I think she's been grumpier lately, too, which isn't helping either of us.

So, here's my question, internet. When is it OK to start adding rice cereal to baby's diet? Does this help them sleep longer? I am convinced that her sleep interruption is due to being hungry because of the growth spurt, and not because she's startled or anything. She's just SO hungry. She'll be 15 weeks old on Monday, and I'd love some advice from some moms who have been there.

Sorry about the complaint session. I know I've been extremely blessed thus far to have a baby who sleeps. But this 3-hours-to-waking has been going on for four straight days, and I'd just like to find a way that we can both get a few more consecutive hours. Any recommendations?

On another note, some of Olivia's three-month photos have been posted at our photo blog. Here's one to tide you over until you get there.

If you think I look sleepy, you should see Mom! This photo shoot thing wore me out!!


Jen said...

My husband (being 6 foot ten inches now) apparently went through some major growth spurts as an infant. His parents took him to the doctor to see why he cried all the time. The doctor told them that he was starving. They said that they fed him all the time. The doctor said to start rice cereal. To just add a little to his bedtime bottle and that would keep him full and help him stay asleep. Hearing my father-in-law tell the story, he added enough cereal to the milk that it turned into paste and he had to enlarge the bottle opening. But it worked, and Matt started sleeping through the night.

Now, I wasn't even born when this was all occuring, so I don't know exactly how old he was. But I know that the rice cereal did the trick and helped him sleep (and grow and grow).

Kristi said...

Hi Lisa, this is your cousin Kristi. I've been reading your journal entries here and there and enjoy hearing stories and seeing Olivia's pictures as she grows. It's amazing how quickly the time goes! Just thought I'd give you my thoughts with the cereal idea. Nutritionally, as a dietitian, we've always been taught to wait until at least 4 months of age or longer,even 6 months, to introduce cereal. I didn't start cereal until 6 months with both Lucy & Matt. It's really been proven that a baby's digestive system is so immature that they are not able to tolerate cereal well until at least 4 months of age. It's been proven that introducing solids too early to a baby's immature digestive system can lead to a variety of allergies and food intolerances. And once cereal is introduced, never should it be put into a bottle due to risk of choking. The cereal often will clump up and turn into a paste that could be a hazard. A baby should be able to hold themselves up in the high chair with good head control and be able to accept the cereal from a spoon. It's quite possible that Olivia is just going through a growth spurt for a short period of time and needing a little more formula to eat. Hope that helps a little. Hope to see you all at Easter.