I'm going on seven weeks now during which I've strung together three to four hours of sleep at a time at the most. I think that ONCE, MAYBE there was a five-hour stretch, but that was early on and has not been repeated.
Nate does not like to sleep at night, and I don't know what to do about it. He used to do a pretty decent four-hour stretch before his first night feeding, and a couple more hours after that. Now, I'm lucky to get three hours in a row for that first stretch, and it's only downhill from there. Last night I went to bed at 9:30, only a few minutes after Nate. He was up at 12:30, nursed, down at 1:18, up at 3:37, nursed, down at 4:21, up at 4:34 (when I begged David to get him back to sleep, because I knew he wasn't hungry), down at 4:53, and up for the day at 5:30. It's currently 11:00 a.m., and he's finally been napping for an hour.
Of course, now that he's napping, I feel like I SHOULD be trying to sleep. But yesterday morning I spent his entire morning nap frustrated on the couch, trying to doze off. I think the pressure to "sleep when the baby sleeps" can be too much. Sometimes I'm better off just doing something else-- surfing the internet, reading a magazine, calling a friend-- because I feel like I've just wasted my little free time if I try to sleep and can't. I can sometimes fall asleep during a later nap, but if I'm home alone with him, I'm invariably up after only an hour.
He used to love to take crazy-long naps during the day-- three and four hours at a time. Then I began to worry that he had his days and nights mixed up, and so I've started waking him after two to two-and-a-half hours. We've also stopped leaving the lamp on in the nursery, after reading that even a dim bulb could make him wake up more at night. He does seem to fall back to sleep easier after his first feeding now, but he still wants to be awake anytime he finishes a feeding after 4:00 or 4:30 a.m.
I'm not a nice person when I'm sleep-deprived. I've probably snapped at David more times in the past four weeks than in the previous four years. I know there's no way to put a six-week-old on anything resembling a schedule, but I'm going insane. I need help from any veteran moms out there. (Ellen, I'm looking at you!!) Am I right to wake him up if his daytime naps get too long? Should we try to get him down at a certain time each night? (Right now it varies because he gets fussy in the evening and ends up taking a nap.) Any way to get him to sleep a little bit later in the mornings? (I'm a morning person, so 6:00 or 6:30 would seriously be a fine wake-up time in my view, provided I could actually get some decent sleep before then.)
Even if there's nothing I can actually DO right now, can anyone tell me when it might start to get a little bit better??