I need a nap!

“I need a nap” is one of the silly kids songs on one of the girls’ CDs. It’s been stuck in my head this week and seems to sum up the focus of our energy these days. Although it goes without saying that Papa and Mama need naps, it is the girls who get the chance to, but have difficulty. Sophia was pretty much on a nap strike all week. I ended up putting her in bed as early as 5:10PM one night because she was so exhausted! We’ve tried everything we can think of (or read of), varying times of bed time, wake time, and nap time, focusing on “soothing,” etc. , but nothing seems to do the trick.

On Saturday, I decided that since it clearly wasn’t working not to intervene while she was supposed to be getting herself to sleep, I’d try to help her. Yeah, right. I tried singing, talking, stroking, running the water, running the vacuum cleaner…nothing worked. So, Sunday, I decided to do what I do at night: rocking her for stories and action songs and holding her upright in the dark singing different songs until she stops objecting and relaxes. The only way I could do this, though, was if I fed her on the pump. For some reason she spits up when you hold her upright during the day (it doesn’t make sense, and that was the recommended position in our reflux training, but it must push on her G-tube site or something). It seems to be okay, however, if she is on the pump, since it is slower. I did my normal night-night routine (without the bath), and she went down calmly, but wasn’t on the verge of sleep. I let her holler for about 40 minutes (trying to get Zoe to sleep in there too) and finally gave in and went and held her again, singing until she was really basically asleep. She slept (for 1/2 hour)!!! I’m not sure if it will work again, but at least it was some progress. The key will be to have 1/2 hour or so when Zoe is either with someone else or sleeping (or content, which is unlikely), so we can focus on getting Sophia down. At least when we were feeding her, we could talk to Zoe or rock her with a foot or something. I don’t really want to hold her until she falls completely asleep, which is how all of our nighttime problems started, but “they” say that kids distinguish nap time from bed time, so hopefully it won’t mess up her nighttime.

That has been going well, other than the confusional arousals in the earlier part of the night and the early morning coughing. I’ve stopped changing her diaper in the middle of the night because she was waking up and staying awake for over an hour. Luckily, we haven’t really had any leaking. I always change it at the first cough, so she typically has a dry one when the coughing makes her poop. I’ve also stopped letting the pump finish on its own. It was way too unreliable, so now I just get up and turn it off when it alarms around 5AM.

Sophia also seems to have stopped being able to fall back asleep again in the morning after she wakes up coughing around 7. Changing her diaper used to put her right back to sleep, but not any more. She typically yawns a lot and I hate to get her up when I know she’s still tired, but I also hate that she spends an hour or more just trying to go back to sleep between coughing spells. I don’t want her to miss out on fun time (or me to miss out on time with her in the morning) if she is just going to be hollering trying to get back to sleep. So, I think I’ll just continue to get her up and maybe with the new napping idea we can be more flexible about when she naps and catch her at a tired time.

I know I’m obsessed about sleep, but I want her to be able to be at her best for learning and living, not in an overtired state where everything makes her cry and she topples over easily, etc.

Many people have been asking about Zoe’s sleeping. It seems like every time I say something out loud, she doesn’t make it through the night, but she can (on a good day) sleep for 12 hours or more at night without waking up to eat. Lately she’s been waking up 2 or 3 times, but isn’t hungry, just can’t get back to sleep without yelling. I can’t really let her lay there and yell since she’ll wake everyone else. I hope she’s still young enough that we aren’t developing bad habits. Even in separate rooms, the girls wake each other, so I don’t know if we are ever going to be able to get the point of having them share a room.

Zoe’s naps are the tricky part. She still has not “consolidated” her naps, so she will sleep for 1/2 hour (maybe 1 hour), several times a day. Each time she goes down, she needs soothing to get calmed enough to sleep (so much for the “quick learner” idea I had last week). She is extremely sensitive to getting over tired, and can be ready to go back to bed in as little as 1/2 hour. She has been taking two naps between feedings these days. Now that she is more on an every 4 hour schedule of eating, it is easier to tell if her fussiness is hunger or sleepiness. The main thing she does when she is tired is grunt really loudly. Friday, I thought I’d found the key to a nice long nap; I gave Zoe a bath before Sophia’s bedtime routine, since Siobhàn loves bath time. She went straight down for a nap and slept 2 hours! I did it again the next night, thinking this would be great, no luck. She was not having any part of sleeping (which made getting Sophia down a little tricky). Do you think there will be a day when we can just say: “Time for bed, girls.”?  Maybe that will be the same day they actually understand what “shh” means.  I realized that I spent all weekend saying “Shh…” to two girls and a dog that have no idea what I’m saying!

People have also been asking how the girls are getting along with each other. They really seem to love each other. Zoe has big smiles for Sophia when Sophia isn’t falling on her. Sophia wants to be near Zoe at all times. Usually she lays her head down on or near her and waits for us to go “Aaaah.” She is getting better at “gentle” touches and often just stares at her and tries to hug her. It is so hard to capture those adorable moments with the camera, because you always have to have a hand or two ready to separate them if necessary. It seems like we have a lot of extra hands in our photos these days.

Zoe has been tolerating tummy time much better and can really hold her head up for an extended amount of time now. She’ll watch herself in the mirror to stay entertained. Whenever Sophia is around, however, she needs to get in between Zoe and the mirror. I don’t know if she is trying to say “this is my mirror, back off” or whether she is saying “look at me, I’m cuter than that other baby you are looking at.”

We’ve also been trying more things with Sophia’s eating. She got to try a sliced orange, although she wasn’t too interested. She did ask for several sips of orange juice this morning. For the first time, she put the spoon into her own mouth and ate some of the remaining peas off of it. I thought it might be fun to put some in a bowl for her, so I brought out our special BPA-free, lipped, suction bowl (can you tell I’ve been waiting for this?). Well, it was on the floor in no time flat. I thought maybe I hadn’t suctioned it well enough, so I tried it again, and once again, it was on the floor. Good thing we replaced the carpet with hardwood before the girls were born!  Sophia’s favorite things to chew on actually don’t make a mess at all.  She loves our wooden fruit and vegetable set.  They are divided in half and stuck together with Velcro, so they can be cut with the little wooden knife.  I think she likes the feel of the Velcro on her lips.

PT went well this week; Sophia stood for a long time at the couch and is starting to slow her “plop” down to the floor. Jane (her PT) said she doesn’t need her bench any more; it is too easy for her! Jane brought this great little device that lets her program in a song or story and when Sophia hits the button, she hears it. It really motivated her to stand at the couch. Unfortunately, they are pretty expensive, so I don’t think we’ll get one, but it would be really fun. Jane was proud of Sophia knowing that she only had to hit it once to get the song, and remembering each time she saw it that pushing the button would give her her reward.

Sophia also had OT and a teacher visit this week. They brought a flannel board for her to practice her grasping. I guess she didn’t want to take the piece with the baby on it off at all. When John was showing it to me, Sophia took the flannel off the cookie sheet entirely. It was adhesive, so it was ruined. I guess she used good fine motor skills, but it’s too bad that it is ruined.


  1. You girls are beautiful!!! Deb and John – I’m PRAYING for sleep for you!!!! 🙂

  2. I happened upon your site looking for information about a new danny sling…I wanted to tell you that you are a very good writer and I must admit that I read a bit of your blog because you were so easy to read…I see that we have a few things in common and I hope you dont mind me reading more. My grandson has a lot of medical issues and he has problems sleeping/going to sleep…I wish my daughter had your patience…lol.
    We met Dr.Foker many years ago and were very pleased with his work…you had a top notch surgeon! May I ask who is your GI doc?…we got to MNGI…and see Dr. Arora…he is really nice…
    I hope you have a nice rest of the week and manage to get some rest.
    mary bina

  3. Cousin Kelly says:

    Good Idea on not changing the middle of the night diapers…..Huggies makes an awesome “Overnight” diaper. They are about 10lbs in the morning, but no leaks!!! Hope all is going well!!!!