Sunday, October 03, 2010

Babies and sleep

My pet topic. My constant obsession. My reluctant hobby-horse.

Just allow me some time to indulge my preoccupation with my daughter's sleep....

Sleep is important for babies - they do it a lot at first and will probably sleep anywhere anytime if you're lucky but also need to break their sleep a lot to eat. When they don't sleep well - they don't feed well and they are cranky and cry a lot. this is why I get obsessive about making sure my daughter sleeps.

Now that she is older and does not need as much sleep I am still in 'high gear' in case she does not sleep well. I am still frightened that she will wake in the night and I won't cope well with this as require sleep to be pleasant.

Church and Sleep

When Evangeline was smaller - she ate her 2nd meal of the day around 10am - just in time for church. Hence being woken by the organ, other people etc were not a problem. Now that she has her 2nd meal around 11am - this is not so good - I try and turn up late to dissuade (well-meaning and friendly) people who might wake her and so that I can wait at the back in case she is unsettled and have to beat an awkward exit!

There are two things I could conclude here:

1) Sacrifice Church
My baby is my top priority really - my hierarchy of priorities goes 1) God, 2) Luke 3) Evangeline and then after that comes everything else. If Evangeline's sleep getting disturbed messes up her day in terms of feeding and settling then I need to give church a rest. There seems to be a lot of unspoken pressure to bring babies everywhere and act like babies don't really change ones life much...but they do!

2) Sacrifice Sleep
If Evangeline copes well with missing/disturbing a sleep - and gets a lot out of time at church - then we need to make up the sleep another time instead. Evangeline loves the attention usually and doesn't seem to notice that she is running on only 2 hours sleep for the whole day until late afternoon when she crashes.

Do we need to make a choice?
I think now that Evangeline is 4 months old that this is easier, as she copes well with less sleep and thrives on social interaction. However, in earlier days I found church exhausting as I was anxious about her being woken up and then had to spend the entire time feeding her, changing nappy and then supervising cuddles from small children who may not understand how fragile she was! Also - reflux was a real drag and made for an exhausted and unhappy baby and hence I was worn to a frazzle by the end of it! Perhaps more extroverted people find church easier?