A little back story - Stella recently started sleeping horribly during the night AND during daytime naps and as I researched the probable causes I discovered a few theories:
- night time sleep disruptions interfere with daytime naps and thus daytime moods - then it creates a vicious cycle and we noticed her temperment affected her evening and bedtime ritual which eventually meant everyone is awake at 2am and 3am and 4am and 5 am...I'm not kidding.
- baby outgrows swaddling - if she outgrows swaddling, she'll kick and fight in her sleep until she's broken the swaddle. If she doesn't break the swaddle, she'll wake up crying. Stella kept breaking her swaddle and waking up throughout the night, so I thought, why not try it without swaddling one night?
For the first month or so of her life she slept in the bed with us (don't freak out, people, we had a co sleeper thing for her to lay in that went in between us called the "Snuggle Nest" - however safe it was, it did NOT leave room for Matt and I!) Then we transitioned her to sleep in the cradle next to our bed. All the while she was tightly swaddled like a bug in a rug. She loved being swaddled and so I swaddled her all the time! She slept through the night one time before she was 2 months old so we thought, hey, this is working. We settled into a routine of feeding her one last time between 10pm and 11pm and she'd usually wake up around 4am, but all the while she'd wake herself up and we'd have to put the paci back in her mouth or shh her or re-swaddle her if she came out of her swaddle, so needless to say, even though she wasn't wide awake and refusing to go back to sleep, we were still up all night with her just making sure she'd get back to that deep sleep.
Since she kept breaking her swaddle and waking herself up, I thought we may need to try removing the swaddle from the nighttime equation. Since she's also around 4 pounds heavier and 4 inches taller than she was when she first came home, I thought moving her out of the cradle and into her crib might be a good idea, too. We bit the bullet and didn't swaddle her Friday night, put her in her comfy crib around 9:30 with the monitor on full volume in our room and to our surprise she slept right through the night! She woke up around 6am and I thought - "it's a miracle!" Saturday and Sunday nights she followed suit and is now sleeping in her crib exclusively without being swaddled and we couldn't be prouder! She is getting so big, so this is bittersweet for me! But man are we glad to get a full nights sleep again! Katie Pugh, you were right - month 3 is the magic age!