Sunday, February 12, 2012

Every Trick in The Book

Last night, we pulled out all the stops. Dustin and Heather, Nathan's brother and wife, were visiting with their four children and decided to help us in our time of need. Survivors of a colicky child themselves, they offered some of their expert knowledge. Dustin suggested we keep the babies awake in the afternoon in order for them to sleep better at night. After reading "Healthy Sleep Habits," I was hesitant to follow this advice. Dr. Weissbluth, the book's author, states that "sleep begets sleep," so waking a sleeping baby is not recommended.

By yesterday, though, Nathan and I were willing to try anything. We took turns playing with Elliott (who actually wasn't interested in playing at all)...

and Dustin tried his best to entertain Ezra.

The boys were definitely tired and keeping them awake required a significant amount of effort.

The extended play time was coupled with a change in diet as well. Since Thursday, Ezra and Elliott have been drinking a mixture of breast milk and goat's milk. I thought my breast milk could be the culprit due to the copious amounts of milk and other dairy products that I consume. Because it takes up to two weeks for all the cow's milk proteins to leave one's system, we have been diluting the possibly "tainted" breast milk with goat's milk. As of yesterday, nothing had changed. I was (somewhat) hopeful that the milk solution just needed more time to work.

We gave them baths and rubbed them with "calming" lotion. We fed them, swaddled them, and blared white noises of crashing waves and blowing winds.


They slept!

Elliott slept from 1 AM to 3 AM, woke up and ate, then fell back asleep from 4 AM to 10 AM. He slept for SIX hours straight--the longest stretch of sleep in his lifetime outside of the uterus! Ezra was a bit more difficult, but managed to sleep a 3 hour block and then four hour block after some coaxing.

We were tremendously pleased with the results. Today, they have been incredibly tired. Instead of eating every two hours, Elliott slept for another 6 hour block. Ezra was close behind him with nearly a 5 hour stretch of sleep. I really hope this isn't a fluke and that they continue to sleep during the nights.

I'm not sure what exactly did the trick, but we are grateful for the rest. I've been dairy free for four days now, so we are going to go back to strictly breastfeeding. I'm sure any residual amounts of dairy in my system are very minimal. We're praying all goes well!

It's amazing how just a few hours of sleep makes me feel like a new woman!


  1. Hooray! I am seriously SO happy for you. I kid you not, I read this and started clapping (am I a preschooler or what?). Hoping that this sleeping lasts :)

  2. Wow that's great. I always tried to the method where you feed them then play with them, then put them to sleep. My first always fell asleep while nursing and was a horrible sleeper, but with my twins, I made sure they were awake for about an hour after eating, or as long as I could. They are great now. I make sure I always put them in their cribs awake but tired. I really hope your boys do that again for you. Good luck.

  3. What a blessing! I hope it continues!!! That would be the bestest. The boys chubby little cheeks gets me every time. EVERY TIME. Love 'em!

  4. YAY! I hope it keeps working! I have to say, i find that within reason, the more they are awake during the day means the more they sleep at night (because in the womb it's easy to get day and night confused!) Keep at it! You can do it!

  5. Hurray for good sleep! I'm so glad you caught a break. If you were taking votes as to what did the trick, my vote would be for the 4 days of non-dairy diet...I have always been amazed how much different my babies are within 5-ish days of omitting all dairy from my diet. In fact, with my newest baby (born in August) I just went off dairy a few weeks before she was born because all of my other kids had trouble with dairy and she has never had the stomach and gas troubles my twins and next baby did. Good luck--staying off dairy can be HARD (I'm still off dairy) but it's always worth it to me when I think of how miserable my other three babies were when I was on dairy.

  6. Hooray for sleep! I am so happy for you and hope it continues.

  7. I'm so glad you got some sleep! My oldest, Matthew, started to get really colicky when he was 3 weeks old. Finally I couldn't take it any more. I was so tired and sore that I literally handed the baby over to Eric, there may have been tears involved, and said I just can't do it right now. So he gave Matthew one of the bottles of formula from the hospital. Matthew happily drank it and then slept for 6 hours straight! The longest he had ever slept. It was amazing. So I tried it again the next night. Same thing. Eventually we got to the point where, even though I was breastfeeding, Matthew's very last meal before bed was a bottle of formula. It was the only one, even during the night I would breastfeed. I'm not sure why it helped his colic so much but it made a world of difference for him. I would definitely give it a try. Formula also takes longer to digest so they don't get hungry nearly as quickly. Anyway, just my two cents. You're doing amazing with 2 babies!!

  8. Yay! Oh wow I hope this is the thing that works. Yay for helpful family!


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