So, I thought it was time to do a little update - mainly to force myself to think through which things have gotten easier, because I know they have. Here's where I see progress so far:
- Liam's understanding of Cora's naptime! Praise the Lord, he has adjusted really well and now understands that when I'm trying to get her to go to sleep he needs to stay in the living room or play room, or sometimes he quietly reads books in his bed. This is immensely helpful.
- Length of feedings. I'm still usually feeding Cora 8x/day, but now it only takes 20-30 minutes, as opposed to the 45-60 minutes it took in the beginning. This makes life MUCH easier because I have time to do some things either around the house or with Liam & Cora after she eats and before she needs to go to sleep again.
- My ability to soothe Cora. For a couple of weeks the hardest thing was just getting Cora to calm down enough to sleep. She will still squirm and cry in my arms some, but for the most part I'm able to quiet her fairly consistently. Tremendously helpful to my sanity.
- Cora's ability to fall back to sleep quickly after nighttime feedings. For a long time it took a full hour to feed her and get her back to sleep. Now I'm generally back in bed after about 40 minutes.
- My ability to not care as much. I think I'm moving into an acceptance of the chaos, so I get less stressed about things. She didn't nap long enough? Oh well. I'll just jiggle her on my hip while Liam & I go about our business.
- Nighttime sleep. Cora still wakes around 3 or 4 in the morning to eat, I guess we've progressed a little because most of the time she sleeps until 7 after that, and sometimes I wake her to get her up by 7:30ish. I like to get her up around the same time everyday because it allows us to have some teensy bit of predictability to our day.
- Falling asleep at bedtime. After her 7:30/8:00ish feeding, it generally takes at least an hour, and sometimes 2 to get her to stay asleep in bed. This is the hardest part of my day. However, tonight I decided to just put her back in her vibrating bouncy seat in her bed (where she naps during the day) instead of trying to get her to stay asleep on her mattress. I was out of her room by 8:30! Woohoo! I've been resisting trying the bouncy seat at night, because I don't want to establish bad habits, but she is napping in it anyway, and for mental health reasons (and so she can get better rest) I think we'll just go with it if it works. I'll move her to her mattress after her 10:30 feeding, because she's usually so passed out by then that she does fine with being laid flat on her back.
- Falling asleep at naptimes. Yeah, there's definitely a theme in what I hope improves in the coming weeks. Just fall asleep, kiddo.