Health, Parenthood

Baby sleep app and anxiety

When our girl was born I found a very useful app to track the feeding and napping times. I fed on demand but still wanted to see how long had been since the last time and in terms of sleep it helped me to get an idea if she’s getting the recommended amount in total for her age group. 

You can also record nappy changes, bath times, weight, height and when the teeth cut. Up until yesterday I was using it to track her sleep and I still record details on her height, weight and teeth, but I not so suddenly realised that recording her sleep hours made me anxious. I was aware of it a long time ago and to be honest I’m not even sure why I continued obsessing over her awake times and sleep times. She’s been in a pretty predictable schedule since she dropped the third nap back in May and I knew and know very well she gets her recommended 12-14 hours sleep in a day.

I was constantly comparing the days when she slept less to try to predict what kind of a night we might be getting. Will she wake up, will she wake early? Will she get at least 12 hours that day? Will she sleep two hours for her afternoon nap? If she doesn’t sleep NOW then she’s overtired and we’ll get a bad night or an early wake. And so on… Most of the time I overreacted and after a bad day she’d have a brilliant night and vice versa.

But last week was pretty tough, especially when we’re already so used to her sleeping through the night. Whatever she’s going through now (we’re in Wonder Weeks Leap 9) is making her nap times and bedtime really difficult. She’d stand up as soon as I leave the room and would only sleep till I rock her or stroke her back while she’s lying down. She just needs help to sleep again and here I thought we’re well past that stage! 😀 She also had a few very early wakes and some days were just a struggle. One day she only clocked in 10 hours of sleep and sure enough she was pretty miserable the next day too. For a few days her sleep was so bad, I was so tired and stressed, and I knew something  had to change! I can’t completely control her sleep (I can help her sleep better but I can’t make her sleep if she’s fighting it) but I can control how I deal with the anxiety I have around her sleep.

So, today I decided to go cold turkey and not even open the app! I haven’t been adding up hours and stressing whether she got enough sleep during the day. I should have stopped a long time ago but I don’t know why I didn’t. I know my own daughter by now and I don’t need an app for it! 🙂 Fair enough, it took me an hour to get her to sleep today but her cold and cough are back so she’s got a good reason to feel uncomfortable. She fell asleep in my arms and we’ll probably have a messy night ahead but I’m drinking a glass of red wine and trying to mentally prepare for the tough times ahead. These are my own words: it gets worse before it gets better again.

Have you had a similar experience with a piece of technology? I know a friend of mine who had to stop using Fitbit that tracked her sleep. She got so obsessed and annoyed if she slept less and by monitoring herself constantly she became an insomniac until she took it off.

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