Will Lilah ever really sleep?
Find any new parents and all they want to talk about is sleep. Or lack
of sleep. Or when they might actually get some sleep. We are no
different, except for my fascination with data of any type. At
the hospital they made us write down feeding times (and diaper
change times) and we have kept up the habit back at home. It helps
immensely at 3 in the afternoon when I feel like napping, Lilah is
crying, and we're trying to decide whether she is tired, hungry, wet,
cold, or just plain fussy.
Given that we now have this record I feel obligated to attempt
quantitative analysis. Who wouldn't, really? Here we go.
First, some definitions and conventions. "Time between feedings" refers
to the time from the start of one feeding to the start of the next.
Typical feedings are 40-60 minutes long (you will see that this in
general is bad news for Diane, as Lilah's average time between feedings
is 2.5 hours, meaning that Diane is sitting in the feeding chair alot
of her life these days). "Day" is defined as a feeding starting between
7 AM and 8 PM. "Night" is otherwise. This plot shows one dot for each
feeding after the 7th day of Lilah's life (I start with day 7 as that
is the day that we were able to switch exclusively to breast milk.
Sadly she slept much better when we could stuff her full of formula
now and then....). The dot shows the start of the feeding (on the
horizontal axis) and the length of the feeding (on the vertical axis).
We've been telling all of our friends that she is a 2.5 hour alarm
clock and now we can see why. Her average time between feedings
certainly is 2.5 hours, but there is much variation. Sadly, there is
little difference between day and night. Sadly again, 2.5 is a short
time. A child who was striving to make her parents happy would try to
average perhaps 3 hours in the day and maybe even 4 at night. It is
clear from this plot alone that Lilah is not currently interested in
the well being of her parents. But is there hope? Perhaps a hint of
slightly longer times-between-feedings? Well, no. No hint whatsoever. A
simple extrapolation suggests that we will never get a full night's
(note: these plots are now frozen on
day 21. to see the continually updating version go here)
You can also look at when during the day Lilah feeds and when she is
sleepy, awake, and fussy. The plot below shows each of Lilah's feedings
from day 7 of her life onward. Time of day starts from midnight at the
bottom to the following midnight at the top, and each feeding on a day
is indicated by a thick black line (the thickness corresponds to 40
minutes, which is a typical feed length, which gives you some idea of
how much time is taken feeding. Diane spends about 40 hours a week on
this activity!). The solid blue lines early in the
morning starting on day 12 are bottle feedings of expressed breast milk
that I get to do to help Diane try to get a little more sleep than
Lilah would otherwise allow. The green areas correspond to times when
Lilah is awake and contentedly hanging out. The angry looking red areas
are times when Lilah is awake and fussy. We don't chart these very
accurately yet, but we will
try to make them better, promise.
(this plot no longer updates. Check here to
see if Lilah will ever actually sleep).
In case it is not obvious, Trixie
is Lilah's hero.