so much better

The day after “the meltdown” was much, much better. I decided to take her out for the day. We went to lunch and to my sister’s. She slept for all of the car rides (long rides, over an hour), was awake at the restaurant, but slept the entire time I was at my sister’s (4 hours). That’s almost 6 hours of sleep… I was so relieved because I was convinced that she was so upset the other night because she BARELY slept for 48 hours and was so tired.

Then she took another nap in the baby sling on me before her bath and massage. I thought she might be up all night after that, but no, I swaddled her and she slept for 6 hours in her new little bed right beside me in mine. I was able to give her a bottle at the first sign she was hungry in the middle of it, so she never really woke up.

I’m so happy that we had such a good 24 hours. I know there will be more bad days, but I’m glad that’s what it was (and hope that’s what it was), a bad day, not the beginning of a long, long challenge to comfort a baby born addicted to drugs. I hope she is starting to accept that we will be there for her when she needs us.

I leave you with a photo of some of the great outfits I borrowed from my niece’s hand-me-downs yesterday:


Author: Mother of All Things

Mother by fostering, adoption, and marriage... wife to my best friend... Bay area critical care nurse... travel in my blood, reading in my bones, clean food on my mind!

5 thoughts on “so much better”

  1. A little thought from another adoption blog, a woman who adopted two substance-addicted/exposed babies; don’t put her down on her back if you can help it. There is a link here:

    Basically, laying on their backs is impossible because there are so many nerves in the spinal cord, and they cannot handle the stimulation when they are exposed. I don’t know if that helps at all or not, but I thought it was worth passing along in case it helps Jo Jo sleep better. I thought it was worth mentioning.

  2. Thanks so much for leaving a comment on my blog! I followed you when you were on Tumbler, but then blogger got screwy and deleted all my non-blogger blogs. I’m so glad I connect here to you.

    After you left your comment I decided to do a post about what I did when Annelise was an infant to get her to sleep, but its taking me longer to get it written than I’d like so I thought I’d come here and answer some of your questions. I did not co-sleep with Annelise. I would have liked to but it was better for her that we didn’t. Because I work overnights, three nights a week someone else would be putting her to bed. I wanted to create a sleep routine that could be repeated by any caregiver anywhere. If she was in the habit of sleeping with me, the nights that she couldn’t would be very difficult. If the end goal is for your little girl to be reunited with birth mom or if there’s a chance she will need to be put to bed by other caregivers on a regular basis I would avoid it. I got a little bassinet style bed that rolled right up to the edge if mine, so that all I needed to do was reach in, lift her out, take care of what she needed and put her back. It sounds like you’re using something similar and it worked well.

    If she was exposed to drugs or smoke during the pregnancy there is a greater chance that her respiratory system could be compromised, even if it isn’t evident when she is awake. So i would encourage you to have her sleep on her back. Babies do sleep better on their stomachs, but that is actually the whole point with having them sleep on their backs. A baby with a low arousal threshold is more likely to awaken if something is wrong. A baby who is sleeping on their stomach my be too sound asleep to arouse when there is a pause in their breathing. A certain amount of irregular breathing is normal in new babies, its only when they are unable to “self-correct” that they are in danger. Placing them on their stomach takes away one of the tools they use to self-correct (easy arousal). A baby who has a compromised respiratory system my have a problem with gas exchange which could lead to co2 retention and a pause in breathing (one of the theories behind SIDS). They particularly need to be in a sleep position that will allow them to wake up and start breathing again.

    I would continue to swaddle her. Allow her to nap as much as she needs to. Depriving babies of sleep does not make them sleep better. Try to keep her atmosphere as calm as possible. Restful days = restful nights. And also remember that she didn’t end up in foster care because things were going great in her life. She got a bum deal from the start so some sleep issues are to be expected.

    Sorry this is so long. I’ll try to get a post up in the next couple of days of all the things I did with Annelise.

    Good luck, so glad you have this little girl in your life.

    1. I agree… the more she sleeps (naps) the better she’ll sleep. I was thrilled that she slept so much during the day yesterday, and sure enough, she slept better at night. I see what you’re saying about co-sleeping, since her future is such a question mark. When swaddled she stays on her back but really, really dislikes it. I know it is the best way for all babies to sleep, but if I tilt her bed a little to one side she goes to sleep and stays to sleep. If she isn’t swaddled, she turns herself on her side in her sleep every time.

      I’m confident that in a few months I can have her in the bassinet/crib. I did this with my first foster son Moose. He woke every hour the first week, and over two weeks progressed to sleeping 4-5 hours at a time at night, in the bassinet, flat on his back (which he would NOT do at ALL the first few weeks). So I have hope!

  3. That’s awesome that you two had such a good day together! And the clothes are the pink flowers and leggings particularly!

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