Thursday, September 13, 2012

Nap Time Trials

Sleep is something that my little guy was always good at - at night. In the beginning, he slept for the best part of the day like a good little newborn. While he did get up to feed at night three or more times, he always went back to sleep with just five minutes in the rocker and with some soothing music from his aquarium mobile. Laying him down at night has proven easier than daytime napping, which has been challenging.

I decided to let my little guy sleep in his crib in his own room when he was two weeks old. This decision was based on my belief that he would be okay in the crib and that it would be easier for him to adjust to sleeping in his own room when he was so small, and I have not been sorry! This arrangement also helped him recognize the difference between daytime and nighttime. In the day he napped in his bassinet in our living room. This way he was around noise and bright lights in the day, and darkness and quiet in the night.  The bassinet had a feature that played music and vibrated. The vibrator was great to help keep him asleep. I would press the button as soon as I laid him down to curb any fussiness. This feature is not available in the crib unfortunately.

I have been trying to get him to take naps in his crib in the daytime and I'm trying to set a nap time, or least a ball park nap time. This hasn't been easy. The reality of it - my little guy does not like to nap in the daytime. When he needs one I can see him rubbing his eyes and yawning, but he fights sleep a lot of the time. Great tricks that I fall back on are taking him for a drive or for a walk, rocking him or nursing him to sleep. My dream is seeing these eye rubs, placing him in his crib, and him dozing off peacefully. He surprisingly does this very well at night, but cries during the day. I have tried placing him in his crib either when I see those tired signs or around the time when he has shown tired signs on previous days. I wait roughly 15 minutes and if he's still crying I take him out. This method has yet to produce any results. I think my expectations have been a little high here so I changed my focus and now I put him down after he has already fallen asleep, with the idea of getting him used to waking up in his crib. The trouble here was him waking up once he was lying down. After much trial and error I have discovered a trick - have a nummy ready in his crib so if he cries give it to him and/or turn on his mobile immediately. This has shown some success, but his naps continue to be very short. I just want him to get some sleep in the day, so I have accepted the fact when he decides to nap no matter how long, I will just go with it.  I will update as the nap training progresses, but so far the only success is placing him heavily asleep armed with my nummy/music combo. But its a start.

Momma's Musts

  • Scheduling is tough. Getting your baby on any kind of sleep routine takes time and a baby's sleeping needs change so much in the first few months of life. Relax and don't attempt a schedule too soon, let your baby adjust.
  • Transition when you are ready. "They" all seem to have an opinion on when the "right" time is to put your baby in his/her own room in the crib. Trust your own instincts. When you feel that you and baby are ready, give it a try.
  • Have tricks. Try different ways to lull baby to sleep and have toys or music to help sustain the sleep. Keep these tricks for tough times when you are training for nap times.
  • Have patience. It can be annoying and overwhelming when you slink away from a sleeping baby relieved that he/she is finally asleep only to hear the picking cries just seconds after you finally pour yourself some tea or get comfortable on the couch. It takes time!

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