"Happiness is like a butterfly;the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder."-Thoreau

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Nap Training Summer Boot Camp

I decided today that Abby is going into nap training boot camp while I am home for the summer. She is such an awesome night sleeper but does not want to nap some days. I think she is driving my mom crazy trying to figure out everything she can do to stay awake, and did I mention she's not even 5 months old yet! Its like she is already trying to figure out how to get her way. I would just like to get her to the point I can lay her down once she is drowsy and she will take a nap without all the fussing. Not a cat nap like she does throughout the day. A real nap. I guess I just want her to know that it is expected and she does need the rest during the day. It just pains me to lay her down and hear her cry for more than 5 or 10 minutes. I used to think I would never say that but when its your sweet little girl laying there you start to wonder, is she hurting, is something really wrong? Sometimes she'll cry for a few minutes and then go to sleep. Today she did her "fake" cry for a while and just decided she would not sleep. Of course then she was so tired she was almost falling asleep in the bath, then once she was fed went into squirmy hyper Abby, then was out around 6:30. That's the other thing, I would really like to move her bedtime to at least 7, but this will only be possible if she starts napping better during the day. If anyone has any suggestions please feel free to comment.


Alison said...

A couple of things that have worked for us (every kid is different though!): Always put them down at the same time for naps, let them cry it out, and even if they fell asleep at 7 PM, we would wake them up at 8:30 for the "nighttime" routine. They both eventually pushed their bedtimes back until 8:30 and took better naps. It helps them know when YOU want bedtime to be. Hope that helps! I will say that Kara doesn't require as much sleep as Levi, so they are all different!

Melanie said...

I agree with Alison about making things consistent. With Ethan, it took him a while to be consistent, but a lot of it has to do with the a persistent Mommy! He is usually up for 2 hour stretches, then naps for an hour and often longer in between, which means he takes 3 naps a day and then sleeps for about 11 hours at night. He sometimes wakes up early from his naps (like after 45 minutes) and I let him cry himself back to sleep. Sometimes the crying lasts for 10-15 minutes, but I know he's still tired and he usually goes back to sleep. Sometimes he doesn't go back to sleep because he's hungrier earlier or his diaper is wet. I'll just adjust his schedule for the remainder of the day, but bedtime is usually the same no matter what (approx 7:30/8pm)

Don't worry about letting Abby cry. Crying is a way for them to settle themselves down, but you're right, it is also a way to let you know they may be distressed. You'll just have to learn to discern the cries (which is an art, I tell you!).

I can go on and on about sleep schedules, which I'm a big proponent of! I would recommend the book "Becoming Babywise" Volumes I and II. It's very good about giving you an idea of how to get babies on a good sleep schedule. Though the book deals w/ breastfeeding during the "eating" times, you can read that as giving them a bottle, too. Babywise principles worked for me and for many moms I know.

I'd love to chat about it with you if you'd like. I don't mind helping you trouble shoot some issues you may have. Happy sleeping!

The Kendricks said...

Thanks for the advice. I just let her cry it out and she has been asleep for about 30 minutes already. I read the book Healthy sleep habits Happy child and the author is also a proponent of letting them cry it out as well. I also think I am going to have to start making sure she is in her crib to sleep each time. The next trick will be getting her to sleep at my moms in a different crib when I go back to work in August. Lots to learn and experiment with. Cindy

The Slocumb Family said...

I hope that things are getting better with Abbie's naps. It took me 17 months to get Brock to take good naps so I am not really any help. I do agree that it works best if they are in their crib and usually take the nap around the same time. The pictures that you posted are so cute. I cannot wait to meet Miss Abbie. Take care!

Courtney said...

Hi there! Crying it out is so dang hard!! But, with MD I guess we got lucky. I too read (well, skimmed really - who has time to read!) Healthy Sleep Habits and also Babywise. I'd heard good things about both. I'm not sure which book it came from but I started doing a 9-ish am nap. Then let the rest of the day just be what he wanted. I kept telling myself that if MD got a good morning nap then I'd feel like we had won our day. It took the pressure off and he naturally would get sleepy around 12-ish then around 3-ish. So, I'd put him down then.

This went on for a while and he is now taking just 2 naps. One still at 9-ish (depending on when he wakes up) and a 2-ish nap.

Just stick with it. But I'd definitely say the most important thing is stick to the same times - for both sleeping and eating. Good luck!!

Melanie said...

Courtney says it right. The "-ish" is the key in the time phrases. No day is ever the same, but naps are always around the "-ish".