Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Naptime...help!

Sarah has decided that she is a big girl now. She doesn't need an afternoon nap anymore. Help! :0/

The past few days, she has gotten really fussy around "naptime" (1-2pm). She takes a 45 minute nap in the morning, and she had been sleeping for about 2-3 hours in the afternoon. Now she just fusses in the afternoon. She will sleep for about 15 minutes and then wake up for whatever reason and cry again.

Today she fell asleep on Tim's shoulder (after crying for awhile first), and then woke up when she had to be set down. I decided to try going through her bedtime routine - I changed her diaper, played her bedtime music, gave her a massage, and then fed her. She fell asleep feeding, only to wake up when set down! So I tried rocking and reading to her. She fell asleep in my arms, and stayed asleep in her crib for about 15 minutes. (Her eyes were glassy this entire time, so I know she is sleepy!) Well, again she woke up. Now she is asleep on my shoulder. I'm afraid to set her down!

Alright, I do notice the pattern here: She falls asleep in someone's arms, and she wakes up in the crib or as she's being set down. Let me justify myself: We have tried just setting her in her crib or bassinet at bedtime or for her nap. For bedtime, it usually works after about 30-45 minutes - but it's dark, and there's nothing to explore. For naptime, it just feels cruel to leave her in there all alone when she's awake. Mommy wants to pick her up and love on her!

So is 7 weeks to young to start letting her try to put herself to sleep for naps? Should I be going in to reassure her, but still let her put herself to sleep?

The past two nights, she has slept quite a bit better. She puts in a good 12 hours at night. I was impressed - she slept 8 hours straight last night before she woke up to feed! Yay, Girlfriend! I think it helps that I'm tucking a receiving blanket around her in the middle of the night - that swaddles her arms down by her side and she sleeps better.

Now we just need to figure out these naps!

This is what Sarah wore to church on Sunday. I love how she's holding her hands in this picture, as if to say, "I'm the princess. I don't get my hands dirty."

3 comments:

Jennifer said...

I feel your pain mamma. We started working with Nate on "putting himself to sleep" aroud 7-8 weeks because I was heading back to work & wanted to know that he would be ok. So we started off with a bedtime routine that consisted of diaper change, pjs, music, and nursing. For nap time we do just the diaper change if needed and nursing in his room. I read a book by a "sleep expert" for infants that said their room - at this age - should be strictly for sleeping and that nursing and playing during the daytime should be done in a different room until they begin to understand what their room is for. Once we would lay him down in his crib (very drowsy & sometimes almost fully asleep) we would kiss him, tell him we loved him & then leave. If he would start to fuss we would give him 10 min (unless it was a heart gripping scream) to see if he would put himself back to sleep. If he didn't go back to sleep we would go in and reassure him, calm him down - maybe even pick him up and cuddle him - then put him back in his crib, kiss him and tell him we loved him. After doing this for the first week or so he began to put himself back to sleep almost immediately, so we lengthened the time we gave him to 15 - 20 min. Now it's to the point that if he awakens we know he probably has to burp or is still hungry, or pooped, but we still give him at least 10 min before we go check on him unless it's a scream.
We went from taking 2 - 3 30 min naps during the day to two 1 1/2 to 3 hour naps!
Of course know that if you travel someplace new, if she's sick, teething, or going through a growth spurt that her routine & sleeping habits might change until her body gets back into a routine.
Hope that helps & sorry it's so long.

Matt said...

Aw, I remember those days :) We didn't really have Maddie "put herself to sleep" until she was about 6 months old. I tried a few times, but just couldn't take listening to her cry. I would rock her either all the way to sleep or almost all the way and then put her down. But, Maddie didn't really take consistent naps either. We went through a phase where she would wake up after a short time and I would get her and she would fall asleep on me, but if I tried to put her back down she would cry. But at 6 months we were very consistent about putting her to sleep awake and it only took 1-2 days before she really got it. And we can't go in to her after a set amount of time. If we do she cries worse than if I had never gone in there ;) I don't know if that helps at all, but just hang in there. It will get better!! She is a cutie!!

Jer, Julie and Ben said...

Rae,
We did the same with Ben that your friend Jennifer does with her baby. Ben was a couple months when we started it. We would still rock or hold him until he was very drowsy before we put him down. Then, it he fussed, I remember rubbing his back and just standing over him for a bit until he settled. It took a while, but he learned to put himself to sleep and we were all happier for it! They need to be able to put themselves to sleep so if they wake in the night they aren't thinking "where the heck am I, where is mommy...I was just in her arms!" I would only go get him out of bed if he was really crying hard...could mean they need something. After a while we had the opposite problem where he wanted to sleep all day! If that happens, let me know...I have tips for that too! hehe
Hang in there mama! God bless ya!
Love,
Julie