Right now, Will is taking his third consecutive nap in his crib. We have a little "nap routine" now, which includes a diaper change, brief massage with lotion, two books, and then a few minutes of quiet rocking. Then, I am able to put him down awake, and he goes to sleep in the crib. Yesterday, there was a bit of fussing/crying involved as he settled down to sleep, but I went back in after about five minutes and patted his tummy and he drifted off.
This morning, there was some cooing and then about two pathetic little waahs and he was off to dreamland. He did partially wake up ten minutes later, but with a few more half-hearted cries, he was back to sleep.
Of course, now the key is getting his naps to stay longer. He only sleeps about forty-five minutes to maybe an hour. And he wakes up crying, so I am pretty sure he is still tired. Usually, when he is well-rested, the crying stops when I pick him up and I can put him down on the changing table and he is all smiles. If his nap has been too short, the crying starts again when I set him down.
As I started typing this, he woke up. I went in, patted his tummy for a few minutes. When that didn't work, I picked him up and patted his back, and he fell asleep on my shoulder. When I put him back down, he instantly started crying again. These cries are more insistent and not the "I'm just fussing" variety, more of the "I mean business" kind. I am not ready to do "crying it out" yet, so when the cries go beyond the fussy to the really upset, I go in. As recommended by our pediatrician, we are waiting until the four to five month mark to even think about letting him cry it out. Even then, I have a hard time imagining it. We will see when the time comes.
Right now, Will has started sleeping better at night. We had a few really good nights last week, with seven hour stretches. But we usually get at least one five hour stretch now, which is wonderful for everyone.
So, any suggestions on how to lengthen naps without crying it out would be appreciated. Also, Will has not moved to an earlier bedtime and still is staying up until about 10 PM. We do a longer version of the naptime routine at 8 PM, but he won't stay down. Any ideas for moving bedtime a bit earlier would also be welcome!