Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Nap Time

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!

8 comments:

Ms. J said...

You should be so proud that you and Will have found any sort of nap routine! It wasn't that long ago that this was seemingly impossible for both of you -- I am so happy for you both (even if the goal is still to get those naps lengthened).

Fertilized said...

Impressive!! WTG katie.

if there is a wake up period from an early nap and MT isn't crying, i leave him and he will fall back asleep. Now if he is crying ....it's all over

Jen said...

I've heard that putting babies down earlier helps them sleep longer, but I obviously haven't tried it myself yet. If it works, let me know. :)

Katie said...

Yes, I am excited about our progress! I am glad that Will seems to be sleeping better (and the result, of course, is that I get to sleep better, too).

I have also heard, as Jen has, that an earlier bedtime helps with sleep. I have tried that, too, but to no avail. I guess I will keep having to try different bedtimes/routines until we strike upon the magic hour!

Amy said...

I wonder if since he is taking so many "short" naps during the day is why he isn't ready to go down at 8 for the night?? Call me, we can discuss.....xoxoxo

Jen said...

I'm still trying to work all this out with Jillian too. The only things I find that work for sleep are the swing and swaddling. If I don't do both she inevitably wakes herself back up.

Mel said...

I am so screwed! LOL I have been too terrified to think much about newborn stuff, I don't know how you do it.
*hugs*

Anonymous said...

I really think you are lucky at all at his age to be getting "naps." Enjoy now the napping on you, etc., the world is different at 16 weeks, and all will start to fall in place.