Thursday, April 19, 2012

Naps are for babies. Other babies.
It seems, that after 3 months of trial and error of just about everything under the sun, that I am finally figuring out this whole baby thing a bit better. I know it's bound to change in the next 5 minutes, but over the course of the past 4 weeks, we've been trying something new to encourage consistent sleep times, and for the most part--I see improvement. Hallelujah, says the flustered mom!

Call me naieve, but I had this notion that newborn babies slept ALL the time...took naps that lasted oh, say, more than TWENTY minutes. I was wrong. Oh.So. Wrong.

Sal quickly became our little cat napper, and would not stay asleep more than 15-20 minutes during daytime naps. I was at a loss. I tried to let him CIO ( cry it out), tried consistent naptimes ( timing being my choice), and feeding him to sleep. It's a bit embarassing, seeing as I majored in human development with an emphasis in child development, and I couldn't get my cranky sweet boy to nap when clearly he was tired!! I guess all knowledge goes out the door when it's your child--all you want it something that WORKS! Like. N-O-W. Screw Pavlov, and Erikkson and Freud!

I read the Baby Whisperer. No dice.

Watched the Happiest baby on the Block video. It helped with calming techniques.

Pulled out the hairdryer, turned it on in his room. He'd fall asleep. Turn it off. Baby wakes.

Asked my sister-in-law advice. Asked friends for advice. Tried and tried and their different methods, and just threw the towel in--that's it---our kid just doesn't sleep durig the day.

He's a superhuman. With meltdowns. At 5 o'clock. Every night.

Parenting fail.

My house was not getting cleaned. Take out was being ordered for dinner--and this wasn't how it should be..I mean, I'm a stay at home mom and wife. Surely I should be able to get stuff done while he naps. Oh yeah--minor issue--my baby doesn't nap! Nick was getting home to a frazzled wife, cranky kid and lukewarm takeout. Totally not what I had planned when I dreamed up this whole stay at home wife and mom thing. I felt horrible.

At our most recent pediatrician appointment, we spoke to her about his lack of daytime napping. She left the room and promptly returned with a book for me to read. Oh great--another book..and just when will I read it when my! Thankfully, that afternoon, Sal did take a 1 hour nap, and I skimmed that book quick-style. I got the jist  of it. It made sense...

What was the book, you ask?

"The 90-Minute Baby Sleep Program" by Polly Moore PhD.

It describes the normal sleep/wakeful cycles of humans... and suggested taking note of what time your baby wakes in the morning. It then states that 90 minutes after waking, baby will be primed to sleep again. Yeah right, I thought! It says to look for cues such as fussiness, yawning, rubbing eyes about 60-70 minutes after the last waking..Sure enough, at 70 minutes, out came the yawns..So I swaddled him. I put on white noise in his room and drew the shades. I rocked him. He fussed, and cried, and just when I was about to call bu!!$hit on Polly Moore and her PhD, Sal was lights out. Asleep. I looked at the clock, and wouldn't you know. It was exactly 90 minutes from his previous waking. I kid you not.

The rest of the day, I was a slave to the clock. Sal was going down 90 minutes after every waking, but still only sleeping 20 minutes at a we had LOTS and LOTS of naps the first week of trying this method..but, I saw hope. He was going down for short naps, and by week two, at least one nap a day was over an hour.

I've stuck with it, and we're finishing out week four. He is now sleeping at least 30-45 minutes per nap, with one longer nap during the day. Sometimes it's morning, sometimes it's late afternoon. We stick with this 90 minutes from wake schedule as best as we can, and I've become a bit of a lunatic racing home at the 70 minute mark when out and about just to keep him on schedule. The few times we've missed the window of opportunity, he proves the theory true and doesn't go down until another 90 minute wakeful cycle has passed.

I feel a lot better. For one, he's getting more sleep. Secondly, I am able to keep up with housework, get a workout in ( most days) and cook meals. I am happier when my ol man gets home, and don't blow his phone up with a zillion " HE isn't sleeping..Why isn't he sleeping?! I need him to sleep!" texts a day.

So it all boils down to the fact that I thinkSal is  just like his mama. He ( along with most babies) does better with a consistent schedule. I have never been a fly by the seat of my pants kinda girl--always needing time to warm up to new situations, and being most comfortable when I know what's going to happen. I just didn't know HOW to develop a schedule before reading the book and understanding how sleep/wakeful cycles work.

His nighttime routine has been like clockwork since early on. In bed and asleep by 7:30 every night. Nick does a dream feed ( Sal stays sleeping through the feeding) before he goes to bed, and we have an early morning feeding around 4:00 a.m.. Don't hate us--we realize we're lucky to sleep through the night. I won't complain about getting up at 4:00 a.m. at all.

It'll be interesting to see how his little temperment develops..will he get his pants in a bunch like I do when something doesn't go as planned? Will he organize his crayons in rainbow order? Or will he roll with the punches and always have a plan B, C and D when plan A doesn't work, just like his dad?

Only time will tell, but until then, I recommend this book to any new parent struggling with naptimes like we have been. It may not be the answer ( is there ever ONE single answer?No), but it sure helped us out and we're all happier for it.

1 comment:

  1. That is very interesting! I've never read that book, but I do know that I have told Adam that it's usually about an hour and a half after Cameron gets up in the mornings that she is ready to take a nap...and this has been a constant since she was a newborn...even now at 7 months she still takes a nap about the same time! Very interesting!

    I'm glad it's working for you! A non-napping baby HAS to be stressful!