Saturday, December 30, 2006

Project Sleep, Step 1: The universe laughs

Last night, after the kiddos unexpectedly went down and stayed down (for at least a couple of hours), we formulated a Plan. With routines and timetables and grand ideas of nappage and nursing and play all in neat order. You see where this is headed, right?

Yeah. We were off track from the start. B-Boy was up early (6:30), and got only mildly settled back down after nursing. MissM was stirring at 6:45. I decided not to fight it, and declared the day started at 7, much to J’s disappointment. We nursed at about 7:40, played for just a little while, and then put B-Boy down for a nap. Which went okay (read a story, pulled down the shade, put on the Lullaby CD, gave him his lovey). MissM was still wide awake and I didn’t want to force things*, so we kept her up for a bit longer then put her in the swing to nap. At which point B-Boy woke himself up by getting his foot stuck between the rails while attempting to roll over. J untangled him and left him in the crib for the full length one might expect of a nap (e.g. long enough for us to take turns with quick showers) and got him up when MissM woke after her own nap. So, one nap down, and it was just a bit past 9. And so it went. By mid-afternoon, B had three naps, each lasting 20-40 minutes. M had two naps, one 45 minutes, and the other about 35. Finally at about 3:30 I nursed them down for a long nap in my lap. And they did go down fairly smoothly at bedtime, which has been an issue lately.

The universe seems to be laughing at my grand notion of a Plan. “You think somehow you can magically convince your babies to take long naps, at the same time, for more than a few minutes, while neither on your lap nor in the car? HA ha ha.”

So, um, anyone have a nap routine to share? At some point we’re going to change things up, but for now we have a functioning bedtime routine (it involves nursing to sleep on my lap, which means I can’t put them down alone). I think the routine helps them settle - not always perfectly, but it’s a cue that it’s time to wind down. So it seems that a nap routine would be a good idea too. Maybe if we come up with a solid routine we can put them both down together. Or the universe could chuckle at my hubris. Either way...

We’ll revise and reattempt. Or something.

* This is all complicated by M’s latest bout with really bad gas - for a couple of weeks now. It wakes her up at night, and between the gas and the reflux she’s not too keen on being put down in the crib. Though she does sleep just fine lying flat in bed with us. So it’s not the position, exactly.


  1. No help from me! Naps have always kicked my ass. Lil' G is still taking at least 4 short naps a day and I can count on two hands the number of times she's slept more than an hour during the day since she was about a week old. And at this age, big G was only napping for 20 minutes at a time. I tried in the last week or so to stretch lil' G's awake time to see if she'd take longer naps, but they just got shorter. So we're back to 4 short naps a day.

    In the end, with big G, I just decided that I had to do what I could to keep him rested enough, routine be damned. And that I had to figure out ways to shower, etc. while he was awake, which meant more playtime alone.

    Gotta go, time for that first nap (and it's not even 8 am!)

  2. The only consistant nap I have is the morning one. They get up anywhere between 7 and 8, usually about 7:30. I nurse them as soon as they get up, they eat breakfast (fruit and oatmeal) half an hour after the last one finishs nursing. Then they go down for a nap around 9, or 1.5-2 hours after they got up. I get at least 45 minutes of both of them sleeping, though through the Grace of God, they BOTH slept 2 hours the other day.

    They both started sleeping better at night when we started solids, even though everyone told me that was a myth that cereal helps them sleep. I don't know about cereal, but cereal and sweet potatoes sure help. Just throwing it out there.

    Nicholas has the same problem with the gas. Sometimes I have to lay down with him in bed till he falls asleep, then I can usually move him to his crib without too much of an issue.

  3. We're in the same boat as Jenn with naps -- morning naps are the only predictable ones, and anything goes from there on out. After the girls wake up, I nurse them, and then they sit in their bouncy seats and talk to their animals while I shower and eat my own breakfast. They usually doze off for half an hour or so during this process, then wake to start the next feeding at 1.5-2 hours after the start of the first. Then they're awake until the next feeding, and down for a substantial nap (1-2 hours) after that. That usually brings us to somewhere between 1 and 3 PM, and there's no routine between there and bedtime -- one or both is usually awake, unless we're riding in the car or something.

    It probably depends on your children's temperaments, and on your parenting philosophy, but I do seem to have the best luck with naps when I just put them in the bouncy seats and let them be. If they're really awake, they will happily amuse themselves with their animal mobiles, or the window, or the fan; however, none of these are distracting enough to keep them awake if they're sleepy (as people interaction, even holding-and-rocking, often does). Of course I pick them up and hold them if they're sad, but otherwise I think they do best when let alone during potential nap points.