Nap time Woes

>> Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Yesterday morning, while changing Caden's diaper and watching Lucas play on his train table, it occur ed to me... my baby is almost 5months old!! WHAT!! How did that happen?!?! My sweet little newborn is fastly going from "lay-there-stay-put-go-with-the-flow" infant to "opinionated-on-the-go-schedule-balking" older baby. He is rolling over, starting to sit up, finding his "voice" and making the most adorable "talking" noises... So now, the lines I have been feeding myself about it being OK that he is not on a schedule and doesn't take predictable naps, those don't really fly anymore. This kid needs some structure. And mama needs him to nap by himself for longer than 30 min.

Lucas was never a good napper and we have dealt with sleep issues with him from day-one. He has never slept-in, never taken long independent naps and has always seemed to get by on less sleep than other kids his age. I do not want to repeat that with Caden. It is exhausting. He is already shoeing some signs of liking only to nap with me or while someone hold him. No, no little Caden. We will not be walking that road again.

In order to help me change the course and teach me how to teach Caden how to nap, I decided to get some help from the experts. Elizabeth Pantley's new book The No-Cry Nap Solution ( full title: “The No-Cry Nap Solution: Guaranteed Gentle Ways to Solve All Your Naptime Problems” by Elizabeth Pantley) has a lot of good ideas and solutions for whatever your/my nap time woes are... and boy, do I have them.

Admittedly, I have only read about half the book, so far. I WILL read the whole thing at least once. I love how she is not at all condemning of different philosophies. She says that it is OK if your baby only naps in a sling if you want it to be that way. It is only a problem if you think it is a problem or you don't know how to transition out of it eventually. She talks about co-sleeping and how to work that into your nap time solutions. The most helpful thing for me so far is the info on sleep cycles in babies and how much/how often he should be sleeping. Did you know that when a baby wakes up after a 40min nap, it is probably because he/she hasn't learned how to transition from one sleep stage to the next so you just have to help them learn that? I also love the information of what she calls the "sleep gifts," the benefits bestowed on our bodies from each stage of sleep. This has been really helpful as I take a close look at Lucas' overall sleep habits and ways I can help him adjust to get the most out of his nighttime sleep and naps. My only complaint so far (and again, I haven't read the whole thing yet so maybe this comes later) is that there isn't much talk about strategies when you have an older child to entertain too and can't just sit by the baby as he sleeps. That is my challenge at the moment.

Plus, in the midst of trying to teach Caden to be an amazing napper, I have decided that it is time for Lucas to be potty-trained. Call me crazy... I call myself that every day! But the boy is almost 3 and is just being stubborn! I need to get Ms. Pantley's book about No-Cry Potty Training next. Does the "no-cry" apply to Lucas or me? :) I would love to hear from mommies of little boys out there about how best to potty train stubborn little men who can't be pulled away from the glorious train-table long enough to even sit on the potty. Maybe I need to get him some reading material and let his daddy teach him the fine art of potty time being reading time. :)

So this week, I am taking some of the ideas I am getting from Ms. Pantley's book and I am teaching my baby how to nap....hopefully. Wish me luck! :)


Atwood-Family of 3 January 7, 2009 at 7:36 AM  

I think both books sound great and i'll have to check them out myself. I really liked "Healthy sleep habits happy child" if for nothing else then he does talk about the sleep cycles too. Except he deals a lot with when the "average" or "normal biological" times when a kid sleeps. So around 3-4 months old a child will naturally put themselves on the start of a schedule with starting to wake at 7 am and fall back asleep for a nap at 9 am. if you can recognize these normalicies and regularities to sleep, you can start to take advange of them. He also talks about how long the average baby is awake (and not just average but how our bodies were made to sleep and at what times), what time they generally go to sleep, etc. It's a good read!

briana January 7, 2009 at 2:58 PM  

So I'm a mother of 2 boys ( now ages 7 and 5) my first potty trained so easily and really without much help from em or my husband that I was sooooo scared with my 2nd because I was sure he/I would not get it. And he was more stubborn. Didn't have the time for it- would much rather be playing or whatever. It wasn't until July 4th weekend (he was about to turn 3 on July 26th of that year) that it just took. We went to Wisconsin Dells for the weekend and even through all the chaos of waterparks, duck boats, gocarts, etc... he just got it. I'm convinced it totally has to do with when they are ready.

On a side note the trick that worked for my 1st son was at first making sure every 2 hours we went to the bathroom whether he thought he needed to or not and then growing the gaps of time until he just went when he needed too.

To every child their own method - Wishing you luck!

Anonymous January 7, 2009 at 10:51 PM  

Good luck with the naps! I think each baby is born with its own sleep personality and I hope that Caden is a better napper than Lucas. I remember feeling so frustrated when David would wake up after every sleep cycle too and didn't know how to stay asleep for longer.

Potty training for us involved going straight to underwear/nakedness (no more diapers - and if he did have to wear a diaper somewhere i put it over underwear so he always had that as his primary feeling). David spent a lot of time on the toilet watching YouTube videos and counting numbers on his timer until he got the hang of it.

Heather @ Not a DIY Life January 8, 2009 at 8:13 PM  

Confession: I let Ladybug nap on me for the first ten months. I was okay with it. But, I did come to a point where I needed her to lay in a bed without me so I could get something done. Because we started co-sleeping around the same time, it was easy to lay down in our bed with her at nap time. Now, she's a great solo napper. Still doesn't take long naps, but I can walk away and get something accomplished while she naps.

Anonymous February 16, 2010 at 4:14 AM; You saved my day again.

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