Monday, November 09, 2009


It's been a long day of Daniel not sleeping. Following a night of me not sleeping much. I tried and tried and he just never slept more than 15 minutes or so at a time. Tonight he was so exhausted it took twice as long for him to get to sleep than normal. Poor thing. Every little thing seemed to disturb him.

We were away for a bit in the evening yesterday and Daniel was in bed at 8:00 instead of 7:00. I can't believe how much of a difference it makes. It reminds me why we're normally so vigilant about his bedtime and bedtime routine and why we're trying so hard to get into a good daytime nap routine. I'm finding that I can get Daniel to sleep, but he doesn't stay asleep when I try to lay him down.

Do any other parents out there have ideas about how to get him to nap lying down in his bed? I'm okay with him fussing a little, which is what he does when we're rocking him to sleep during the day and he's fighting it, but I'm not willing to put him in his bed and let him cry himself to sleep. Our routine right now is putting on a lullaby CD, walking/rocking him to sleep and then either holding him or swaddling him and laying him down. I haven't been trying the swaddle/lay down for very long, though, and I'm hoping if we keep trying, eventually he'll start staying asleep. Does that sound like it will work? At night, I rock him to sleep, swaddle him and put him in bed and he does great. But during the day he wakes back up within 5-10 minutes.


amyp said...

Precious, Sarah, you may think I'm nuts, but for at least the first six months of our children's lives, they slept in the car seat at night. They were both such active sleepers they would rustle themselves awake, but in the car seat, it kept them from waking up. We just got them to sleep in the car seat and then put it in the bed. Honestly, don't feel boxed in by what you're "supposed" to do. One of the best things my sister-in-law ever told me was be a student of your kid. You'll start to see patterns and just roll with it. And find things that work with the way you live life. I needed my kids to be comfortable on the go and as long as you prepare well and keep relaxed about it, they usually adapt well. I don't know if that helps or terrifies you, but know that at least I'll be praying for you!

Ruth Chowdhury said...

I've heard that carseat trick from a lot of people! I've done that for naps before, if they've happened to fall asleep in it. But all in all for the first few months each baby slept on me or with me. Slings really help (which I know you have), especially when you can't spend the time/effort actually holding them or sleeping with them. But even though I held my babies SO MUCH the first few months - sleeping or not - they both sleep on their own now. They will eventually do it. Do what you feel is right, take the advice you like, try it, and if it works for you, great! If not, try something else. Ah, life is full of figuring out stuff, esp. when it pertains to our kids. Love you & praying you get some rest tonight!

Parents Alicia and Joe to three boys! said...

Hello Sarah! All three of my kids were not the best daytime nappers for a good while. 15-45 minute naps during the day were common until 8 months old or so and longer for my last. They were good nighttime sleepers though. And after talking with lots of Moms many seemed to have one or the a good daytime napper or a good nighttime sleeper.

During the day sometimes it would help to put them on their tummy for naptime. I would put them in the packnplay near me so I could watch. For one of my boys this made a big difference - he would sleep for a couple of hours this way.

If baby just won't nap of course you have the sling so he can get the rest he needs. I assume he probably will sleep in that but it doesn't do as much for you. I actually would wrap my third baby up in the didymos wrap and lay down on my back and take a nap. Although sometimes he realized I stopped walking and would wake again! Little bugger.

All the regular things like dark rooms, ample down time before naps...... Some Moms say they put one of their shirts in the crib so baby smells them as they nap. Others have put down a heating pad before putting baby down and taking it away right before baby is put in crib so baby thinks he's still on/around Mom.

All in all though, very normal for naps not to be going well right now. You just have to decide how much it bothers you and make your best judgement about it.

I don't know if you've read "No-Cry Sleep Solution" but you might want to give it a look as well.

Good Luck!

Courtney said...

I don't have much experience in this particular area ;), but it seems like all kids go through sleep cycles where they are sleeping well for awhile and then having problems. For our kids it seems to involve changes in the seasons/weather. Most of the time they seem to resolve on their own, although it can certainly be frustrating (and exhausting!) while you're going through it!

Haley said...

Hi Sarah! I think your routine sounds great. Keep it up with the naptime swaddling for at least a week to give it time to work its magic. To be honest, when Anna has bad nap days, I sometimes give up trying to get her to sleep in her crib and hold her for a few hours while she sleeps - she will sleep for SO much longer that way. I don't do it very often, but I'm not afraid to do it when it seems necessary. Babies need to sleep and sometimes that means just throwing the plan out the window and doing whatever needs to be done to avoid overtiredness, you know?

I don't have any cure-all tips for how to help Daniel not wake up 5 minutes after being put down (that's so hard!), but we've had good overall results from following suggestions in The No Cry Sleep Solution and I know she has another one that focuses specifically on naps. Might be worth a look!

Katie said...

Sarah -

Daytime sleep doesn't really start to organize until 12-16 weeks old - so Daniel is still right in the thick of it. Meriel sleeps a TON better than Hazel did - Haze took FOREVER to start taking decent naps on her own (like months and MONTHS). Hang in there - do what you need to get rest for you and your little guy - and remember to give whatever it is you're trying a good 5-7 days before it "doesn't work." Takes awhile to get the swing of things sometimes.
Bravo on the early bedtime - Meriel still doesn't go down for nighttime until about 9:30 or 10:00 - but she's sleeping until 3:00 or so, so it's okay by me.
Hazel liked when we used a heating pad to warm up the spot on her bed - so the transfer from our arms wasn't so shocking... and Meriel really sleeps best when her arms are tucked down tightly by her side (she's on a sleep wedge right now - so it hugs her sides, and I tuck a blanket over her arms and body, tucked under the wedge. She can't move, and there's really no danger from the blanket at all.)
Every bebe is different, and so is every mama.
Good luck!!

Sarah Halter said...

Thank you ALL! You've given me a lot of good things to think about. I'd like to write more, but I don't have any more time right now. Today went a lot better.

Ray and Morgan Stuart said...

My kids learned very young (probably 3-4 weeks) to put themselves to sleep. I literally laid them down awake and they fell asleep. They both cried the first couple of times, but they have done great with staying asleep (or falling back asleep when they wake up too early) and with sleeping in general ever since and have been sleeping through the night since 4 weeks for my daughter and 6 weeks for my son. They are still both good sleepers and are pretty good nappers as well (my 3-year-old is at the stage where he doesn't think he needs a nap so he tries to stay awake if possible).