Monday, September 28, 2009

Sleeeeeep Habits

I learned how to nurse Hannah while laying down on my side which means more sleep for me at night--yay! We aren't professionals at it yet so it requires me to use a headlamp (which I shine at the ceiling, not at her) every time she unlatches so I can guide my nipple back into her mouth, but it's otherwise working quite well. She'll sleep in her Arms Reach Co-Sleeper for about 4-6 hours (7 on Friday night!!!!!), then I'll change her and bring her into bed with us. After making sure she's latched on and eating happily, I fall back asleep, and when she's finished, so does she. A couple hours later when she starts fussing and head butting my boob, I flip us over, flick on the headlamp, and help her get started on the other side. She'll sleep till 8:00 or 9:00 a.m. every morning. I've been trying to get up at 7:00 and get a few things done before she wakes up but I'm lacking motivation and don't pull myself up till 8:00 most days. Why do I need to motivate to get up at 7:00?? Because she has stopped napping!!!

Well, not completely, but she refuses to nap alone (wondering if this is my fault because she is getting used to sleeping half the night next to me??? (this is a rhetorical question and not one asking for judgement)). I've been laying her down in her crib to nap for a few weeks now, both to get her used to it and because that's where her video monitor is hooked up (this is a gadget that Eric just had to have, and I gotta admit, I love it). But these days, the second I put her down anywhere, her eyelids shoot open, her arms start waving furiously, and her chin and bottom lip begin to quiver. So I pick her back up and now she's awake...Right now she's napping in the Baby Hawk. That's because the scenario I just described happened when I tried to lay her down for her morning nap. Now, I'm a fan of attachment parenting, and I love snuggling her and carrying her around, but I get TIRED and my back gets SORE and my shoulder, the bad one, starts going CRAZY. Plus, when I'm wearing her on my chest, I gotta do squats every time I need to pick something up rather than just bending over. And YES, I've been complaining about how much I need to go back to the gym and YES I will do squats in my classes but NO I do not want to do squats every time I gotta get something out of a low cupboard.

The result? Very little gets done around the house. And by very little, I mean virtually nothing. The other result? She doesn't sleep soundly for a length of time (aka, she's not napping well) which means that by 6:00 p.m., she is MAD. The poor little booger by that point is overtired and exhausted so I'll try to appease her for a bit and will get her started on her nighttime routine around 6:45/7:00, but she doesn't want to go to sleep that early! No, no. She'll eat and pass out almost immediately but as soon as I transfer her to her bassinet, repeat the nap scene described above. So we eat some more, pass out again...lather, rinse, repeat. Until about 9:30/10:00. Then she's out for her 4-6 hour stint, and so am I because by then, I'm exhausted.

So I found some books I think will help...Mom sent me a CNN article on why spanking is bad which led me to a new website: Aha! with lots of useful information for kids of all ages. In the baby section, I found advice from Elizabeth Pantley whose No Cry books sound REALLY helpful. I'm specifically wishing for the No-Cry Nap Solution and No-Cry Sleep Solution (we'll deal with potty training and discipline later).

Naps are important for your child's health and growth. A nap refreshes a child so that she can maintain her energy for the rest of the day. Studies show that children who nap are more adaptable, have longer attention spans, and are less fussy than those don't nap. Does your child need a nap?

YES!!! My child has become an avid catnapper. According to Pantley, a newborn sleeps 16-18 hours daily, spread over 6-7 periods and a 3 month old needs 3 naps totally about 5-6 hours (combined with a total nighttime sleep of 10-11 hours). Her advice is to create a routine...I've got the bedtime routine down pat (not that it's helping), but the nap time routine is very difficult! Every day is different and brings different activities. Do I need to just say no to all activities and hole up in the house for a couple weeks with a stop watch until I get a routine set??

Pantley's solution for a cat napper? According to a PDF I downloaded from her website, one solution to help your baby sleep longer is to put him for a nap in a setting that will lull him back to sleep when he wakes between sleep cycles. Cycle-blender naps occur in cradle-swings, rocking cradles, or baby hammocks. Any of these can help cat-nappers extend their sleep time because when Baby begins to awaken the rhythmic motion can lull him back to sleep.

She has a swing; I guess we need to start using it....I also think I need to look for the nap and sleep solution books at the library.

And no, she didn't nap for the duration of this blog. I sat down in three different session before completing it, and the reason I was able to write this much in only three sessions is that Eric came home and asked if he could hold if he needs to ask!! I'm going to take advantage of having two hands and go clean out the cat litter box (and yes, that sounds exciting to me right now).


  1. YOU HAVE A SWING AND ARE NOT USING IT????? are you crazy?? If there's one thing I learned in all my time being an infant care provider at the daycare, one thing I learned above EVERYTHING else..swings save lives. I had a little boy in my class much like Hannah, would sleep for 10-15 minutes but as soon as I'd stop motion with him..wide awake and screaming bloody murder. Enter the swing. On came the soft soothing music, I'd bundle him up in a blanket (so that arms flying wouldn't wake him) and start the swing. Occasionally he'd still scream bloody murder at first, but afterall, with movement and soft music combined with screaming..he'd literally knock himself out. Hed sleep for hours as long as i kept the swing on. Once i got him used to the swing action for nap times, I started weening him off by waiting until about 30 minutes into nap (make sure he really was out) then slow it a lower level speed. then after maybe an hour at that speed, i'd kick it down more (if not off) until finally it was completely stopped. by that point he was so far into REM cycle he didn't even realize he'd stopped moving. worked like a charm!

  2. Ooooooo!!! Good tip! Ok, I will move that thing upstairs and start using it. I like you're idea of slowly weaning him too. So now the only question is, where the heck am I going to put it??? Maybe inn her room so she continues getting used to sleeping there? And also because that's where the monitor is...We'll start tomorrow. I'll let you know how it goes!

  3. I feel for you Peach, Chip LOVED the swing. While you were content to lay on the floor and talk to toys - he had to be in the swing . . . all the time. (Unless I was dancing with him.) I had to pad the little tray in front of him because once he fell alseep his head would fall forward. Hmmm, maybe that's what happened to him. . . . .?

  4. My kids HATED the swing. I'd even swaddle them and hope they'd cry it out there... no luck. If it has a strap in component my kids think they're being held hostage and scream until you take them out.
    But take heart. Hannah can't be any worse than my kids... Esther is almost 3 and still doesn't sleep. And I'm pretty sure we read every book known to man-kind on the subject. Good luck!!
    can't wait to hang out!!


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