Thursday, February 19, 2009

Day three of working on naptime. Today did not go so well. This nap thing is a lot harder than I once thought.

Morning Nap
Around 10:30 or so Morgan Kate gets kind of fussy, which typically means she is tired. She has already eaten and we have played so I assume it's naptime. I pick her up and rock her for just a second (I am testing the waters) and she falls asleep. Or so I think. I carry her back to her room, put her in the crib and walk out. Whewh! Now I am off to shower and eat a little breakfast. Or maybe not. Morgan Kate starts crying. She's not screaming or anything like that, so I let her cry. She groans and moans, but I just let her be. After about thirty minutes of this I walk back in her room to check on her and I am greeted with the biggest smile and laugh. What am I supposed to do now? She is clearly wide awake with no intentions of counting sheep and she is cracking the most beautiful smile at me.

Early Afternoon Nap
Again, she eats, we play, she gets fussy. I take her back in her room and place her in the crib. I am then off to wash bottles and think about dinner. Ten minutes later, moaning, groaning, crying. I do what needs to be done and then go check on her. Again, she is wide awake and flashing that smile. Are you kidding me? I can't even look at her with a straight face. And all I want to do is pick her up and love on this sweet little thing. So I do.

Late Afternoon Nap
I assume that since both prior naps were a bust that maybe, just maybe, she will nap for her Daddy while I go run a few errands. She eats, no play this time. She is visibly worn out. She falls asleep shortly after her bottle. We are still sitting in the chair and as I move to take her back to the crib she awakens. This girl is clearly not napping today.

So this mommy here has a few nap questions. I don't care if you are a mommy, not a mommy, a brand new mommy, a "long time" mommy - it doesn't matter. If you have any nap advice please feel free to share.

1. Is it necessary that we eat, play and then sleep? It seems that MK prefers - eat, sleep and then play. In a way it makes perfectly good sense to me. I mean who wants to play and bounce around right after they have finished eating? As an adult I prefer to curl up on the couch after any meal.

2. Do I let her tell me when she's ready to nap or do I just decide on naptime? This can get really complicated. I mean I think she needs to tell me. Otherwise I am putting her in the crib and she is playing. Right?

Tomorrow is another day and we will once again tackle naptime. I keep reminding myself that "Rome wasn't built in a day", nor will MK's schedule/routine. 


If you have a moment be sure to check out my mom's blog. There is a link in the sidebar to the left. She has quite a funny little story about me as a child. I personally don't think any of it is true, but it's pretty funny.


The Q family said...

I'm not an expert on naps, but I've done this with 5 kids. First I will say, some kids are better sleepers than others. Some just don't need as much! The eat, play, sleep thing works great for most babies, but if after a week, it is not working, tweak it and try something new. My biggest advice is to take her cues. If she starts showing signs of being tired, put her down, awake in her crib, before she gets to the fussy stage(fussy means she is over tired and it will be harder for her to sleep then). Babies are hard, none of them are the same, so there are no one size fits all answers. You're doing exactly what you need to be doing right now, experimenting! Do try things for several days before moving on though, it takes some time for things to become routine. My other advice is, if she is not screaming in protest, resist the urge to check on her, at least keep her from knowing you're there. Chances are she'll moan and groan her way to sleep on her own. One of my twins "sings" herself to sleep every time even to this day. She just needs to make noise, it is not crying, but it is the moaning and groaning sound. Parenting is HARD, and it will take time to weed your way through it and find the answers unique to Morgan Kate. You'll get it, just in time to tackle the next issue!

Hollie Heming said...

She'll eventually fall into her own routine and then you build her "schedule" around that. If she wants to eat, sleep, and then play, it's fine :). When Will fell into his own routine and we got that one down, he changed it on us! It's all up to them and some babies need more rest than others. Now, he only sleeps about 3-4 hours total during the day. One nap around 9:30 for about an hour and then another around 12:30 for 2-3 hours and then a cat nap around 5:30 or 6. Then, he's in bed by 8. She'll get there. Don't fret! If she's happy and smiling, play with her! She's only a baby once. Love you!

Anonymous said...

When I had my first almost 3 years ago I read all the books. And though I can’t remember the name everyone recommended the book that talks about the schedule of eat, play, sleep. Well let me tell you I tried it and WOW it didn’t not work for my little one. Waking her up because it was time for the schedule or not letting her fall asleep because it was play time NEVER worked for us. What did work for us (with both kids – almost 3 and almost 1) was eat, sleep then play. Also what worked was on their schedule not mine. Today it is still like that with both of them. They are on a schedule but it is not one that I created. As the get older and change they create their own schedules and this has really worked for us. I am blessed with two great sleepers. I was the ‘bad’ mom though and both of my kids slept in their swing (the fp papsan) for all three naps until they were about 5 months old. They slept for hours (2-4) and it worked for us. If we decided to another I will not change that. Their schedule and the swing really work for us.

I hope you find what works for you!!

The Fricks said...

DO WHATEVER WORKS FOR YOU! That's the cardinal rule of mothering. No matter how many books you read, how many other mothers give you advice, always do what works for your situation. We never started with a defined schedule. It worked for us, both times. Eventually, they would fall into a routine and you could almost time your watch by when they want to eat or take a nap. Watch their cues and play off of them.

Anonymous said...

Heather, What we normally tell mothers is each baby tends to establish their own pattern of sleep. Some drop off to sleep after feeding, while others take only brief and ocasional naps. Babies generall know how much sleep they require and virtually nothing you can do will change that pattern. You should plan your rest periods and chores to match the baby's. As MK gets older you can establish a schedule, for now just enjoy her and rest when she does happen to take a nap.
Love ya,

Jenny Garris said...

Oh, I feel your frustration! Joel is now 10 months, and has just recently become a better sleeper. Partially because I relaxed over the fact that he was not a good or regular napper. He has been down to 1 nap (2 hours if I'm lucky) for several weeks now. I wasn't happy about it, but he is happier and sleeping through the night. What surprised me was that I was able to reclaim several hours a day because I was not trying to get him to sleep!
And he has ALWAYS ate and then slept, no matter how hard I tried to change that. So do what works for MK and try to "let go" of that to-do list in your head. The laundry, dishes and cooking can wait. I also found the swing and bouncy seat were very comforting for Joel at MKs (adjusted) age. I still have the vibrating bouncy seat with aquarium "thingy" and music, if you'd like to borrow it to try out! You can put it in the bathroom with you so you can at least shower!
Call me if you want to talk more---I certainly don't have all the answers, but I'm always here for you! :) Jenny
p.s. Hollie's right---you might figure something out that works for a week, and then it will all change!

Denise said...

With Parker in the beginning he let you know. He slept all the time. It's really only been in the last - oh 2-3 month that we started establishing some type of routine. But honestly I wouldn't worry about it at this point unless your Dr. feels you need to establish the routine...Parker's fell in place on it's own and my Dr said not to worry about it at the point we had talked about it.

Now, Parker wakes up about 8am, eats, plays for about an hour, goes back to bed, sleeps for 2-3 hours, wakes up, eats, plays for 1.5 - 2 hours, takes a 2 hour nap and then wakes up and is up until his bed time at 8.

I would say 9 times out of 10, Parker lets me know he needs a nap on his own. on the occasion I know he needs one and he won't go down, I let him cry it out. I do that at bedtime too. Sometimes you just have to do that.

I would say, with Morgan Kates age, let her tell you when she's tired unless you can tell, then put her down. She will get all the sleep she needs, as hard as it is, I would try not to stress. I always worry since Parker is a preemie...but seriously, once I stopped worrying and just gave things time, it got better.

Those are my thoughts....if you have any other questions shoot me an email. Remember I have a preemie, I know how hard it can be to adjust and stuff!

Hang in there, as hard as it may seem, you are doing a GREAT job.