Thursday, October 09, 2008

JHK - the master cat napper






Despite the nature of all of these photos, my son is not a napper. Those first few weeks of parenthood are a bit deceiving as the baby only sleeps. I remember thinking to myself that it wasn't so bad having a baby who slept in 4 hour stints with short awake intervals for eating. And then he woke up.

He is the master of the cat nap. He gets tired, rubs his eyes, falls asleep in my arms and so I do what any normal person would do... I put him down. He either wakes immediately or fools me into thinking he might actually take a nap only to wake up 15-30 minutes later. As an adult, a cat nap can do a world of good, but as a baby it just produces a major crankypants come the afternoon hours. It's so unfortunate that such a cute little man who has the most lovable and infectious smile can be so irritable.

I have been reading Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child, and I think Dr. W has a good thing going, but I can't seem to make it work for my son. Sure, he sleeps through the night, which I thank my lucky stars for every single day because I finally get a straight 7-8 hours of sleep for the first time in many moons, but a couple of solid naps during the day would make a world of difference. He is a different baby after he has slept. If only everyone could see him around 7:30am after he wakes up and is fed. He laughs, he smiles, he talks. But most people see him in the afternoon when he pulls out his award winning sad face and puts on the water works. I am looking for some advice in this area, so if anyone has any ideas on how to get him to sleep longer than 20 minutes, they would be much appreciated.

8 comments:

Tristen said...

My first took great naps, I thought I was a baby whisperer. Now with my son, I've got the same thing going... lots of cat naps. I will put my daughter down to nap, play with my son, and then put him down for a nap. He sleeps for a short period of time, maybe one hour MAX and then is up to party again. All while Avery is napping for another hour or so. ARGH!! They have their own schedules, I guess!! I will look forward to hearing any comments!

P.S. We're getting ready to apply to law schools, and this week we seriously considered Columbia... which I believe would put us close to you guys! But I think it's shelved for now since it doesn't have exactly the program my husband is looking for...

Josh and Tyra said...

My little dude went through a phase where decent lengthed naps were not happening either. I then dusted off my copy of the Baby Whisperer and read that. Once I got Carver on her E.A.S.Y plan (Eat, Activity, Sleep, You-as in time for yourself) things got better. It took some time but now he's much better. I also notice that when we're home for those sleep times rather than him sleeping in the carseat while I run errands, he sleeps longer and better.

I know what you mean though, a well rested baby is a MUCH more pleasant baby. Good luck!

Brooke said...

First of all, your new blog layout is beautiful. My kids did the same thing and it seemed to happen around 4 months. I found that they slept a lot longer when they napped in the swing. Do you have one of those? I wish I could lend you mine. :) It really helped me. Good luck, I understand how frustrating it can be. He is a beautiful baby. I love all the pictures!

Sarah said...

I have to agree with the above comment. I also read the Baby Whisperer and a bunch of other books and realized that all babies basically have the same schedule that happens about every 3 hours. Wake up, eat, play, sleep. I'd say the naps should be a combination of about 2-3 hours a day. So, if he's waking up at 7:30am, then you should nurse him, then he's happy, and you play with him, then about an hour (or 45 min.) to an hour and a half (so 9am), he might start getting cranky while playing, which means this is nap time. He should wake up (10 or 10:30am) just in time to nurse again, which would make this a 3 hour time span process. You can train your baby to keep this schedule more and more. Slowly, the older they get, you start to develop a bed-time (mine is 7pm for the girls) which would eventually turn into what is 3 naps a day for newer babies to a 2 nap a day baby making the evening/dinner time probably their longest stretch and fussiest part of the day. Also, when they are napping, and they wake up, don't rush into them RIGHT AWAY. Let your baby learn how to self-soothe and I don't mean with a pacifier or something else. I just mean, let them cry for maybe 5 minutes or so (that may sound mean to you) but it teaches them to self-soothe themselves and sometimes I have heard my babies cry a little, not gone in right away, and they have gone back to sleep. There is a phase (so far it has happened with both my kids) where they decided to do cat naps and it drove me crazy, but I kept trying to keep my schedule and they grew out of it. I'd say though, a one hour nap in the morning sometime and a one hour nap in the afternoon before bedtime is kind of more or less the direction you're headed. I don't know if any of this helped!

Anonymous said...

Try having him fall asleep on his own in his bed. That helped with my daughter tremendously.

Beth, Cody and Morgan said...

I completely love Healthy Sleeping Habits, Happy Child and am a big advocate for the methods. It really just takes time and keep trying. Morgan did the same thing at first but once I started laying him down when sleepy but not asleep and letting him soothe himself (or cry until he gave up) things started to improve. Morgan is a champion napper and sleeper now but it wasn't always that way. Just know that when they're this little nothing lasts forever! Good luck and we're here to help anytime!

whitney williams said...

Tanner did a lot better napping in the swing...he really liked the motion. And I agree with the self soothing...You really need to give him a chance to do it...normally mom's are having the problem with not sleeping through the night...so you just have to look at it the same way...if you were training him to sleep through the night, you would have to let him cry for a night , or two, or three...try that with nap...try to make it the same routine everyday...and as consistant as possible..which may mean staying at home for a few days straight, or take him for a walk...sometimes the motion of the stroller, or the swing will help. eery baby is a little different so you may have to try a few diff. things, but the best thing is to be as consistant as possible until he's on a schedule during the day. Hope this helps and good luck!! :)

Emily W said...

I read a great book called happiest baby on the block and he teaches you how to swaddle your baby really well, and i found with both of my daughters that often they would wake up from their naps early once they worked out of their swaddle, and if I would reswaddle them and give them a pacifier they would sleep longer.