Okay - so now I knew what I was working towards (and knowing that this was a better sleep for her development we've now added guilt to the mix - along with frustration should I fail). Tactics that were employed include the following:
- room darkening (using both the roller blinds and dark brown drapes on her windows to block out any potential waking daylight)
- white noise (using a space heater, I would get the room nice and warm and then switch to "fan only" to keep the noise consistent)
- swaddling (was doing this arms-out for most naps before, have started to employ the arms-in approach - same as she gets for nighttime sleep)
- rocking (getting her close to sleep, droopy eyes, relaxed body - but not entirely asleep so she knows she's going to bed)
- shhhhhh-ing (both while rocking and after she's been laid down in her crib)
- lovey (not sure what this does, but has been recommended by a few ppl, so started putting her to bed with this stuffed-animal-head-with-a-blanket-body thing)
- music (Bob Marley to be specific - and only while she's being rocked to sleep - it gets turned down after she's laid down. Why Bob you ask? I'm not sure - never was a huge fan myself, but happened to put it on one day and she fell asleep magically. I understand the fact that we're all individuals in regards to taste in music - so I'm following my daughter's lead. And to be honest, Bob's growing on me now. Wow - tangent.)
Then, when she wakes up in 15 mins or 30 mins (depends on her mood) I rush back upstairs, pick her up, and rock her back to sleep. Then we get a bit of a longer period out of the 2nd sleep (haven't got the full 1.5 hrs yet, but hopefully soon).
Yes, this is my life. Full-on strategic battle against poor napping habits. I'm hoping this whole routine, kept consistent, will eventually teach her how to nap for longer periods and that we'll figure out an actual schedule. Who knows. I know when my mom reads this she will tut to herself, thinking, you're spoiling this child. Just let her fuss and she'll eventually go back to sleep. Lay her down on a schedule and she'll learn that it's nap time.
Well, let's face it, I'm a bit of a softie apparently (who knew - I thought the cast iron bitch in me would extend to all facets of my life, guess not). And I'm hoping, much like dog-training, that the consistency of the above routine will eventually work.
Yes, I just compared child-rearing to dog-training. That's right. I said it...
xxoo - S.