Friday, February 22, 2008

It is a battle and I WILL win...

We continued our quest for sleep this week - and as I realize that one can never go into battle unarmed, I decided to educate myself re: baby sleep as much as humanly possible. Apparently there is a 30 min 1st sleep that is light (i.e. easily woken) and many babes have issues falling back to sleep when they wake from this 1st cycle. However if you can get them into the 2nd cycle, it's often 1.5 hrs of a deeper sleep (that is also better for them on the growth/development shiznay). Add those 2 cycles up and what do you have? The long-lost, coveted 2 hour nap!

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.)
This nap routine sounds a lot more complicated than it really seems to be when I'm doing it. Usually we have success in getting her to sleep in about 15 mins if I catch her right at the yawning, tired eyes stage. If I let it get to the rubbing-eyes stage I'm absolutely screwed - it then takes about 45 mins to get her to sleep.

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.


Anonymous said...

You think it's tough now...just wait until rocking doesn't work anymore. With Caitie, we reached that point at about 6 months; we would rock her for 2-3 hours (I know, silly, but hey, new parents and all) during which she would drift off and we would put her in her crib -- and then she would promptly wake up. We finally opted for sleep training at 7 months, where we let her cry to sleep. Sounds cruel, but it worked in that I'm still (mostly) sane and she learned how to go to sleep on her own. With Liam, we've always put him down sleepy but not asleep, so I'm hoping we don't have to do the whole sleep training thing again. Anyways, good luck with Maddie. I know how frustrating it can be! (And don't worry if other people think you're being too soft or too mean -- you have to do what works for you!)

Deb said...

So I shouldn't tell you that no matter what I tried to get Austin to sleep, he didn't take 2 hour naps until after he turned one year old :-)
I wish you luck, and if it works for you, tell me your tricks, because I may need them for number 2.

Vone said...

Good luck. Lilo was never a good sleeper but I don't think it had anything to do with all the things they say you should or shouldn't do. I just think she didn't like to sleep - some babies do and others don't. Eventually you get into a routine and you get some sleep. It might not come for a couple of months but it comes :)