We have a nap problem at our house. As in our baby doesn't care for them. AT ALL. Yesterday we took a trip out to Oakville for a baby shower. Since we didn't get out of bed until 9:30, there was no nap before we left. I hoped Stella would sleep in the car, which she did briefly. But it didn't last. This social butterfly has to be part of the action. As long as there are people around she has to be spreading the love and flirting up a storm. So no nap while we were there for 3 hours. She slept again on the way home but not nearly enough. When we got home we crashed in bed and I won the well fought nap battle. Stella slept until just about bedtime, woke up screaming so she went straight to bed.
Baby sleep seems to be a constant war. Mommies and Daddies against babies. It's the number one thing I talk about with all my mommy friends: how to get the baby to sleep. There are a million different strategies out there, and an equivalent number of books written. Last week I attended a sleep seminar that scared the bejeezus out of me. The facilitator claimed that inadequate sleep is the same as a nutritionally poor diet. What's a mommy to make of that? Am I doing my child a disservice by not helping her get the sleep she needs. The main point of this woman's seminar was that you need to put your baby to bed awake, drowsy but awake. She also emphasised not to associate eating with sleep. It made me realize that we do a million things "wrong" and definitely not by the books.
But, what we've done seems to work. We have a healthy baby, who sleeps well at night. She is a smiling chunky sweetheart. So we'll continue with our own sleep theories: if it's not broke, don't fix it.
So back to the baby laughs... this is what you get when the baby takes a good nap. Now that's motivation..... >
Someone sent me this note awhile ago... It goes right along with todays theme... Sleep training from the baby's perspective:
OK, here's my situation. My Mommy has had me for almost 7 months. The first few months were great-- I cried, she picked me up and fed me, anytime, day or night. Then something happened. Over the last few weeks, she has been trying to STTN (sleep thru the night). At first, I thought it was just a phase, but it is only getting worse. I've talked to other babies, and it seems like it's pretty common after Mommies have had us for around 6 months.
Here's the thing: these Mommies don't really need to sleep. It's just a habit. Many of them have had some 30 years to sleep--they just don't need it anymore. So I am implementing a plan. I call it the Crybaby Shuffle. It goes like this:
Night 1--cry every 3 hours until you get fed. I know, it's hard. It's hard to see your Mommy upset over your crying. Just keep reminding yourself, it's for her own good.
Night 2--cry every 2 hours until you get fed.
Night 3--every hour.
Most Mommies will start to respond more quickly after about 3 nights. Some Mommies are more alert, and may resist the change longer. These Mommies may stand in your doorway for hours, shhhh-ing. Don't give in. I cannot stress this enough: CONSISTENCY IS KEY!! If you let her STTN (sleep through the night), just once, she will expect it every night. I KNOW IT'S HARD! But she really does not need the sleep, she is just resisting the change.
If you have an especially alert Mommy, you can stop crying for about 10 minutes, just long enough for her to go back to bed and start to fall asleep. Then cry again. It WILL eventually work. My Mommy once stayed awake for 10 hours straight, so I know she can do it. Last night, I cried every hour. You just have to decide to stick to it and just go for it. BE CONSISTENT!
I cried for anyreason I could come up with. My sleep sack tickled my foot. I felt a wrinkle under the sheet. My mobile made a shadow on the wall. I burped, and it tasted like pears. I hadn't eaten pears since lunch, what's up with that? The cat said "meow". I should know. My Mommy reminds me of this about 20 times a day. Hah. Once I cried just because I liked how it sounded when it echoed on the monitor in the other room. Too hot, too cold, just right--doesn' t matter! Keep crying!! It took awhile, but it worked. She fed me at 4am. Tomorrow night, my goal is 3:30am.
You need to slowly shorten the interval between feedings in order to reset your Mommies' internal clocks.
P.S. Don't let those rubber things fool you, no matter how long you suck on them, no milk will come out. Trust me.