Sunday, May 29, 2011

Nap S.O.S

I need a new technique for getting G to take naps.
The only way I can get him down (during the day) is to do one of the following:

*Breastfeed him until he falls asleep (this won't work if I'm not around, will it?) and then very quietly and strategically place him in the crib without waking him (50% of the time he will wake up when I try to set him down)

*Take him for a car ride (and lately it seems the nap will only last as long as the car ride because taking him out of the car seems to wake him most of the time these days).

*Take him for a walk in the stroller (this rarely works...)

I don't understand why I can put him down in his crib at night wide awake and he'll go right to sleep, but during the day...this never works.  Well I guess it does work in the early mornings...but it's the late morning and afternoon naps that I'm struggling with. I need tips...I need guidance...anyone???


  1. We use the swing A LOT for naps! Other than that, I got nothing... sorry, we're not doing much better right now : (

  2. I can speak to this. I had this exact problem with the baby I nannyed for. Basically you are going to have to nap-train him, which we did (me and the mom) successfully in 3 days. We used the Weissbluth book, on Kelly's advice. The first thing to know is that motion sleep is addictive. Motion relaxes human brainwaves making us both more likely to fall asleep, and less likely to fall into a high quality, deep sleep (think about passing out on an airplane and how that would never happen in an uncomfortable chair in a room). With Ruthie (the nanny-ee) we had to avoid the car and the stroller at all costs when she was tired. They "unlearn" how to put themselves to sleep every time they fall asleep with the help of motion. Basically what you'll need to do is establish a naptime routine that doesn't ever involve the car or a stroller, or nursing him to sleep, and stick to it for at least 3 days, in spite of the crying. With M, I sort of walk around humming the same song for a minute, then we go into his room with the lights out and the fan on for another minute, then I put him down and give him his blankie and tuck another blankie around him, I stroke his hair, and I leave. I also agree with what Weisbluth implies in parts of his book - that total extinction is better than graduated extinction. I.e. let them cry it out in full. It's just a faster way, and overall it's less painful for both you and the baby. Good luck! If you want to talk more I can give you my cell phone. I was in nap misery with this baby and then, once I got the mom to read Weissbluth so we could both do the same things for napping (and so she would stop having the baby nap "on the go" in the car on errands) everything was so much better. G is right at the age where it became problematic for her too. Up until about 6 months she would fall asleep in my car on the way to my house and take a full nap, same with the stroller. I had no idea it wasn't a "deep" sleep. But at about 6 months she was old enough so that she'd wake up when the car or stroller stopped. She therefore HAD to learn to put herself to sleep for a nap; until she learned, there was virtually no napping on the days I had her and she was an exhausted, cranky, very difficult baby. I was so relieved and am an absolute believer in Weissbluth ("Health Sleep Habits, Happy Child").

  3. Hey, so I can't claim to have any secret tips or advice, I think we've just been lucky with Kenna. I do usually close the blinds and curtains and put her in her swaddle. I also turn on music (or her Sleep Sheep) and the humidifier. The key for Kenna seems to be putting her down before she's super tired. If we wait too long, she has a hard time putting herself to sleep, but I don't mind helping her out a little by patting her on the butt or rubbing her back for a couple minutes. If we're home during the day, she usually sleeps for 45 min-2 1/2 hours. Well, usually not that long. Only today after our trip to the zoo!

    Kenna's the same with car rides and strollers now. There's too much to look at for her to go to sleep in the stroller, and she wakes up as soon as I pull her out of the car. We typically only do two naps a day. I don't really know if that's how many they're supposed to have, but Kenna seems to do well with that. The days when she doesn't get them are ok, but the nights are not so fun!