Wednesday, December 15, 2010

baby ZZZs

So you know how sometimes as a mom you feel pressured to be "perfect?" or at least for everyone to think it? Ok, so maybe it's just me feeling like I will mess Eliza up if I don't get her schedule "just right". Lately I have been struggling with her daytime napping. She is fighting it like crazy, but I know she is tired because she is cranky. When she sleeps well she is happy and playful and I can do whatever while she sits and plays. Tyler can get her to sleep no problem, but everytime I try to rock her, she wants to eat. Help! I was reading Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child and she says that if you catch the timing right then your baby won't cry and will go right to sleep. I have yet to catch that timing. Also, she says babies shouldn't be awake for more than two hours at a time. I have really watched Eliza and noticed that she does start getting tired about 1 1/2hrs after being awake, but everytime I try to help her fall asleep she cries and puts up a fit. I know every baby isn't by the book, but I am feeling so helpless, like we are stuck in this back and forth. Once I finally get her down to nap she only stays alseep for like 30-40 minutes. What are some tricks to getting Eliza down without such a fight?

13 comments:

Ben and Camille said...

well, first, i think everything with a baby "will come to pass" and that most things come in phases. one thing with claire is that she is a fantastic napper and only rarely fusses when going down. i am finally on a regular, every day schedule and her naps are at 10am, 1pm, and 4pm. before we had that exact schedule, she was more fussy and i dealt with a little of what you're going through. but when i set it to this schedule and keep it almost no matter what-it sets her clock and when even if she doesn't LOOK tired, if it's 1pm, i lay her down, give her the binky and leave her and she falls asleep. anyway, try sticking to the same time everyday for naps. for a while she would only sleep 30-40 minutes, but the longer i kept to those times, the longer she sleeps now. anyway--good luck!

{charlie * carolyn} said...

You might not want to do this but I always nursed little Charlie to sleep for his naps. It worked for us and he always fell asleep really well. However, when he was 6 months I soothed him and calmed him down before going down for naps... like rocking for a while or walking around with him. I then set him in his crib and he fell asleep. It's always hard to start a good schedule but it takes practice and a LOT of effort! I feel your pain Carissa, believe me I do!

Meredith Williams said...

I stressed over Evelyn's schedule too....but I can understand why we do it though. When baby is happy, everyone else seems so much happier.
I wish I had the magical advice, but you are right, every baby is different and as the mom you seem to just know what is right for her.
So this is what I did with Evelyn. I don't know about Eliza but Evelyn, LOVED to be swaddled when put to sleep and she also took a pacifier, which helped. I read the same book you are reading and so I tried early on to have her learn to fall asleep on her own. I tried to resist rocking or nursing her to sleep because I knew I would have to stop at one point down the road. So when I put her to sleep, I wrapped her up, put her pacifier in her mouth and closed the door. There were times where she cried and cried but most of the time it was a wimpering cry, so I knew she was tired and not just hungry. (Does that make sense??) Anyways, when it all comes down to it, you are the mom and knows whats best...I hope it gets easier. best of luck!!

Jessie Griffitts said...

Yeah Aiden was never a good napper either. When he was small like Eliza he never slept during the day on his own for more than 30-40 minutes. But I agree with the consistency comment. I found with every phase we went through with him that consistency is the key. So, I would try napping at the same time and then I don't think there is any harm to nursing her to sleep. I nursed Aiden to sleep for his naps and then once he got older like 6 or 7 months I first started at night by putting him in his crib before he was completely asleep from nursing and then I tried the same concept with his nap times. Putting him in his crib while he was still awake. He cried the first week or two of doing it, but only for usually 10-15 minutes and it was REALLY hard to let him cry, but once again consistency paid off because he realized he could fall asleep on his own. But yeah don't worry about rushing things and just work things out at Eliza's pace and your pace. They eventually get the hang of things :)

Dave, Laura, Maggie and Chloe said...

I very strongly agree that every baby is different. My oldest, Maggie, was HORRIBLE when it came to nap time and sleeping. She is almost 3 and she still has a hard time sleeping thru the night. It's been a constant battle with her. I read all the books and have tried EVERYTHING, but she just fights it no matter what. My second, Chloe, has been awesome...I didn't do anything different with her, but she just naturally went into a great sleeping schedule and has been a great napper and sleeping thru the night since she was 4 months old.
I have really struggled with Maggie and finally decided that I was making us both miserable by trying to 'force' her into a schedule, (I'm sure I've made a TON of mistakes with her, but oh well, we will both survive...hopefully).
Eliza will let you know what she needs. But my only advice is don't let it stress you out too much, just enjoy your sweet little girl.

Julie said...

So..... here's my two cents. (I am going to write before I read all the other comments). I love that book, and followed a lot of it. For the first 6 months or so Rushton napped 3 times a day, with 1-2 hours of wakefulness in between. I did whatever it took to soothe him to sleep, whether that meant nurse, stroller or walk in the baby bjorn (ok that one stopped around 4 months). At around 6 or 7 months I wanted him to be a better "crib" sleeper so I did a bit of day time sleep training. I would nurse him at nap time, but if he didn't fall asleep I gave him his blanket and teddy bear and let him cry. I hated it, and I have never let him cry it out at night, but it worked well for naps. He never cried longer than 8 minutes, and after three days not only did naptime become easier, but he started sleeping through the night too! Now at 12 months I still nurse him to soothe him before both naps and bedtime, and when he wakes up at 4am to get him back to sleep. I know everyone will have their own approach, but this one worked great for me.

Bottom-line: Sleep for babies is super important, but stressing over a rigid schedule is silly. Soothe her and help her sleep. Some things just come with time, too, and babies will go through phases. Don't worry too much and enjoy snuggling that darling little girl! Good luck, Carissa!

P.S. I know I felt the same way about "a schedule" as you at first. Only in hindsight do I realize that I shouldn't have stressed it. Rushton just NEEDED lots of soothing for awhile and then settled into his own great routine around 7-8 months.

Julie said...

oh yeah, I more thing. I also had to nurse Rushton BACK to sleep sometimes during naps. It's weird but for the first 5-6 months he would wake up after sleeping for 30 or 40 minutes but if I nursed him back to sleep I could get another hour out of him. Like I said, making sure your baby gets enough sleep is the most important thing. You just do what you gotta do.

Chelsea and Michael said...

Well I am no expert, but sometimes you do need to let them cry. I would let her cry for few minutes, go in and show her I care and make sure she is comfortable again, but not pick her up. Eventually they will give up. I never have left her for a long time to cry it out, but sometimes she just needs to know I am still here and then after I go in one time she passes out. But it took a bit before I really got the hang of her patterns. I noticed that two hours after she got up in the morning she would need a nap and even though it is short she is still happier. Her afternoon nap is the longer one. Also, being home is the best thing. I am queen of making cailyn just go with me wherever, but she naps better and is easier when I stay home for certain nap times consistantly. Good luck!

Dan and Katie said...

You are much better than me...I haven't really attempted perfecting the schedule. Ruby is pretty flexible. But I will tell you that when Ruby was really little, the little swing thing worked awesome!!! She would sleep great in that swing for naps! Really only worked until 4 months or so. Good Luck. Don't beat yourself up, you are the best mom Eliza Kaye could possibly have!

Jessi said...

Tanner still sleeps in his swing. Yes i know, this is a "no No". But lets be honest here, there is no perfect child, no perfect parent, no perfect way to do anything. No one thing that works for EVERY baby. So for me - Tanner neaps for less than 30 minutes in his crib, but will nap for up to two hours if I let him swing the whole time. And to me, Naptime is precious, so I do what works. though I do hope to try him again in the crib soon -- its been a while since I have tried. good luck!

Kami said...

My friend Kathleen tried to get her baby on a strict schedule and I was a bit more lax with schedules ... and both of our babies ended up settling into a decent sleep schedule around the same age (I think it was about 6 or 7 months). Stay consistent and don't worry too much if she's not conforming to the schedule you want. Work with her on self-soothing and falling asleep on her own when she is tired, then I think it will be easier when she settles into a better sleep schedule.

And you're right - it's hard to catch the timing. Every baby's different, so just keep watching Eliza's tiredness cues and you'll eventually catch the sweet sleep spot!

Kellie Black and Boys said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kellie Black and Boys said...

This whole "timing" thing and schedule is new to me! I never ever worried about my babies nap schedule. Sometimes Ethan or Teigan would sleep for 3 hours at a time and sometimes it would only be an hour. So obviously if they slept for 3 hours, I didn't expect them to be tired again 2 hours later. But if they only slept for an hour, they'd be tired 45 minutes later. So my babes weren't ever on a "schedule." They slept when they wanted and stayed awake as long as their little eyes would allow!

When they were awake they were usually in their swing, in a bumbo, or in their bouncer. Of course my babies didn't really need me to hold them or entertain them a whole lot while they were awake. Do you have a sound machine? That plays nature noises or heartbeats or anything? I'd put my boys in their crib and put on the sounds and that would help lull them to sleep.

Seriously just don't stress over it! Having your baby on a strict nap schedule isn't criteria for a perfect mom award in my opinion!!!