Nap Success

6 Jun

A couple of weeks ago a sleep specialist came to talk to my moms group. The most important takeaway: a 2-month-old doesn’t need to be fed at night. I mean, it’s not necessary for their survival. Which kind of makes sense – Timothy only eats once during the night, around 4-6 am (and has been since about 1.5 months old).

Another important learning: babies need to nap for an average 1.5 hour stretch at a time. When they’re 2-4 months old, we are talking about three naps, 1.5 hours each, and another short one before bed time – about 30-45 minutes long. Generally, it should go like this: 1.5 hours awake, 1.5 sleep, repeat.

The reason: babies sleep phases are about 45 minutes long, the first phase being the shallow one, the second – deep. So if they don’t sleep long, they don’t get to the deep phase and don’t get good rest, getting cranky and overstimulated.

Well, while Timothy has always been a great night-time sleeper, his naps were all over the place. So I started working on getting him to nap longer. I started bringing him to his crib for his naps (not all of them; the reco was to have at least one nap in their crib, the rest could be in a stroller, carseat, carrier or whatever). He would fall asleep and then wake up 30 minutes later – I would go there, shush him, give him the paci, cover him with his blanket, sit next to him and wait for him to fall asleep (he couldn’t see me). If he fussed and spit the paci out – I gave it back.

2 weeks later? He goes to bed with joy. The moment I put the blanket on him, he pulls it almost over his head and happily falls asleep – andstays asleep for an average of 1.5 hours (sometimes 2, sometimes 1). I don’t need to go and shush him back to sleep any longer. (and yes, the first few times he insisted on sleeping with the blanket over his face, I constantly checked on his breathing… even though it’s a thin blanket).

Now I know that he wakes up around 7:30 am, then he naps at 9-11, then at 12:30-2, then at 3:30-5 and then one short nap and then – bedtime just after 8.

So… today he woke up at 5:30 am and instead of feeding him, I shushed him, gave him the pacifier and put the blanket on him so that it touched his face. He went quiet and then started to fuss again. After I repeated the whole thing three times (shush, paci, blanket) he fell asleep and slept happily until after 8 am!

So maybe I will be able to get him off the night-time feeds, too? It’s worth a try 🙂

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6 Responses to “Nap Success”

  1. St. Elsewhere June 7, 2012 at 1:45 AM #

    How awesome is that. I am glad the nap thing is getting settled down.

    I was not aware that nighttime feeds are unnecessary.

    And I love the fact that Timothy keeps the blanket on! My girl can’t kick it off fast enough.

    I love his pic in the previous post…milestones milestones!

    • zygotta June 7, 2012 at 3:56 PM #

      It’s funny: when he’s not hungry, all he does is lift his feet up in the air. But when he’s teady to sleep – blanket is his bff. Although at night I put a sleeping sack on him just to make sure he doesn’t get cold.

  2. Jess June 7, 2012 at 2:06 PM #

    That’s great! I have yet to start doing naps in the crib, because going up and down the stares with babies just doesn’t sound appealing lol

    • zygotta June 7, 2012 at 3:58 PM #

      Well that’s the thing – I don’t go up and down. I put him in the crib and stay in the room until he is asleep. Unless you meant bringing all three babies ine at a time?

  3. brogen78 June 7, 2012 at 5:22 PM #

    You go girl!!!!

    Nikki

  4. babiesandus June 8, 2012 at 4:28 AM #

    Really does sound like you have it waxed! What a pleasure!

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