I am surprised and thankful for all the positive feedback I received after posting my “Tough Stuff” post. Naps continue to be a sore spot in the house so I wanted to do a quick follow-up post with where we’re at and hopefully, gather more intel or make other new moms feel like they are not alone in this battle!
In my early 20′s I wanted a pair of Jimmy Choo’s more than anything else in the world. Today, at 31, I just want one nap that doesn’t include heart breaking cries at the outset or exactly 40 minutes into said nap. Our sweet boy is stubborn but as his mama, I know he is also exhausted and in dire need of at least two solid crib naps each day–preferably three.
Rylan is 10 weeks today. Here is where we are at on naps based on a TON of calls, emails and texts with other moms who adopted various versions of Baby Wise scheduling.
- We follow the feed > wake > sleep cycle every day
- I set a goal of giving Rylan two crib naps (or if we are at a family member’s house, a Pack and Play nap) per day. Ideally these include his early morning (approx. 8:30 a.m.) and mid-afternoon (approx. 2:30 p.m.) naps. He is swaddled with white noise and shades drawn, but not the blackout curtains because I want him to be flexible in various napping situations
- If he cries when I put him down, I set a timer for 12 minutes and keep myself distracted. Lately he cries for about five before falling asleep
- When he cried at 40 minutes over the past two weeks, I was going in after about five minutes of crying to soothe him and re-offer a pacifier. It almost never saved the nap. So after spending the day with my Baby Wise mentor (who also happens to be Mike’s sister) this week, I adopted a new approach
- Now I am aiming for a one hour – total – nap in the crib twice a day, plus his other naps during the natural feed > wake > sleep cycle that can take place in the car, stroller, carrier, etc. If he cries at 40 or 45 minutes into the crib nap I hold tight so he at least stays down for an hour. Now I know what you’re thinking….you let him cry for 20 minutes? The answer is no, not yet at least, because every day he has self-soothed in a matter of minutes and stayed down to total a one and a half to two hour nap when all is said and done
Is our new approach the right approach? I have no clue as I am positive tomorrow or the next day Rylan will throw me a new curve ball and I’ll be at square one again. But for now, I am extremely happy to see him take at least two super solid crib naps and even happier that he is waking up all smiles and coos. That is the crucial indicator I am watching ever so closely right now.
To my fellow new mamas – this has not been easy. I pace, put my hand on his door knob and literally fight every urge I have to go in when his cries escalate after one or two minutes. But then I watch him in the monitor. I see him start to re-settle. Then I watch him stare at the ceiling fan or the safari animals on his wall before he slowly and peacefully drifts into a deep and much needed sleep once again. Watching that process at the beginning and/or middle of his nap makes me feel like we’re doing something right.