Saturday, May 12, 2007

A Napping Dilemna

My son used to be an exquisite napper.

I prided myself on how good a mother I was because my son went down for naps so easily.

I was probably quite smug about it.

Turns out it had nothing to do with me.

Because now he's not an exquisite napper anymore.

He still takes naps, so I'm grateful for that, but I'm a little dumbfounded. I was very spoiled. I would see the first signs of fatigue, I would carry him for a few minutes, sing a lullabye, set him in his crib, and within minutes he would be off to dreamland. Lucky me!

Now, at the first signs of fatigue, I bounce him up and down for half an hour until the eyes droop and he's nearly asleep. Then I sing him a lullabye, set him in his crib, and he lies there fussing for a really long time. Now that he's able to roll over, he flips himself onto his back and gets all worked up because he hates being on his back. (Before he could do that, he would fuss and squirm for 3 or 4 minutes but would eventually fall asleep. Now he wakes himself up.) So now getting him to sleep is sometimes an hour and a half process.

He's getting heavy. I can't keep picking him up and bouncing him for 30-45 minutes.

I need some new tricks.

I'm trying not to be too upset because hey, at least he DOES nap. I just now spend the better part of my day trying to GET him to fall asleep.

This too, shall pass, I know.

Just asking for ideas from those of you who have been there before!


erin k said...

hello. (found you via comments at Beck's)

I don't actually have any help for you. I have a son who has never been a great napper (1/2 hr is a long nap for him...) Just thought I'd let you know you're not alone...

Susan said...

Do you play soft music in his room? I had a great CD of classical music that my DS 4 loved. He learned to lay down and stay down after a few times.

Also, there's always the rocking chair. Does that work for him?

I know some people disagree with me, but I used to use the 10 minute rule. I'd time mine and let them fuss for 10 minutes before I'd go get them (unless I really knew there was something wrong)...and then as they got older, I'd only pat them on the back in the crib and tell them they were OK.

I know it's hard because they DO go through seasons.

Hang in there. If he's taking an hour and a half to go to sleep, maybe he's not really as tired as he seems???

I'll pray for you both.


:-) Susan

Susan said...

One more thought just popped in my mind. Do you give him a pacifier? If not, have you tried it? I had two that would take one and two that refused. I got rid of them before they turned 8 months old, so they wouldn't be too dependent.

And another thought: is it possible that he's teething? And when he lays down he hurts??

Just trying to remember back to those days.


Damselfly said...

Oh, deary. You know I feel for you. With a baby who is prone to sleeping less than 10 hours in a 24-hour period, I truly understand.

A dark room and white noise machine (or CD playing the sound of crashing waves) have been our mainstays, as you know. We've tried pacifiers, rocking, walking, singing, swinging, elevating the head of the bed (for the reflux), Hyland's and Tylenol for the teething. But basically, if Fly won't sleep, he's just not going to sleep!

I've read that when babies are learning or trying something new, they often have sleep disturbances or trouble falling asleep. New things like solid foods, learning to roll over, learning to crawl (hello!), learning to walk and that kind of thing. Also, when they're a little older and have separation anxiety, you're supposed to put something that smells like you in the crib.

Maybe in a few days, he'll be back to his exquisite napping!

In the meantime, maybe you could just come up with a Plan B, as I have: "If he doesn't nap, I'm going to take him for a walk/drive to the supermarket/read him some books/down a shot of tequila."