Posted by: thiscait | January 7, 2007

The Sleep Thing

As you know, we’re working on sleep habits here at AdProb. It’s been a long process, involving many books, Moxie, experimentation, some success and lots of failure. In general, I’d say we’re making progress, though we have been somewhat derailed by holiday travel. Natalie doesn’t wake as frequently during the night, and is napping better. Sometimes. So this is where I ask for your suggestions.

Some background:

We mostly cosleep overnight. Natalie starts in her crib (safer that way–she moves around a lot without us there), and then joins us in bed whenever she wakes up, somewhere between 10 and 12. On a good night, she nurses when she joins us, and then not again until somewhere in the 6-7 am zone. Other nights she nurses more, but we’ve been mostly successful with the no eating after 2 am rule, which has made for more pleasant nursing for her and Jen in the mornings (i.e. less biting).

Natalie is home with me 2 days a week, and with Jen’s mom or a babysitter the other 3 days. I can get her to nap decently (2 naps ranging from 1-2 hours each) with some effort. She naps pretty crappily elsewhere. She naps in a crib (except for occasional weekend family naps). She nearly always has to be resettled somewhere in the middle of her nap. Sometimes this just means a rebink* or a short rocking session, but often it’s more difficult than that. I have hoped that if I continue to resettle her, she’ll get in the habit of taking longer naps on her own. Thus far, that has not been the case.

We are not interested in doing CIO at this point. This is not a judgement on anyone who has used this technique–it’s just not what we want to do.

My questions:

How have you made naps successful at home? We currently do music and white noise and feeding and rocking and singing before putting her down. Sometimes she’s slightly awake and settles herself, other times she needs to be completely, totally out when we put her down.

Are her naps elsewhere always going to be few and short, or is it worth talking with the various parties taking care of her about strategies? If so, what should we suggest?

If you cosleep, has this affected your child’s ability to nap in a crib?

Have you used one of those soft wool fleece mattress pad things? I’m wondering if making her crib more comfortable would help in any way. If it’s worth us trying one, where can we find a decent but inexpensive one? Anybody got a secondhand one to sell? Or are we dreaming to think we can get one without spending a fortune? We’re pretty broke.

Did/do you use a lovey? How did you introduce it? We’ve offered Natalie different kinds of loveys, and she’s happy to play with them, but they don’t really help her sleep in any way, and she hasn’t gotten attached to any of them.

Any other words of wisdom?

*Our queendom for a binky monkey.



  1. Unfortunately the only way she will sleep well is if she learns to put herself back to sleep when she partially wakes.
    I don’t know any other way for her to learn with the exception of some sort of CIO variation.

  2. Yeah, I gotta agree with anotheramy. The more you go in to “resettle” her, the more she will keep waking. Everyone wakes several times throughout sleep sessions; the key is getting ourselves back to sleep without assistance. She’s old enough to be doing that on her own.

    Kim West’s book “Good Night, Sleep Tight” talks about how naps are the most difficult sleep to train. She does not advocate CIO but is upfront that there may be some crying. I really like her approach. I’ll pass my copy along if you don’t already have it.

    J had a lovey up until this summer whereas E hasn’t taken to one. Sounds like Nat is the same. Both have always napped successfully. We’ve never used music, rocking, noise machines or even nursing with either kid. (Kim West explains why feeding to sleep is counterproductive.) We just drop E in the crib awake and leave. She does co-sleep, but not until much later, say 4am. When she’s at daycare, she sleeps okay, but I think she sleeps better (longer) at home because we’re following her lead versus a set routine.

    Once you figure out what your approach is, I do think it’s important to get everyone on the same page. At a minimum, everyone should know what her tired cues are and what the basic routine is.

    Hold off on the fleece thing. I think you can figure this out without it. N is a pretty smart gal. She’ll get the hang of it. 🙂

  3. Ah yes, the sleep thing – well as for the paci situation, I admit to putting a few in the crib, so she doesn’t have to look too far for one.

    As for the lovey, we just bought 3 of those little square blankies from K-mart, and we have one in her crib at daycare, one in her crib at home, and one ‘spare” – sometimes it goes in the stroller.

    She knew it was there, and would occasionally hold it, etc. her attachment to it didn’t intensify until recently. Now she carries it around the house and she tries to crawl with it, and it gets stuck under a knee, and then there’s the whole “rearrangement” thing, it’s quite cute to watch. This evening, for the FIRST time ever, I put her to bed, and then realized, SHIT! The damn lovey’s in the living room from her latest “drag it along for hte ride” adventure – and she CRIED for it! she CRIED for her lovey! Now granted, she’s sick, but oh my goodness, hOW CUTE IS THAT! So I ran to get it, and calm was restored.

    As for the naps, we’re REALLY bad about them – we have NO schedule, and she sleeps best when “on the road” – which means me driving the stroller around the “hood” and then parking her in her room w/ the white noise machine.

    The flip to that is that we aren’t tied down to a set nap schedule. The only thing that IS rigid is that bedtime is somewhere between 6:30 and 7:30. Sometimes she’ll nap for a really nice lone time, others, she’ll nap for two 45 minute stretches.

    Here’s the one thing that we DO do, however – Malka is in her own room – as we felt that WE were disturbing HER as much as she was disturbing us… And when she wakes mid nap or mid-sleep -we give it 15 minutes regarless. Usually, she’ll settle herself back down. And if she doesn’t – then we go to her – but we use the 15 minute rule. MP3 KNOWS that she is loved and cared for and she is emotionally secure in our attachments, and it kills me to hear her cry for 1 second, let alone 15 minutes. but. but. But. She sleeps better for it. And ultimately, as her Eemah, that’s more important.

    And when all of those other methods fail? I lay down on the floor of her room with her, on a pillow, and she hogs tha darn thing, and then when she’s good and asleep, I transfer her back to her crib and sneak out of the room, although that’s not my preferred method of getting her to sleep. but it works every time if I need it to.

    Lots of luck, do keep us posted, and if you ever go “that” route, let me know, and I’ll give oyu the step by step that we(er, Narda) used… 🙂

  4. Ok, the image of Shelli and Malka sleeping on the floor is too darn cute. I am soooo jealous of these napping children! We get 2-3 naps of 30min to 1+ hours each.

    Nightime was a nightmare for us (and is tonight, as we are on vacation and sleeping in a strange room is scary). We were cosleeping like you, starting in the crib and then transfering to the bed. We used Good Night, Sleep Tight as well, but we never actually moved away from the bed. He usually wakes up twice to nurse, once around 2 and again around 4-5. I think he is actually going to drop the 2 am one (hooray!). Anyway, this is all to say that The Sleep Lady worked for us but with crying. I am not sure how to do it with no crying at all.

    I hope you find a good solution that works for you and N. Hugs, as I know how horrible the no sleeping thing is. Now I am off to shhhh and sooth.

  5. I did it without CIO and Thomas was the same…(well I am assuming that is what we call control crying? I had one go at that and ended up on the step outside his room crying myself so it was a complete failure).

    I don’t have any magic answers but I can tell you what worked for me.

    I advocating wrapping and a consistent routine that is copied by everyone who looks after her. Are you still wrapping? I wrapped until he was almost 2. He was well able to get out by himself by about 9 months but wrapped at bedtime he was (in a cot sheet in the end). Thomas co-slept after starting out in his cot and for all those who says they never leave well he did! It gradually moved from the 11 to 2 to 5 am transfer. He comes into bed now everymorning around 6 for a snooze and a snuggle now, but sleeps the rest of the night on his own. I by the way love the snooze and snuggle at 6am.

    It is about getting them to go to sleep on their own and stay asleep. If I were you I would start a routine that happens anytime she goes to sleep (book, boob/bottle, wrap, bed). Have times she goes to bed (I put Thomas back down at 9:30 and then at about 1:30 when he was Natalie’s age). He went to bed at 7:00 (now 7:30) with the same routine as above with a bath added in. You have to do it EVERY day for awhile (like a month) which is dull BUT once it becomes part of the routine it actually becomes more flexible.

    When Thomas woke from his nap for anything less than 45 mins (which is a sleep cycle as I understand it) then I would re-wrap him, give him a pat in a slow rythmic way on his but. Sometimes this took 20 mins to get him to resettle. Once we got to 45 mins I gave up and just got him up and waited until the next nap.

    For what it is worth Thomas is a great sleeper, great go-to bed-er (no coming out for glasses of water or whatever) and only kindness, consitency and snuggles were used to get there.

    The other thing is their naps do tend to get shorter if they are ready to go down from three – two or two to one naps a day. Perhaps she is ready to move to one long mid day nap.

    I hope this is helpful and not at all preachy!!! It is a tiring and wearing process.

    Good luck

  6. Oh- and I do agree with Jean – work out her tired signs and put to to bed as soon as they come along (these will tell you the time to make those regular naps) and put her down while she is awake. I didn’t rock or use noise.

  7. Long-time lurker, delurking to say that we have similar nap issues here – We have a family bed at night, haven’t tried any CIO approaches, I usually nurse Baby M to sleep (although she’ll fall asleep for others with some rocking & cuddling), and she usually has to nap in the crib while I’m up with her older sis.

    I just found a medical-quality lambskin for $48 (a relative bargain), and it *is* helping. We sleep on the lambskin at night, and then it goes into the crib for naps. I think it’s starting to smell familiar, and it’s becoming a hand sort of lovey. True, it’s a bit bigger than a stuffed animal or blanket, but great for trips away from home – We can put it on the floor at a friend’s and we have a quick, safe bed that Baby M loves. Really, though, what’s important is a lovey of some sort that travels well.

    I can also say that, we nursed/rocked/snuggled my older daughter to sleep for naps and nights for her first 2+ years, and she is a wonderful sleeper. She loves bedtime, settles herself at night, isn’t scared of the dark, falls asleep easily at night (on her own), etc. I’ll never know how much of that is innate personality, and how much she was helped by our approach, but, at least for her, the prophecies of Lifelong Sleeping Trouble we heard from relatives & others were false. FWIW.

    Take care, and very belated congrats on your beautiful daughter!

  8. Of course every child is different, but with my son (he’s 9 months), when I finally relaxed about the napping, both of us felt much better. My son is a 45 minute napper and my sister-in-law always told me that wasn’t enough. We would both be in tears by the end of the day because I would always be in there trying to get him to sleep. I finally told myself that he is probably just that way and to go with it. If he woke up from his nap happy, I let him get up. If he woke up crying, he wasn’t ready to get up and I would try to get him back to sleep. I did a variation of CIO that didn’t make me feel so bad. He always goes down awake now and talks himself to sleep. If he starts fussing I go in there and put my hand on him to let him know I’m there, but I don’t pick him up. He now naps anywhere between an hour to 2 hours 2-3 times a day. Hope this helps!

  9. You know, I opened up this comment window and realized I’d forgotten half the details of our sleep story….

    1. We did the same sort of co-sleeping arrangement you’re doing and it had no effect on naps. Meaning, I struggled quite a bit with naps until the kids are around a year old, and then they became champion nappers who slept for 2-3 hours every afternoon until they were 3 years old.

    2. I discovered accidentally that Elba, who was waking after 45 minutes, would go back to sleep if I left her alone for 2-3 minutes of fussing. Accidentally, because the first time it happened I was nursing Wilder and could not reach her before she fell back asleep (without having provoked Wilder into hysterics, anyway) and then the next time, I sat in the living room with my heart racing as I timed it and realized it was lasting only 2 minutes, and it wasn’t loud emergency crying, and wow, she went back to bed. I don’t know when this was, though — Elba napped in the swing until she was almost 13 months old, I think, and then became a truly champion napper.

    3. Speaking of Elba, she was the world’s hardest baby to settle in her first year. She COULD NOT be put down awake (or even put into the swing as a temporary expedient while Calder and I dealt with another wailing baby) because she would vomit. She was stiff as a board unless lulled to sleep with breast or rocking. And right around 15 months (which is how old she was when she slept through the night), she became a truly champion sleeper and is still the easiest, least “Mom I need a glass of water” sleeper in our family.

    4. On the other hand, Gemma fell asleep on her own in her crib by around 4 months of age (which was TWO MONTHS adjusted) and slept six hours at a stretch around the same time. She was the easiest baby to get down to sleep. But at around a year, she became the hardest baby to get down for naps (we had about two weeks of my finally setting her down awake in her crib, standing outside the door as she entertained Elba with wails of unhappiness, timing her to see if it went past five minutes or seemed not to be diminishing), and then she became our most nervous bedtime sleeper as a school-age kid. Gemma NEVER wanted to co-sleep as a baby and now she climbs into our bed 99 days out of 100 because she’s having “bad dreams.”

    5. I have become a total skeptic of the theory that what works at one age will predict what works at another age. Also I think the idea that you can “ruin” your child’s future sleep habits because of whatever you’re doing today is, to coin a phrase, total bullshit.

    6. Speaking of which, nursed down and laid in their cribs, picked up and offered a chance to eat every time they woke up, my three kid sleep through the night (meaning eight hours at a stretch) at 6 months, 15 months, and 29 months. And like I said, the only one who slept through the night and had that typical “goes to sleep half-awake” so-called “best sleep” pattern is the one who now wakes up in the middle of the night and needs her mommy.

    7. Have I mentioned how impatient I get when people talk about sleep habits as if they’re set in stone? Because — oh LORD nothing makes my blood boil so much. Your baby will be a completely different person in a year — why would you expect her sleep habits and patterns to be any more fixed than any other part of her behavior?

    8. That having been said, I think it’s all about your baby’s temperment. How she sleeps is a mix of who she is and how you handle her.

    9. If I had another baby now, I would tolerate more fussing at naptime than I did as a first-time mom. Not “ignore all cries forever so the baby naps the hallowed 90 minutes” but definitely, more fussing. Because honestly, that’s what I had to do when the girls were around a year old.

    10. On the other hand, Wilder nursed down for naps in 2-9 minutes and then slept his solid 90 minutes twice a day.

    11. My kids fed to sleep until they were two years old and I never once thought it was counterproductive. Not ONCE.

    12. I wouldn’t get the baby out of bed when you’re “resettling her” unless you’re taking her to bed with you. Especially at naptime. It sets up the wrong expectations I think.

    13. Good luck. Naps are HARD, but in my experience, once you go down to one nap, there’s often a sea change in nap behavior and it’s a bright and shining new world. (Which reminds me: at first, the “only nap” would start as early as 11am. And bedtime was correspondingly earlier. We were all over the place when it came to routines until the kids were around 13 months old. Oh, and even after that, because of the “three kids with slightly different teething patterns and sleep needs” complication, we did car naps until they were about 18 months old, just because I needed them to sleep TOGETHER. It happened maybe 2 times a week when they were 13 months old and getting used to the routine, once every two weeks or so by the end, and then went away altogether. My pediatrician, mother of four, said she did a ton of car naps in her day, because a parent’s got to do what a parent’s got to do.)

    14. Sorry to go on and on, the whole question of infant sleep drives me crazy. There’s nothing like having three babies at once to teach you, if you stop to look, that parents are not the powerful sleep Gods that some sleep theorists would have you believe.

  10. From the Child Development Public Service Desk: Some kids just don’t develop soft-object attachments (that is psych speak for loveys) – so if she isn’t showing interest it might be temperamental, it might be also that she is to young and still not able to self-sooth even with a lovey. Children who use a lovey use it because that is a strategy for self-soothing, like sucking, pulling on hair, rubbing the sheets or a part of their body (some kids rhythmically rub their feet together), and other things like that that babies do. That said, I have no advice about how to get her to nap better.

  11. Sorry you’re having trouble with sleep. Every parent and baby does, at least to some degree. I’ll be happy to offer some advice, but please keep in mind that we didn’t/don’t cosleep, and I am ignorant about it. At 6 months we did CIO, and it was horrible for a few days but then great since then. However, I think that you should stick to your guns about not doing CIO no matter how much people try to convince you, because if you’re already feeling bad about doing it, you probably wouldn’t be able to deal with how difficult it is to hear your kid crying indefinitely until she falls asleep. I like to call it the “desperation method” because I think when you feel desperate enough to do it, you know, and it’s at that point that you can make it through the wretched nights of crying. Ahem.

    That said, I would offer a few sage (ha ha) words of advice. Take or leave ’em.
    Consistency is good. You asked whether you should get together with Natalie’s other caregivers and basically make a plan. I think that’s a great idea. If she had consistent meal, nap, and activity times at each place, she might fall into a routine more easily. I know you want to respond to her hunger and sleepiness as it comes, but chances are she gets tired and hungry at the approximately same times each day. As others have said, observing her tired signs and putting her down before she is overtired (wired) is good. Every baby has different tired signs, …my boys rub their eyes and get grumpier (like, you can’t do anything to please them- other than nurse, which they’d do 24/7 if allowed). So I’d observe her tired and hungry signs and make some sort of schedule based on when those things happen and ask/tell others to follow it, at least for a week or two to see how it goes. Looking at tired signs to determine nap time is very important, because every child likes to nap at different times (mine go down at 9AM and about 1:30PM- the first nap used to be earlier, like at 8:30, which is a little unusual, but it worked for us).

    My personal opinion is that the more things you try to do to get her to sleep, the more you are convincing her that she can’t do it on her own. I am *not* saying do CIO; I am saying that keeping it simple (one or two rituals at a time instead of many) might be shorter and sweeter and effective. Plus, in the time you are spending doing all these things, she may be getting overtired, and it is more difficult for anyone to get to sleep in that state.

    For naps, if she has books or toys she likes that are safe for her to fall asleep with, you could put them in with her when you put her down awake. When nap time comes for my boys, we give them each three or four books, and they look at them for a while and then fall asleep. They will also look at them for a while when they wake up. We only do this for nap time, which we hope will evolve into quiet time when they get too old to want a nap (ha ha HA!). At night, they are not given any toys or books. One of my sons likes a specific stuffed animal to sleep with. We’ve tried this with both boys, but the other never developed an attachment to one.

    I think one of the hardest questions that all parents have to ask themselves when it comes to so much of childrearing is “Am I doing this for my child, or am I doing this for me?” If you find, for example, that you are wanting her in bed with you because you don’t get enough time with her during the day, but this is at the expense of her and your sleep, then it may be time for a difficult change (not cio, but some other method to get her settled and maybe staying in her own bed until the whole family wakes up in the morning- morning cuddling in bed is the best!). I don’t know. Only you can know. Maybe this isn’t an issue for you and is just coming from me. I hope you don’t fine any of this insulting. Like I said, take or leave it.
    The BEST of luck, and I’m thinking of you three!

  12. J (12 months) has been a fairly consistently good napper, except when he’s teething — which seems to be all the time in the last few months. we use blackout curtains in his room, white noise, and he has a lovey, a very smelly monkey. we introduced the monkey at about 6 months when he began refusing to nap unless my wife or I remained with him. we offered the monkey and stayed in the room the first few times, rubbing his back, etc. after a bit, he began sleeping with the monkey, and like Malka, has begun dragging him everywhere.

    when he was very young we used a modified version of the baby whisperer’s techniques. they worked really well for us, but it was quite the battle to get him to nap initially. up until last week he was taking one 1.5 hour nap and one 1 hour nap a day; last week he apparently decided that he no longer needed the second nap and his morning nap has become 2 hours. but since he wakes from that no later than 1 and doesn’t go to bed until 7ish, late afternoon is unpleasant right now as he’s cranky and overtired but refusing to nap.

    he always starts the night in his crib in his room; we cosleep only when he’s ill or teething. we would cosleep but i’m a terrible sleeper and J kicks and squirms and keeps me up all night. in order to be a decent WAHD, i need what rest i can get, so we don’t cosleep. were i a better sleeper, we would.

    one thing that i did when we introduced the monkey was carry it around with me alot in the early days so that it smelled more like me than anything else (i’m the one at home with him 4 days a week; my mother-in-law watches him 1 day a week).

    on the days that he goes to Bubbe’s house, all bets are off in terms of naps. i think that’s because she’s not as tuned in to what’s going on for him – she can’t read his signals the way that i can. he’ll often go the whole day with no nap, which makes the next day difficult. he has a hard time napping elsewhere unless we replicate the conditions at home (dark, white noise, etc). and the downside to a lovey — he now cannot fall asleep without the monkey.

    at home he’s on a pretty consistent schedule; we used to use a rough baby whisperer 4 hour routine based on his cues, but he’s beginning to talk and now tells me when he wants his pacifier and monkey. sometimes, if i don’t act quick enough, he’ll even say “night night” to spur me to action, which makes it easier to know when he’s nap-ready.

    if he wakes after 45 minutes, i’ll leave him for a few minutes. if he’s just talking to himself, i’ll leave him for a while, and he’ll often settle back down and fall asleep again within 10 minutes or so. if he cries after 45 minutes or so (and i know he needs more sleep – you can tell by his cry), i let him cry for 4 minutes before i go into him. it’s not CIO, really, just that i know that if i go in right away, he’ll stay awake, but if i let him try to resettle himself just a bit, he’ll go back to sleep. often, after 1-2 minutes he falls back asleep. generally, though, he only wakes after 45 minutes when he’s overtired.

    J is a kid on the high curve of the sleep average, though — he sleeps anywhere from 14.5 to 15 hours a day, whereas most kids his age in the trixie tracker system we use sleep closer to 13 hours a day.

    J went through a period of terrible napping and nightime sleep from 7-11 months. he would nap for 30 minutes and wake up every 1-2 hours a night. it coincided with a lot of teething and gross movement developmental stuff — pulling up, crawling, etc. we’d often go in his room and find him asleep, crying, sitting up or standing up, unable to lie back down. it was a rough patch, and we ended up co-sleeping (or rather, my wife slept in our bed with him and i slept on the couch); and i napped with him in our bed during the day. there were some bad days when he would only sleep when being held, so i’d put him in the sling or Ergo and walk and walk around our very small house to get him to sleep. those few months were tough, but recently, he’s come out of it and has reverted to sleeping well. i think, for J, it was largely the big developmental things that were disrupting his sleep.

  13. I put my answer on our blog but basically – yeah, we co-sleep some and naps are a different schedule… but it took forever and we did really gradual stuff and no CIO… it seems to be working – and her naps HAVE gotten longer!

    Hang in there 🙂

  14. I am delurking because our son is about 1 week older than Natalie (we had the same due date) and we have had some similar challenges, but have made some good progress. Right now, though, he is in the middle of the 8-9 month sleep regression/37 week developmental spurt. I am guessing that Natalie may be as well, and you might want to hold off on major changes until it is over. (I tried to change things in the middle of the 6 month growth spurt/developmental leap/emergence of two teeth and it didn’t work until all of those things were done.)

    What I did was A) put him back in his crib at night after each of the night feedings. Yes, this is a huge pain for the breast-feeding mom, but I think it was what helped th emost. I think we disturbed his sleep and contibuted to the night-waking. Also, I think his being near me all the time fed his idea that he could snack all evening. B) Put him to sleep for his naps in his crib while he was still away. Drowzy but not asleep. He cries for a few minutes at the start of each nap, but I don’t consider this to be CIO. More like fussing it out. If he cries more than 5 minutes I get him up and try again later. He normally goes to sleep within 1-2 minutes. He’ll be crying his head off and then just will abruptly fall asleep. C) If he cries mid-nap I don’t go in unless the crying lasts more than 5 minutes. Just like when initially goes down, most of the time he just cries out for a minute or so and then goes right back to sleep. D) I have several soft lovey type items in his crib and I hand him one when he goes down. He holds onto whatever I give him, but he isn’t particularly attached to one specific item. I did this with my older daughter too and it was very helpful. She still sleeps holding one of about 10 “special” stuffed animals, but it doesn’t matter which one it is. That way if one gets dirty or in another room she is panicked because she can sleep with any one of her animals. (We didn’t start off with 10+ loveys. She’s three and her collection has grown over the years as different special people in her lidfe have given her dolls and animals. The baby has four in rotation–three infant-safe stuffed creatures and one scrap of blanket with a stuffed bear’s head attached.) E) Sticking to a pretty set routine. Our routine is not at all elaborate, because I think that makes it harder to recreate when your travel or when someone else is caring for your child. For naps, the routine is just that he goes now every day beweetn 9:00 and 9:30 and between 2:00 and 2:30. I give him a snuggle, put him in his crib, hand him the lovey of the day and shut the door. At bedtime we nurse first and read a story or two.

    Hope things get better around your house very soon!

  15. I wish I could offer you some sort of help. Unfortunately, we’ve done the same co-sleeping arrangement (starting out in his bed, then moving to ours). And um…lately? Like for the last month? We just straight out take him to bed with us — he goes to sleep in my arms in the living room while the Mr. and I are watching TV, we carry him in and he’s between us in our bed all night. (And while I know I should start getting him back to his own bed, I kind of like it this way and just haven’t started trying to get things back to “normal”)

    For us, CIO is a big failure. He gets tense, becomes almost inconsolable…the second time we tried it (months after the first) he actually made himself sick with the crying — and we used the 15 minute rule!

    Naps are also bad. Because he’s so used to sleeping with us, he can only nap with us. As long as I am willing to lie down and cuddle with him, he’ll sleep for long periods of time (yesterday was 3 hours for the first nap and just under an hour for the second). When I can’t do that…well, naps go out the window.

    I don’t think our nap “strategy” will work for your situation (seriously — not sure Jen’s mom wants to take a 2 hour nap everyday!).

    But let me know what works for you — eventually I’d like to be able to get things done, too 😉

  16. A lot of the babies I sit for sleep better when their blankie is touching their face. Some of them even like having their faces covered with a very light piece of cloth like a burp cloth.

  17. Wow. A lot of advice.

    I don’t want to write a book, so I will reiterate what others have said just a bit:

    1. All babies are different (too true. 3 kids here, and all different)

    2. You gotta do what you gotta do. – If you’re getting enough sleep the way you’re doing things now, why change? If not, well, best wishes on trying one of the strategies listed by others!

    3. I have fed to sleep, rocked to sleep, cried it out, laid down passed out, laid down semi-awake, and all the other stuff. Each child needed something different. And each is still a different sleeper today! You won’t “ruin” your child by doing something your own way. And don’t do something you don’t feel comfortable with. Crying it out is NOT the only way to get your kids to develop good sleep habits. And if she is taking naps after you resettle her and you don’t MIND this arrangement, then continue on. (However, I will say that this is probably the one thing I would not continue… If she wakes up and doesn’t go back to sleep with you patting her on her back or something, then get her out of the room and let her be awake. Maybe she’s trying to become a one-nap a day kid?)

    This DID become a book after all. Sorry! Good luck!

  18. I wanted to add to my former assvice by saying that it will all work out somehow. Though it may seem impossible now, she and you will work it out at some point. And no matter what you are doing now, I really do believe you can change it later, despite what books and “experts” say. You are both caring and smart parents, and you will find a way. I *should* have included that in my comment the other day. Sorry!

  19. when Aidyn was at daycare – which ended up short lived he had a hard time with naps. We introduces a lovey to help him with it. What I did was slept with his lovey and wore it under my shirt for a while – so it smelled like me. He slept with it at home and at daycare – they claimed it helped. Aidyn is still a difficult one to get to nap – I still settle him and cuddle him for naps – he is 17 months old. We get anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hrs from him. at night he is a brillant sleeper goes to sleep on his own in his cot for 12-13 hours each night- I gave up on the nap fight and just go with it and enjoy the great night sleeps

  20. I’ve used several methods for getting Chris to nap. I sometimes used the rocking chair and then put him in is crib once he was asleep, but that didn’t always work because he would wake up and scream the moment his body touched the mattress. We’ve found that putting him in his stroller with a bottle (milk or water) and strolling him around the house has worked best for us. He’s been falling asleep easier that way. We leave him in the stroller for the entire nap because his naps tend to be longer in the stroller. Maybe because the stroller restricts his movement whereas in the crib he moves around too much and wakes himself up.

    I hope you find a method that works for you!

  21. I’d have to agree with many that it is all about her learning to soothe herself to sleep, and I hope she can figure that out without resorting to CIO. I know you don’t want to go there now and we did it with our niece and hated it. It worked, but we hated it.

    I wonder if it would help to get rid of the white noise, rocking, etc? She will eventually learn to sleep without them but if she’s ALWAYS used to them, then she won’t ever be able to sleep unless a checklist of criteria are met. I know…I live with a 39-year-old who can’t sleep without a fan or noise machine. Sorry, I have no tips really, but I sympathize and wish you luck.

  22. With my second child I realized kids just have diferent sleep patterns, regardless of what you do.
    R always took short naps and stopped napping altogether before she was 3. M naps for over 2 hours every day.
    Same with nights. It took R much longer to consistently sleep through the night and to be able to soothe herself back to sleep. We used a mild CIO-type strategy with both and they just reacted diferently.
    I guess I wasn’t much help hun? Kids are just diferent and you have to figure it out as you go.

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