On napping

Kent is not a very consistent napper, and I've been concerned over the past week or two that he's not sleeping enough. He does okay at night, usually sleeping in 2- and 3-hour chunks for a total of about 8 hours. After he wakes up to eat in the night, he usually goes back to sleep without a lot of fuss. Napping during the day, however, has been a different story, and it's been a real struggle for me to help him fall asleep when I know he's tired. On some occasions in the past week, my arms have gotten so tired that I've put him in the Bjorn while he's still crying, and after walking/swaying/bouncing for a while, he'll fall asleep. The problem for me is that when I stop moving, he wakes up, just as upset as ever. It's pretty exhausting.

I think I've hit on the formula for getting Kent to take a nap, though, if I can find that magic moment when he's starting to get tired.
  1. Swaddle him. (Though who knows how much longer he'll like this?)
  2. Hold him and bounce lightly while walking.
  3. Sing selections from The Sound of Music: start with "Do Re Mi," then slow things down with "Edelweiss," switching back and forth or adding in "My Favorite Things" if necessary.
  4. Gradually decrease movement to simply swaying in place, but resume light bouncing if he begins to cry again.
  5. Once his eyes are closed or nearly closed, stop singing and begin breathing slowly and loudly, sighing softly upon exhaling.
  6. After several minutes (or repeating any of the above steps as necessary), put him in the crib. Continue to breathe loudly so that he knows Mom is still there.
  7. If he wakes, repeat any of above steps as necessary.

Yes, I'm exhausted by this. But The Sound of Music is my new best friend. All of the songs I've been singing work really well for moving around, and they're fun to sing. For now. It's sort of like chain gangs having a working song; it helps to keep my spirits up and keep me moving instead of collapsing into a chair and crying with him.

I plan to work this down to a less complicated affair over time, but, as with many things, what I'm planning may not pan out in reality. It's amazing to think that so many of us really don't know how to fall asleep when we're born, since it seems so easy for me now, or at least it was before I had a kid. =)




Dude. I feel your pain. I know you have _The NoCry Sleep Solution_. :-)
The nice thing about the Sound of Music is that your making it his cue music for going to sleep, part of his going to sleep signals. We did the bounce thing for a loooooong time. It's not fun, esp when they're heavier and squirmier and can spit the pacifier in identifiable trajectories. :-P
*Hugs* John stunk at naps until he was almost a year old. Some kids are just that way--especially the smartypants types such as Kent. :) They might miss something, ya know? We also did a lot naps-via-stroller rider or sleeping in the vibrating bouncy seat while I swayed back and forth. I know how exhausted it can be. Sounds like you are working really hard on it!
Awww, poor tired E. That's great that you've come up with a set of steps that works. I especially like The Sound of Music songs! If you need to switch it up, another good slow one that I always like is Climb Every Mountain. And if he ever needs to be awake & alert (like at the doctor or something), you could bust out the other end of the spectrum - The Lonely Goatherd! :-)
You'll have to teach Colleen & I the routine while we're there and we can give you some relief. Less than 2 weeks!!
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