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October 27th, 2008

Those long-time readers of this blog will remember Kenny’s baby nickname: No Nap Joe.   The kid slept through the night at 7 weeks, but never napped longer than 20 minutes (once or twice a day) from the time he was 8 weeks old until he was 14 months, at which time he settled into a “normal” nap schedule of a two-hour nap everyday after lunch.   (He has all but given up on those naps, but he is three, so I can let them go and instead revel in the wonders of “quiet time.”)

Ah.   But little brother Cooper is following in his brother’s footsteps, and I don’t know how I’m going to make it through another sleepless-in-the-daytime baby.   Cooper isa little better, sometimes hitting 45 minutes of slumber here and there, but it’s usually 20 to 30 minutes and usually only in the front pack, the swing or occasionally the carseat (but only after he’s screamed mercilessly first – again, just like his big brother).   But try to put him in his bed for a nap,   and you’d think I just tried to change his diaper with a cold garden hose.

And just like Kenny, he’s great at night – he goes to bed at 8:30 (yes, I know that’s too early for an almost-4-month-old, but he’s so darn tired!) and wakes sometime between 3 and 5 for a feeding, then sleeps again until 7 or 7:30.   So he’s getting a  lot of nighttime sleep.   And I know at this age he needs an average of 14 hours a day, which he’s not quite getting.   So should I  be stressed?

It’s just that I’m so jealous of my other mommy friends with babies who take 2 two-hour naps a day!   Then I could play with Kenny!   I could blow dry my hair!   I could mop the floor!   I could fold the laundry…   (Casey actually just sat in front of tonight’s World Series game and folded four full loads while I wrote this post!)  

I’ve noticed that many of my readers have little babies at home… what kind of   schedule, (or lack of one) do you have your little one on?   Many of my friends here use Babywise, but I’m not a fan…. it’s worked for some and bombed for others.   I’m torn between just letting go of the fact that he may just be one of those babies, like Kenny, who doesn’t need as much sleep, and enforcing a more rigorous nap schedule – even employing a trial “cry it out” few days.   Let’s face it, I want him on a nap schedule for me, not necessarily because I think he’s sleep-deprived, although he does have times during the day when he’s painfully tired, just refuses to sleep.

I’m babbling.   I sound like the sleep-deprived one!   Ok, readers, let me know what works (or doesn’t!) for you!


  1. Maddie's Mom says

    Well, first of all love the pic..you have such cute boys. Babywise worked for me. I learned that children go to a different sleep state about 30/45 min into a nap and therefore if you don’t go get them the child will go back to sleep. I went through the short nap stage with my daughter and by following Babywise she now naps great and still sleeps through the night. hope that helps!:wink:

    October 27th, 2008 | #

  2. Colleen says

    My baby is now 19 months old (and it happened overnight!) I also have a 7 year old who was a no napper just like your boys. A half hour here and there was all I got. It was exhausting for me. I have a home based business so I was constantly stopping and starting and he was overtired. It took a while for me to get my second child on a schedule (about 4 months) but I was determined. I’m not a hardcore cry it out kind of mom so I had to look for other methods. Here is what worked for us…. I held off a morning nap and kept him active until he looked so tired then I nursed him and put him down. Sometimes he woke up and cried but most times he fell back to sleep. Now the key is that we couldn’t go anywhere in the car between 9 and 11 because he would fall asleep for 10 minutes and not sleep at home. For a while he slept from 10-11:30 and then from 3 -4. As he got close to a year, we moved the first nap a bit later and it morphed into one longer nap. Hang in there and keep trying. I feel like a mom who has had a bit of a break during the day is much more able to face whatever happens in the evening. It also gave me time to focus on my older son during the summer. Good luck and welcome back to MD!!!

    October 28th, 2008 | #

  3. Crisanne says

    Generally speaking, I found that my older two needed that first nap earlier than I expected. And if I waited too late, it messed up the rest of the day. Cooper likely neeps three naps at this age to give his body enough down time to handle the rest of the day.
    I, too, have read Babywise and agree with parts of it, but not all of it. I suggest you search a bit through Amazon and make a list of titles to check out from the library-like The Sleep Easy Solution, The Happiest Baby on the Block, Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child. I find that having a variety of solutions helps me feel most prepared for whatever the babies throw at me.

    October 28th, 2008 | #

  4. MommaJess says

    Good Morning – I read your entry while sucking down coffee due to sleep issues with my little ones and am feeling a sense of relief reading your issue. 😉 For your situation I would say you probably have another ‘No Nap Joe’ and wouldn’t be worried for you know that one day things will be different but to try the nap…will he nodd off after nursing and allow you to lay him on the couch (or like area) where he can still hear you and big brother playing?? I have a 2 year old and 4 month old…my infant typically wakes at 7am, is awake for a few hours, nurses (she is completely breast-fed, like your little one) and then dozes on the couch (not rolling yet) while big brother and I play in the same room. She dozes for probably an hour then does the same routine until around 4pm and then she doesn’t want to be put down except for 2 dozes of 30 minutes or so from 4-8:30pm. She then goes down for night time between 8:45-9:15pm. If she has screamed quite a bit in the evening she will sleep for 5-7hours before waking again and starting an every 2 hour wake. If the evening has been peaceful, she will wake after 4 hours for an every 2 hour wake through the night. OK – that is a LONG ramble for you. But that’s our typical for a baby around the same age. I also use the swing for her when I’m trying to have some activity time with my toddler. She may fuss a bit but typically will nodd off in there for at least an hour…time out right when she should be getting another nap. … I hope this helps for I’m rambling with a sleep deprived mind. 😉 hang in there!!!!

    October 28th, 2008 | #

  5. Sarah says

    Hi, I’m a first time poster but I LOVE reading your blog in part because I have an almost 10 month old little girl who is also very sporadic with her naps. She is already down to one nap per day most days, although I always put her in her crib twice a day and let her babble/rattle her crib bars/cry for at least 30 minutes each time. If she’s not asleep after half an hour, I’ll get her up. When she was four months old, she was taking three naps/day that were usually 30 minutes to an hour in length. Something I found is that Emily is a very light and sensitive sleeper, so she didn’t nap well just anywhere. She was never one of those babies that could take a nap in the church nursery or anything – too much excitement! So, I would put her in her swing or eventually in her crib with white noise on so she had a quiet environment and that seemed to help a LOT. Sorry if that’s too much detail, but I thought I’d try. Oh, and I too read Babywise and was completely stressed the first few months of my daughter’s life because she wasn’t doing what the book said. Just remember that what works best for you and your kiddos is what you should be doing, and don’t feel guilty. You’re a great mom!

    October 28th, 2008 | #

  6. Pam says

    hi – i’ve been reading your blogs for awhile now and love following your adventures. I had to comment for the first time here because i feel your pain! I have a 2 year old and an 8 month old. You HAVE to get Weissbluth’s Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. Both of my children sleep thru the night. My toddler takes a 2-2.5 hour after lunch nap and my baby takes two 1-2 hour naps. The book and its methods helped me do it. It’s a great read and really gives you the inside info about how important sleep is. Good Luck.

    October 28th, 2008 | #

  7. Emily says

    I did a modified Babywise with my daughter, and although she was a fantastic napper, she NEVER. EVER. slept through the night. At 8 years old, she still doesn’t, but she knows not to wake me up anymore (she reads or listens to the radio quietly instead).

    My son was the typical second child whose naps fell by the wayside in order to ferry his older sister from one thing to another. I could usually get one good nap (1.5-2 hours) out of him if we were all snuggled up in bed together, but who has time for that every day?! He’s a much better night-time sleeper, though.

    All of which is to say that sleep issues are so unique to each individual child, and the second child inevitably faces a lot more challenges to daytime sleep anyway. As soon as you get Cooper on a really great nap schedule, Kenny will need to be picked up from preschool right in the middle of it or some other conflict will arise. As long as Cooper is growing and developing at a good pace, I wouldn’t worry too much about trying to change what he does naturally.

    You still need a break once in awhile, though. One thing that often worked for me was to put my son in his stroller and push it back and forth a little bit in the living room to simulate a walk, which has always been a sure-fire way to get him to sleep, even now at age 4. It was sort of a second crib (I never realized how pathetic that sounds until just now–but hey, whatever works!), and the bonus was that I could push it into most of the rooms of the house with me. If he started to wake up, I would just jiggle it a little until he went back to sleep.

    I hope you’ll find something that works. I know how frustrating it can be (especially when other people around you seem to have babies who sleep all the time).

    October 28th, 2008 | #

  8. Jessica says

    I have an 8 month old that is SO inconsistent with his sleeping patterns that it’s ridiculous. He sometimes sleeps 8-10 hours a night straight through, but more often than not he is going down at 8:00 and then wakes up at 3:00, 5:00 and then is up for good at 7:00 or 8:00 – and he nurses each time. For almost 4 months we were attempting the cry-it-out method and it was pure HELL. He would scream for hours and hours and I even tried it during the day for his naps, This did not work for our family. I feel you regarding the naps. I am lucky if Blaine takes 3 fifteen minute naps or one 1 hour nap during the day – and I take him to work with me!!! That makes for a hard day. I also have friends that have “perfect situations”. Babies that take 2 two hour naps every day, like clock work and don’t fuss and do whatever their mom’s want. it makes me sick.

    October 28th, 2008 | #

  9. Mary B. says

    I read a book called Secrets of the Baby Whisperer and that is how I got any sleep ever was following the advice in that book. Some people find the author’s tone condescending but I found it calming, like a Mary Poppins presence. I didn’t follow all of her advice but instead picked out what worked for me.

    I can’t let a baby cry it out but I can go in 100 times if that is what it takes to calm them down without picking them up. I have a friend who is in the same boat as you and she is very tired. I was blessed, blessed, blessed to have such a good little sleeper. I know in your posts you have mentioned that there is a lot of spitting up from your little one. My friend with the baby who never naps had a reflux problem with her son. Maybe that is the key?

    October 28th, 2008 | #

  10. Andrea says

    I agreed with what Crisanne had to say. Charlotte takes about three naps a day. Morning, afternoon, and evening. She is sleeping right now. I usually wake her up at 11:00 p.m. to bathe and feed her. I think my number one rule is to make sure she never becomes over tired.

    October 28th, 2008 | #

  11. Kimmie says

    7-9-11-1-3-5-7 which at an old age converts to 7-1-7.

    Up at 7, down at 9, up at 11, down at 1, up at 3, down at 5, up at 7 (and then down for bed around 9)

    Later… up at 7, nap at 1, bed at 7

    October 28th, 2008 | #

  12. Kimmie says

    ha! I meant older age (like for a 2 year old) 🙄 😆

    October 28th, 2008 | #

  13. Jenny says

    My daughter is 3 months old. She used to nap for four hours a day and only wake for her feedings. Then at around 7 weeks she began taking short bursts of a nap (30-40 minutes) a few times a day. Now, she sleeps through the night, and only takes 3 20-30 minute naps while at day care. She goes to bed between 7:30-8:30 and sleeps usually 12 hours if we let her. You just have to do what feels right. I was just reading that babies that are the age of ours only live in the present. If they’re crying or aren’t napping it’s not because they’re trying to manipulate, but because they don’t need it. So, follow your gut. It seems that Kenny turned out just fine! I understand being jealous of the mommies whose babies take good naps… it does make it easier to get the little things done! Good luck!

    October 29th, 2008 | #

  14. LeAnne says

    Joshua is almost 3 yrs old and he’s been sleeping through the night for quite a while. He continues to sleep through the night even when Justin (almost 11 months old) wakes up for a bottle.

    About 11am or 12noon, Justin starts showing signs of sleep. When he goes to sleep, he usually sleeps 2-3 hours. Josh may or may not take a nap. If he does, it’s around 2-3pm for about 2 1/2 hours. If I see he’s not going to take one and I REALLY need for him to take one, we hop in the car and ride and he’s out. When we get back home, he continues to sleep when I bring him in.

    Most of the time I give them their bath between 8:00 – 8:30pm, then they are both in bed between 8:30 – 9:30pm. We do well at night whether they have naps in the afternoon or not. But as far as my physical state when they dont have naps in the afternoon, its a bit messed up. If Josh doesn’t have a nap in the afternoon, I give him his supper around 5pm.

    October 29th, 2008 | #

  15. Sarah says

    The No Cry Sleep Soloution by Elizabeth Pantley was very helpful for us…she also has one for toddlers. Quick easy read and it proves that you don’t have to go against your natural mommy urges of not wanting to “let them cry it out”. It is very much affirming of an attachment style of parenting so if that is something you find of interest maybe check it out! I try to remind myself that this is only a mere moment in time and that they do gradually learn to sleep better anyways as thier sleep cycles change and mature. You can also check out Pantley’s website for some helpful tips.

    October 29th, 2008 | #

  16. nolamom says

    I’m a full on Babywise mom and swear by it but I do agree that SOME kids just aren’t nappers. I feel for you because I would be a total loon without my break. I think you are doing all that you can do and at least try for the Babywise trick of blanket time or room time-which ironically was the only part of Babywise that I could not get my babies to adhere to.

    October 30th, 2008 | #

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