Calling All Mothers

I have never been so interested in sleep my whole life. I don’t mean just wanting it, but curiously, ravenously interested in how the whole thing goes down (pardon the pun). Initially (during the days of holding your sleeping newbie in your arms trying to determine whether or not to make the precipitious transition to the crib), the questions are something like these: Is he going to scream bloody murderwhen I put him down, is covering up his left toe really worth it, if I don’t end this four hour siesta will he be partying hard into the wee hours of the night, and, is he really sleeping when he does that creepy eyes-rolling-into-the-back-of-the-head thing. I’ve learned a lot, but find Sam’s new stages bring new questions. (He is about 3 months now.) So here they are. I’m petitioning YOU for help. What worked, what didn’t, what resources are good, etc. You can comment or send a lengthy email during the spare time I know you have to: I will be posting snipits of your advice so everyone can benefit. Thanks!

1. Okay, this is the biggie. I realize that napping and crying are the “politics and religion” of the childrearing world; everyone has her own hard-headed opinion. The thing I struggle with is this: how much do I let Sam fuss/cry/struggle to fall asleep on his own at this three month stage? I realize I can’t rock him for naps when he’s 12, so it has to start somewhere, but at times he seems utterly incapable of getting himself soothed.

2. Related, Sam wakes up frequently during a long nap. What’s the best way to help him get back to sleep?

3. How long should a nap be? Sometimes he “catnaps” and seems happy after waking up. Is that okay?

4. Will too much daytime sleep interfere with night sleep?
Thanks so much for any help you can give!


4 thoughts on “Calling All Mothers

  1. first of all, i'm impressed with a new mom using the word "precipitious." wow! ok. as far as the "politics & religion" of babies…yes. babies cry. i'm trying to learn that sometimes babies cry just to cry. {whatever! i swear there HAS to be a reason} so, i just try to figure out what it is. feeding jake on a very structured 3 hour schedule has super helped. {if he cries after 1.5 hrs of eating, i know that the problem is not that he's hungry.} yay! one option down, about a million to go 😉 as far as sleeping, jake's "schedule" fluctuates a bit everyday. he does usually get tired and take a nap about 1.5 hours after i start feeding him. {sometimes he may nap for an hour and other times just 20 mins} i think it's great to get them into a routine of knowing "rest time." but lets be honest, you can't make a baby sleep…so, is it worth it to lay them in the crib and just make them upset? {personal choice – i don't think so}i have not seen any correlation between jake sleeping a lot during the day or hardly napping at all, affecting his sleep throughout the night. {for the most part, he just doesn't like to sleep at night} ;)for waking up throughout his naps, are you sure he needs to still sleep?my friend told me that babies usually wake up 45 mins into a nap and most parents make the mistake of waking them…when their not really ready to wake up…so, if they fall asleep again within a few minutes, let them far as a 3 month old soothing himself…{personal opinion} i don't think its necessary. we will have plenty of time to "teach" them to do that the older they get. if jake wakes up at 5 am {when i was just up feeding him at 2 am} i will go into his room and give him his paci. {sometimes i do that 3 times} if he is still upset, i assume he's hungry {if 3 hours has passed} and we take it from there…well, my friend, take the advice you want and disregard whatever you don't want :)all this from a brand new mom, too ;)andreaburtt

  2. Great questions, Jessica! I'll be reading to see if I can gain any wisdom — now that it's too late for me and Sydney. Wish I could help you, but we (both Sydney and I) were sleep deprived for at least 2 years…so you probably don't want my advice. The one thing I did learn was that sleep begets sleep. There's something about being really well rested that helps us humans fall asleep the next time — must be hormonal. Praying for good zzzzzz's for all you new moms.Ann

  3. Hey Jess! It feels like it's been forever since Quinn was three months old, and the really encouraging thing is that I haven't had to worry much about sleep/napping/etc. in quite a long time (it DOES get better!). So here are some random thoughts from what I can recall:1. I couldn't really get Quinn on much of a schedule til she was more than 6 months old. She had a rhythm, in the sense that she would eat every 3 hrs or so and take some sort of nap in between feedings (usually after she'd spent some time awake). She didn't really take naps in her crib regularly until she was about 7.5 months old, though. She preferred to either be in her swing (swaddled, and swinging very fast) or in her carseat/bouncy seat. My big sticking point was that I didn't want her to need me to rock her to sleep, and the swing/carseat seemed to help her with that. She was usually able to soothe herself enough to fall asleep. She didn't always love it, but it seemed to work pretty well most of the time (in conjunction with the swaddle and pacifier). By about 4 months she was taking decently long naps (in swing or carseat) and she was swaddled during those naps – that helped her a ton with the staying asleep part (my answer to question 2). She's always slept in her crib at night, which I think eventually helped her when she started napping there as well. 3. At 3 months old, I think naps are pretty irregular. It makes sense that he would need some longer ones and then be fine with a few catnaps too. I say shoot for whatever works best for you at this stage.4. I don't think there's much of a problem with a lot of daytime sleep, but I do think it helps if you make sure they have a good "awake" stretch before bedtime. If they nap too long too close to bedtime then that can be a problem in getting them to fall asleep/stay asleep. PS – I loved the Happiest Baby on the Block DVD and found that super helpful when Q was a newborn. It especially helped RJ have some "tools" to use with Quinn to help her settle down (and I remember a period when he was actually the one who could get her to go to sleep the best!).Now (with a 17-month-old) it's all just much easier. She sleeps in her crib with a blankie, pacifier, and stuffed animal and goes to sleep easily. I just lay her down, give her a kiss, and walk out of the room (oh, she has a fan on in her room too for white noise). It gets really fun!

  4. my best advice would be to have another child…the more you have, the better they sleep! it may be because you just don't have time to analyze their sleeping patterns, you don't have time to rush to them, or {most likely} you're just to tired to hear them!

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