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Update on Sleeping



See that tooshie? That tooshie is fighting nap by wiggling all around. She wiggles and wiggles for about 30 seconds then pops up to continue romping. A few minutes later the tooshie is wiggling all over again. Tired. Baby.

See that tooshie? That tooshie is fighting nap by wiggling all around. She wiggles and wiggles for about 30 seconds then pops up to continue romping. A few minutes later the tooshie is wiggling all over again. Tired. Baby.

Praise the Lord.

Since sleep training Sabine has consistently slept through the night sans a few nights here and then when she is sick or we are traveling. Those nights I wake and nurse her back down and in a few days she returns to sleeping through the night on her own. It is amazing, miraculous and still surprises the shit out of me when I wake at 6 a.m. and realize I got a full 8 hours.

Up until two weeks ago bedtime was consistently at 8 p.m. and wake time was pretty consistently at 5 a.m., which after 9 months of waking every one to two hours seems like a dream. In efforts to help her eat more and hopefully grow we have bumped bedtime to 7/7:30 p.m. so dinner can start closer to 6 p.m. It seems that Sabine eats a better meal if it is served up around 6 p.m. and she is given a full hour to eat while watching a show. This is a little inconvenient for our scheduling but the sheer volume of food she can pack away with early dinner makes it well worth the sacrifice. The past week she has eaten an entire bowl of whole wheat pasta (with olive oil, Bragg’s and nutritional yeast), a fruit/veggie pouch and a protein of either black beans, tofu or scrambled eggs. (Jak, we tried sneaking finely minced ground beef into her pasta and she would have none of it, picking every. little. speck out and then eating the noodles.)

So earlier bed works great for getting her to eat more. I was afraid that earlier bed would mean earlier rise but am shocked to see her actually sleeping later. For the past few days she has slept till 6:30/7 each morning. I am LOVING it! I still wake up at 5 so I can get a little precious alone time. I eat my breakfast and drink my coffee in peace and am charged and ready to go when she arises. I sincerely hope that this post does not jinx things!

The one thing that is not going well are our naps. Sabine fights naps like it is going out of style. I am not even able to nurse her down lately as all she wants to do is go, go, go. It is terribly frustrating because I know she needs the snooze. She starts to lay down on all the pillows and blankets and stuffed animals. Her head remains still but that little tooshie bops all over the place like it has a mind of its own! Adorable but not so not a nap.

I know she needs at least one nap a day for growing and so she is not a basket case at night. I also need that one nap a day. I need at least 45 minutes to think about grown-up things, make business phone calls, sit around and watch Gilmore Girls or, gasp, blog. I am a much better mother when I get some down time and she is a much better baby when she takes a snooze.

In efforts to get this I’m starting some “nap training” using the techniques we learned from our sleep consultant. Just like bedtime follows dinner, nap will follow lunch. I let her watch 20 minutes of a show so she will actually eat some lunch, then scoop her up, hand her lovie and offer warm milk in our nursing chair. Lately she won’t take warm milk and tries to run off so I offer a hug and kiss and put her in the crib.

And she screams. Good lord does she scream. I watch her on the monitor as she screams and waves her lovie all over like it is a white flag of surrender. It is heart breaking and wakes all the cats up, but, she needs to snooze. Today it took 13 minutes for her to fall asleep. I hope that she will nap a full hour and that after a few days of this she will not fight the snooze so much.

Any nap training tips? Do you guys do PJs before nap too? Do you have a nap routine? If so, what do you do?



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  1. October 16, 2014

    We don’t have a nap routine but it’s around the same time(s) every day. Tru used to take 3 naps but he’s down to about 1 usually. We just had to let him cry it out for naps for about a week. After we got through the worst of it, he started napping without a fuss. Sometimes he actually seems happy to be getting laid down. Getting through the crying was awful but I’m so glad we did! Like you, I need the nap times so I can be a sane person. 🙂

  2. October 16, 2014

    We have a nap routine that (God help me…please don’t jinx it) has been working great. Shira wakes up between 6:30/7AM every morning. We do bottle right at wakeup, breakfast about 40 minutes later (between 7:30/8). Snack at 9:30AM, lots of play, lunch at 11:30AM, play time between 12/12:30. At after lunch playtime, I always mention that nap time is soon. At 12:30PM, I get her changed completely into “nap time” clothes (usually a long sleeved onesie and long pants. I change her diaper into an overnight one. I bring her back out for “one last book” before nap time. When that book is over (around 12:45), I say, “Nap time” and bring her in the dark room with her air filter going, and a bottle of milk waiting for her. I “pretend change” her diaper and she cries–this means she REALLY knows it’s nap time, and then she settles in with me in the rocking chair, has her bottle, and usually falls asleep on me. She sleeps from about 12:45-2:30/3PM. After wake up is snack time, more play, dinner at 5:30PM, play, bath at 7PM, and bedtime has now inched to around 7:45/8PM. Easy! (hahaha–by the end of the day I usually feel like I’ve been run over by a truck.)

  3. October 16, 2014

    And in reading this now, I do feel like my “pretend” diaper change is kind of weird (I just lay her on the changing table, pull off her pants, undo the diaper tabs and put the diaper right back on again), but for some reason, it has really helped to signal to her that nap time is imminent!

  4. jak #
    October 16, 2014

    YAHOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!! so awesome that she’s sleeping through the night:)))) (man, too bad about beef though! but hilarious that she picked it out, hehe!) isn’t it crazy… when you first get 8h/night you wake up and you’re like, “holy sh%t… what happened?”… or worse, you wake up when they used to wake up because you’re waiting for them to wake up but they dont. wow, this is so cool belle and bean!!

    mmmmm, daytime naps. no pjs. but to get our guy on a schedule sooner than later since i knew i’d be going back to work, we did nap, nurse, play. nap, nurse, play. i found he nursed better when waking up than when going down, and not nursing him to sleep during the day kept him from using nursing as a crutch to fall asleep. he still nurses at night after books but that is more of a ritual than a need as he is never asleep when we’re done nursing and usually “talks” to me a little bit after nursing and before i transfer him to his crib.

    sometimes, he doesn’t take all his day naps and we are flexible on weekends. but when he gets cranky, even just putting him in his crib and closing the door for a little while so he can have some quiet time seems to reset him whether he sleeps or not. sometimes he cries a little bit, sometimes he doesn’t. but even when he cries (really, it’s more like bitching) at the start of nap, he ends up talking to himself and his stuffed animals and settling down enough that it restores his mood. god i wish we all had the time to do the same!!!

    good luck with the naps! i’m sure they’ll work out given the excellent night sleeping you’ve worked out!!

  5. October 16, 2014

    Modified bed time routine for naps has worked wonders for both my kids. Lunch (or bottle for the babies) 30 minutes before nap time. Then go to the nursery, change diaper, put on sleep sack, read a book and into the crib. They either fuss or play for a few minutes before falling asleep. Has worked for both kids (who are opposite personalities!) so I think it’s a winning routine 🙂 Good luck!!

  6. October 16, 2014

    I’ve always had a nap routine and still do with Matthew who’s 3. I strip them down to a diaper and tshirt. I put m to bed first with his 2 blankets, a water cup, and lily cat. I give him his nap time pouch (banana of some kind), turn on the national parks documentary on mute, turn the sound machine up, and leave. Then I turn on bs sound machine, change his diaper, and nurse him until he’s done (he doesn’t fall asleep) . Then in the crib, and I walk out. He cries for 30 seconds, then sleeps 1-1.5 hours. Twice a day.

    Routine is EVERYTHING in this house. 😁

    Good luck!

    • October 16, 2014

      One more thing. I let b sleep as short or long as he wants in the AM since he’ll be dropping that nap soon. But his afternoon nap must be an hour or more. If he wakes up before an hour, I don’t get him, and he’s back to sleep in minutes.

  7. October 16, 2014

    I know you wrote some posts on the progress, but can you let us know what finally worked fr night time sleep training? Did you succeed with CIO after a fee nights?

  8. jesicabrennan #
    October 17, 2014

    We have a nap routine, it’s almost the same as bedtime routine without the bath. I give LOTS of warning, I start telling him it’s almost nap time about half hour before nap, nap is at 1pm pretty much without fail. So 12:30 rolls around and we start talking about nap. Then we go upstairs, pick out some books, play in our room for another 15 minutes or so, talk about it being nap time some more. Then into the chair for some books (we used to do sleep sack here, just like bedtime but we’ve since quit the sleep sack). Then into the crib, noise machine on, blankie on, hand him his sippy cup with water and a book (I find it helps him to have something to do while he winds down). Then I’m outta there and I let him put himself to sleep. Sometimes he sleeps right away other days he hangs out in there for an hour reading (or getting into other mischief). There are rare days when 3pm rolls around and he hasn’t napped at all, but whatever I had 2 hours to do grown up things!

    • October 17, 2014

      I’m completely envious that J will let you leave the room to play around in his crib if he’s not sleeping!!! Shira will have ZERO of that. If she’s not sleepy, she will never just sit and play in the crib alone 😦

  9. Romy #
    October 17, 2014

    I don’t know if my comment has any value because we don’t do any sleep training (attachment parenting). We do have routines, but the timing of the nap depends on when Sawyer is tired. I watch for the (obvious) signs, take off his shoes/socks/pants, lay in bed with him (we co-sleep in our bed) and cuddle with and talk to him until he falls asleep. He just went from 2 naps to 1 and that took some adjusting with naps all over the place and some days where he slept only 10 minutes before it sorted itself out. Maybe that’s what Sabine is doing too?

  10. robin #
    October 19, 2014

    We did nap training same as sleep training! It worked, we had some months of amazing amazing naps. Good luck, it’s worth it!!!

  11. October 20, 2014

    I am so glad she is finally sleeping for you. How minor all the upsets seem when you’ve had a full nights sleep! We never had trouble with night (by some gift from God), but naps were hell. I tried everything. Nursing her, going in every five minutes, slowly taking more time going to her….I finally had to go whole hog scream until you sleep. First day was an hour and 40 minutes….100 minutes. It was awful. Next day was 30, and the next day maybe ten. Now we don’t have any crying at all. I think she just had to learn to need those naps. She just didn’t want to miss out! I wouldn’t say we have a nap routine, just diaper, set her clock and down (and we used to nurse after diaper).
    Good luck! Having a nap routine really does become just a nice as the nights – it’s so nice to have the guaranteed down time!

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