Aw yes, the moment you’ve been waiting for, Cry-It-Out Nap Style. As many of you know, we had wonderful success with CIO bedtime. I can’t even remember those nights. We lay him down without rocking him, turn his crib mobile on and leave the room as he talks himself to sleep. Then, he sleeps 12 hours straight! I get more sleep NOW then I ever did when I was kid-less (Well, I did work in advertising, and yes, those nights were much much harder than anything I’ve done with Marshall).
If your babies are like mine, then you know what it’s like to spend 45 minutes getting you child down for his nap, only to hear the sweet sounds of a babbling kid 20 minutes later. Forget housework, forget me time and que the endless hour or two of getting him back to sleep. This had to stop, I had to teach him to nap. Who woulda thought, you have to teach someone to sleep! Here’s what we did. Step by step.
1) Create a daytime schedule and stick to it! (I get made fun of quite often for my intense schedule, but I must be doing something right). Here’s an example schedule for our 6-Month Old:
7-7:30am: Bottle Feed
8:30am: Breakfast (Oatmeal & Fruit)
11-11:30am: Bottle Feed
12:30pm: Lunch (One Veggie, One Fruit)
3:30pm: Bottle Feed
5:45pm: Dinner (Rice & Veggie)
6:15pm: Bottle Feed
6:30 – 7:00pm: Fast Asleep
2) He stays in his crib during naptime, no matter what. He will often wake up 20 minutes into his nap and babble. I will go in there, check his diaper and leave without making much of a fuss. Then, he cries himself back to sleep. The most he’s ever cried in the middle of naptime is 20 minutes. And he ALWAYS gets himself back to sleep.
3) I wake him up when Naptime is over. That’s right, I wake him up. My schedule is important to me and it’s important to him. When we stick to this schedule, I’ve got a very happy baby on my hands.
I don’t rock him before his nap, I change him and lay him down. For the past 3 days, for every single nap, he’s turned to his side and fallen fast asleep. If he wakes up, its for no more than 10 minutes before he puts himself back to sleep. And may I remind you, he was a swing sleeping baby (ADDICTED to that swing) and now I have a beautiful, happy, healthy and well slept little boy on my hands. So, it is possible, you just have to stay persistent. Don’t give in or you’ll be spending the majority of your day trying to get you kid to sleep.
Marshall takes up so much of my heart and he takes up a majority of my day. That’s why these naptimes are so important. You are separate from your child and you need to remember that, having time for yourself is the most important thing you can do. Your baby needs alone time too, believe it or not, they don’t need / want you glued to their side 24/7 (and if you don’t realize that now, you will in 5 years).
Hugs & Kisses! Until our next adventure.