Help me get Claire to nap! Please.

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beccasweet's picture
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Help me get Claire to nap! Please.

I need ideas please! Claire used to take a short morning nap in my arms after nursing and a two hour afternoon nap with her arms swaddled in her vibrating chair. A month ago I stopped swaddling and started putting her in the crib and so far the longest nap she has taken is 45 min and that is maybe once a week. Most days it 20 min or less. I can't swaddle in the crib bc it's her arms that need to be swaddled and she can't figure out how to get them out but rolls over in her sleep. Her room has black out curtains. She has sleep music we also use at night. I tried giving her a lovey but she doesn't care about it. She nurses to sleep and then I put her in the crib. We do the same thing at night and she sleeps several hours. I can not put her in the crib awake or she just gets up and starts screaming. Won't try CIO again. Have tried it before and she will scream for over an hour and stand the whole time. I know this is a long shot because i have tried so much already but any ideas? Or any ideas on how to make her attached to a lovey?

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I'm sorry you are having a hard time with napping in the crib. It sounds like you have tried a lot of different things. One idea to help her get attached to her lovey is maybe have it with you while you are nursing so that she associates the feeling comfort when the lovey is near so she seeks it out later in her crib. Maybe using aromatherapy could help too. Here is a tip I found:

To introduce aromatherapy to babies place 2 drops of essential oil (try Lavender) on a tissue and keep it nearby when you are feeding him or her. He will come to associate the aroma with love and comfort. Use this scent at night to help him sleep.

You might be able to put a few drops on her lovey (instead of tissue) similar to those special pillows I see in stores for children that you can warm in microwave and are lavender scented.

Hope you find something that helps!

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Do you have to be done with the chair? My babies started flipping and doing dangerous stunts in their chairs at about 5 months or so, but my daughter still naps in a swing.

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How do you know when she wakes up? Does she cry or do you just hear her stirring and go to her? The reason I ask is because we have discovered that Evelyn's sleep cycles last 45 minutes to an hour. So after the first 45 minutes she starts to come out of a deep sleep and she stirs a little bit, sometimes she makes vocalizations and sometimes she cries a bit. We usually wait a minute or so (listening to the monitor) to see if she will fall back into a deep sleep. If she does, we know we are good for at least another 45 minutes to an hour Smile Sometimes she wakes up for good, but most of the time she will go back to sleep.

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"mlle_carrie" wrote:

How do you know when she wakes up? Does she cry or do you just hear her stirring and go to her? The reason I ask is because we have discovered that Evelyn's sleep cycles last 45 minutes to an hour. So after the first 45 minutes she starts to come out of a deep sleep and she stirs a little bit, sometimes she makes vocalizations and sometimes she cries a bit. We usually wait a minute or so (listening to the monitor) to see if she will fall back into a deep sleep. If she does, we know we are good for at least another 45 minutes to an hour Smile Sometimes she wakes up for good, but most of the time she will go back to sleep.

It's interesting that you mention the sleep cycles and waking because I'm in the middle of reading Bringing Up Bebe and it mentioned how babies tend to wake up between their sleep cycles (it estimated about every two hours, I'm not sure if that is just at night or during naps) early on until they learn to connect those cycles. It also recommend "pausing" to see if the baby's cries become more persistent as a sign that they are fully awake and need your attention, in case they can soothe themselves into the next sleep cycle.

Sometimes DS will stir in his sleep (usually it seems to be caused by a loud inside or outside noise, but sometimes not and now I'm wondering if it's this cycle thing) and I try to wait a couple of minutes, especially if he hasn't been sleeping very long for a nap or if it's night to see if he can settle back down, he does usually, otherwise I go in. Disclaimer though, we did CIO around six or seven months. Before DS would scream bloody murder regardless of the situation so I always had a hard time telling what he needed and how urgent. I think I reacted so quickly because his screams were so alarming for me. DS can be put down awake now and fall asleep on his own for the most part. I have an easier time now telling when he is fussing versus really awake and wanting up now. When he was used to being rocked to sleep like we did the first half, he struggled more with self soothing if he awoke too soon. Not to say people should do CIO because it was hell for us and took longer than all the books said it would take. I wish I had known about the "pausing" technique earlier because DS might have learned to link his cycles in the first couple of months and we might have been able to skip CIO altogether.

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We have a video monitor. If I hear her cry I check the monitor. She will cry and roll around and go back to sleep during the night several times before she really needs to nurse. I go in to get her when she stands up. I'm pretty sure the problem during the day is her wakeing up enough between sleep cycles that she realizes she is in the crib and then she is up for good. I think that bc on the monitor she rarely moves until I hear her, then she will roll back and forth a few times rubbing eyes and such whimpering and then she starts really crying and stands up.

I read the no cry sleep solution and it worked wonders for me with getting her to sleep better at night but it too a long time to work. Maybe I just need to keep trying and have patience.

I don't feel safe using the chair because she tries to crawl out of it so I'm scared now that she will get caught up half out it. It only has waist and crotch straps and she grabs the side to pull herself over.

I like the aroma therapy idea. Can't hurt. Right now I use her blanket while we nurse before nap and bed but she doesn't seem to care. I tried the same thing with a stuffed animal and she would throw it. If it is an inability to self comfort between cycles then a lovey should help right? Maybe what I need is one of those aromatherapy stuffed animals. Haha

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"beccasweet" wrote:

I like the aroma therapy idea. Can't hurt. Right now I use her blanket while we nurse before nap and bed but she doesn't seem to care. I tried the same thing with a stuffed animal and she would throw it. If it is an inability to self comfort between cycles then a lovey should help right? Maybe what I need is one of those aromatherapy stuffed animals. Haha

I would try a few drops of lavender on whatever lovey you are trying to use right now (blanket or stuffed animal). That way you don't shell out a lot of money on a stuffed animal that may or may not work (cheapest one I could find was around $15). Lavender oil while not being super cheap at least can be used for other purposes like making your own cleaning or beauty products. Though the warming feature does sound enticing as the days get colder...maybe I need one Smile

beccasweet's picture
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She slept an hour and 15 min in the crib today!!! I am so happy! Thanks for the advice! I still think I might try aromatherapy too but apparently what I was doing has been helping just slowly. I don't expect her to give me a repeat performance immediately but at least now I know I am making progress!

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Way to go Claire! Or I should say, way to sleep! Smile

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Awesome!

I meant to chime in earlier. R. is a short napper and always has been. He has only napped for 2 hours twice in his life, every other nap was shorter. It used to be just 35 or 45 minutes but now seems to have extended to about 1hr15min. I have tried everything - leaving him to fall back asleep (tons of crying), gently picking up and rocking (also crying), nothing works. I have accepted that this is just the way he sleeps. He wakes up well rested and happy so I am just going along with the flow. He now usually has one 1hr15min nap and one 45 minute nap in any given day. That seems to be enough for him.

He used to be a rock to-sleep or nurse-to-sleep baby. A couple months back he stopped falling asleep nursing, and I found myself thinking: "now what?" since I did not know how to put him to sleep any other way. I started unattaching him from the boob just before he fell asleep and putting his soother in. If he cried I would put him back on. But I tried over and over again, and eventually he was fine falling asleep with just the paci in my arms. Then I moved to picking him up after nursing and holding him upright, rocking him to sleep. That worked real well after a couple days. But then I still had to rock him to sleep all the time.

I then moved to putting him in his crib just as he was falling asleep. Cue hysterical crying the first few times. But he quickly got used to it, and then I started putting him in his crib fully awake. He now goes down fully awake, but moves/rolls around his crib for 15-30 minutes before falling asleep. I sit in a chair in his room and gently hum his going to sleep song. I will only pick him up and rock him briefly if he throws a complete fit. If he just whines or stands up etc I don't pick him up.

I would say 8/10 times he falls asleep on his own. The next step is to leave the room without him throwing a fit.

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Elle - that's sort of what I've been doing but much slower and by accident really. The no cry book recommended un-latching as soon as they fall asleep so I started doing that and I would let her sleep in my arms a few min then get up to put her in the crib. At first she woke up when I un-latched her. When she got used to that she woke as soon as I moved to stand. Then she would wake as I leaned over the crib . Then as soon as I moved my arms away. And lately after a couple rounds of that she would sleep in the crib but only 20 min. So I have been making progress but over more than a month which is just so slow that some days I feel like I'll never get her back to napping and since she did take two hour naps I think that a nap like today is what she needs at a minimum. Not 20 minutes. Thanks for your thoughts. Very encouraging for me to know the slow changes will work eventually.

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Yes it sounds like she really does need the 2 hrs... How frustrating. By the way, even though we made progress on the "falling asleep on his own" thing, he still wakes up multiple times per night. We tried CIO several times as well but we weren't consistent enough I think and it didn't really work/I couldn't take it anymore after a couple days. It's so hard.

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Any chance you could just swaddle one arm and leave the other out?

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I tried that once and she just used it to pull on the blanket. It was like she was more upset about having only one out and wouldn't calm down like she usually did. I swaddled mostly as a way to calm her down. I'm really hoping tho that we turned a corner. She napped two hours in the crib on Thursday and I got her in the crib on my first try. I'm still going to work on getting her attached to a blanket and I want to try aromatherapy. No nap today because she fell asleep in the car twice and then wasn't tired. Really hoping she naps well tomorrow so DH can see we are making progress but he also messes up our schedule so weekends are more difficult.