To Sleep, Perchance to Dream

That there is a happy baby.  A happy baby after a happy nap.

You have to understand, nap times here have been the bane of our existence.  Worse than getting Wes to sleep at night, daytime sleep has not come easy.  And to keep my son from becoming the monster he becomes when awake for far too long, we have at different times cajoled him into napping in the swing, in our arms, in a car seat, you name it.  And many of these naps have not been good, have not been long, have not been restful.

For some time now though we have tried to stick to some routine when it came to bedtime.  We aren’t always perfect with it, but we bathe (every other day or so), diaper, dress, huggle, crib, sleepsack, paci, sometimes read book, sometimes aquarium, sometimes just shush.  (We broke the swaddle habit weeks ago when I could no longer stand the pitiful look on my son’s face.  He wanted access to his hands bad). But then the fussing would begin, we’d walk back into that room, replace paci, restart shush.  Rinse and repeat.

And then a couple of days ago I just decided that at nap times, I would do a mini-version of the routine, too.  Diaper, huggle, crib, sleepsack, paci.  And something miraculous happened.  I set my boy down in his crib, he placed his hand over his face, turned that face to one side and just fell asleep.  No cries, no fuss.  He slept one solid hour.  And an hour after being awake, because really, that’s all he can still give ya, he fell asleep like this again. And again.  All.day.long.

Yesterday, running errands, taking a walk, we fell out of the routine.  Wes stayed awake for give or take three hours, and he completely broke down.  The child could not be pacified until I took him with me to bed and blackmailed him with an ounce of formula.

How we need consistency!  I’ve learned that if I find myself questioning if he’s ready for a nap, the answer is bound to be “yes!”  Of course, teething or some other developmental milestone is bound to come and make a mess of things.  But until then I’m holding on to that smiling face come time to wake.

5 thoughts on “To Sleep, Perchance to Dream

  1. We have started laying J down in his bed drowsy but awake about a month ago and it’s worked like a charm. Hardly takes any time to get him to sleep.

    Something I heard from numerous mom-friends & things I have read is that babies under 6 months should never be awake more than 2 hours, and usually only around 1 or 1.5 hours at a time. Now that I know that, I watch for yawns & rubbing his eyes/face then lay him down and bam! he’s out!

  2. Hi, your son is so beautiful! My children are grown, but I remember all too well the struggles of those first months, getting used to all the changes. I think the most changing moment was when my son was crying and I was trying to hold him to the feeding schedule, (back then it was every 4 hours, and he was a big baby, 10pounds at 2 weeks) anyway, my mother in law showed up as I was trying to hold him off until feeding time, and she just quietly said to me the most magical and freeing words that anyone had told me about a baby…she said “I didn’t follow a schedule, I fed my kids when they were hungry” This from a woman who raised 7 children, and did an incredible job…well, it was really magic..I fed my son, and didn’t worry about it, and it seemed to all fall into place after that. He wasn’t as fussy. I don’t know if this will help or not, but it does get easier, and he is so worth it (as you know already) Thank you for sharing (I followed over from weddingbee–love that too!) God bless you all, Kathy

  3. We’ve read/heard the same things, too Becca. It’s crazy how much babies sleep!

    Kathy: schedule? What schedule? LOL. I can’t lie and say the idea of one wouldn’t be nice and make things a bit more predictable, but I don’t know how anyone can have schedules with babies. They just do whatever they want to do, and we’re there for the ride.

  4. OH, you made me smile, that was my point, said much better than I did. And it is your attitude that is making you a very good momma! I felt lost until my oldest was about 4 months old, as I had been praying for a good baby (and he wasn’t bad, it was just so new)……it was when I prayed for patience for ME –that things really turned around. Take care & have a great weekend.

  5. Thanks Kathy!

    Wes being our first, we have no basis for comparison. I get the feeling he’s not the easiest baby…but he’s the one we love. 🙂

    3 months seems to have brought about a change for the best, and we just can’t wait to see where he goes from here.

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