Friday, September 12, 2008

Help me out here, parents.


He hasn't even hit the 9 month growth spurt...

A quickie before grandma gets here:

Baby B is doing some kind of crazy sleep b.s. that I suspect is normal but I'm not sure how best to handle. Little dude usually takes 3 naps - the first one: 2 hours after he wakes up, the second: around 11 am, the third: roughly 4 pm. They last anywhere from 40 minutes to 3 hours, depending on how much he slept the night before and whether he's got teething pain and whether the planets are in alignment and I knocked wood and got the bedroom temperature just right. None of this is a problem. The problem is, now I put him down for the first nap, following his cues (eyes getting pink, yawning, pulling ears) but instead of drifting off he pops back up, usually on all fours. He's totally wiped - he falls asleep immediately in my arms - but it's like his body forces him awake. We do this dance two or three times (rock, crib, up! Rock, crib, up!) until the kid is thoroughly awake or I'm thoroughly annoyed. (For the record, he also does this at night.) I suspect he's dropping a nap but I always assumed babies did that because they started sleeping later (HA!) and didn't need it. According to the experts (Moxie, Weissbluth, the sleep expert to whom we paid astronomical sums) babies tend to need a first nap approximately 2 hours after the morning rouse. That'd work fine if he slept till 7, but he's up at 5:20 on the d.o.t. He just can't make it until 9 am. Hell, he can't make it till 8! We've tried putting him to bed later but at 5:20 that cock is crowing.

He's supposed to be down to 2 naps, right? I've been subscribing to the "whatever he needs" philosophy of parenting (need 3 naps? Fine. 2 naps? Whatever) but I feel like I should be guiding this ship a bit more. Am I just making a mountain out of a (perfectly acceptable) molehill?

11 comments:

electriclady said...

He *might* be dropping a nap, although I'm pretty sure BG was still taking 3 naps at that age (tho in her 3-nap days they were no longer than an hour each, generally). But also, if he's working on learning to crawl, his body is probably working so hard on that (as evidenced by the popping up on all fours) that it won't let him fall asleep. It's a developmental thing; you just have to ride it out. I wouldn't push him to drop that first nap unless you're sure he doesn't need it, which it sounds like he does. In BG's case she dropped the first nap gradually, as her wakeup time got a little later (as in, from 5 to 6:30) and the morning nap got later and later until it merged with the 11 am nap.

I say you abdicate responsibility entirely and let grandma be in charge of naps for her whole visit!

Margot said...

Sounds like the crawling thing is affecting that first nap. Plus he may be working on a lot of mental development going on that keeps his little head cooking. My boy is doing the *exact* same thing. He looks/acts dog tired before his first nap but then about 30 min after he's in the crib, he gets a second wind and is UP UP UP. Then he starts getting fussy, eye-rubby, tiiiiiiired and is down for a "real" nap later in the day.

Ali said...

Ah, the sweet smell of reassurance. Thanks, mamas. (And welcome, Margot!)

Julie said...

Late to the party.....if I recall my little one took a nap around 8, another one at 12:30, and then his third one no later than 3. Bedtime was 6:30. He was also an EARLY riser (still is, as you know).

FWIW, I don't think he's dropping his nap yet, I think he's working on crawling. I think this because you say he's dog tired in the morning.....and when they're dropping a nap they usually happily just play and gurgle and don't fall asleep, not fall down into a dead sleep in your arms.

I agree with electriclady....let your mom worry about it for a while. Generally, if you back off for a bit, they show you which way they're going. Or so I'm told.

Ali said...

You ladies know what's up! Why do those sleep books have to be so darn misleading? (And glad to have you back, Julie!)

Dan G said...

I wish I could take three naps a day.

chintamani said...

dude, no kidding. 3 naps a day and I'd be all good

blondandeffective said...

3 naps daily sounds great...but would you guys want to go through teething all over again? not to mention junior high, high school, etc. Maybe it's not so bad to be a nap-less grownup.

Woman with a Hatchet said...

Stick with three naps.

Threeeeee naaaaaps!

As the other wise women suggest, I second the notion that it is related to developmental changes and that you're just going to have to weather it. The three nap thing is something you should stick to as long as physically possible. Like until they're in kindergarten. Or maybe 1st grade.

Trust me.

Victoria said...

I'm telling you, make your lovely MIL handle the scre...sleep training. We've had a week of 2, 2-hour naps (that fell apart today) with my kid who's your kid's age, +/- two weeks. 3-4 hours by day and 11+ hours at night is SO. MUCH. BETTER. than 3 x 20 minutes by day and disrupted 10 hours overnight.

Colleen said...

OK, I'm the odd duck out here, but I don't remember my girls doing a morning nap much past six months--possibly because I never stayed home long enough in the morning for them to go to sleep. We were at the gym, at "playdates", at the store, wherever, and with the younger one we were dropping off/picking up big sister all the time. I did try really hard to keep the 12:30 to 2:30 slot at home for napping, but I laid down with them in my bed and we ALL slept. They went to bed between 7:30 and 8:00 (and still do at ages 5 & 9), and were always up by 6:00 a.m. at the latest.

They turned out OK, I think, and I don't remember serious grumpiness. They loved being out and about in the sling!