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January 20, 2005

Two naps, or not two naps, that is the difference

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It's become clear to us that getting these guys to nap every 2 or 2 1/2 hours (or when they look tired) is essential. But, trying to put two very different boys down for naps at the same time, in the same room, doesn't work (yet). Jake is likely to be fussy and cry loudly for a long time (1 + hours) and, understandably, Caleb doesn't fall asleep with that noise in the same room.

We have tried putting Caleb in a portable play-pen in another room for his nap. Most of the time he is able to fall asleep after 10 minutes of crying and fussing. He then sleeps anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 1/2 hours. This is excellent and we can usually count on a morning and afternoon nap from Caleb.

But, it's not his crib and it's not in his room.

After nursing, Jake is put down in his crib for his nap. We've been following the advice of Dr. Weisbluth and letting him cry himself to sleep (it works for Caleb). Sometimes he'll cry for 20 minutes and then nap for 15 or 30, but as a general rule, Jake does not take morning naps in his crib. It is more than likely that he'll cry for an hour straight and not fall asleep at all. After an hour of letting him cry we call it quits and go get him. We are all frazzled and feeling guilty by that point.

So, currently our situation is less then ideal.

Our plan is to first get each of the boys, one at a time, to fall asleep for naps in their cribs, in their room, without requiring someone to be there with them. The second step is to get each of the boys to fall asleep for naps when the other boys is also in the room.

We've heard stories that day-care providers are able to get 6 and 7 month olds to nap by rubbing their backs. So, this week we've changed the routine a little by staying in the room with the boys when we put them down for naps and trying the back rubbing method.

With the baby on his stomach, and almost pinning him down if he wants to roll over, it takes 10 to 20 minutes to have Caleb fall asleep (Interestingly enough that is the the same amount of time it takes if I let him cry it out).

With Jake, I've now had two successful sessions of rubbing his back until he falls asleep. It takes 20+ minutes and he cries the whole time. Slowly, he falls to sleep, but has only slept for about 30 or 40 minutes at a stretch. It is progress, but more work lies ahead.

One of the fall back routines is to have Diana take Jake to our bed and nurse him to sleep on our bed. She's able to get up and leave the room and today, for instance, Jake got about a 50 minute nap in. Great that he napped, but not great that its not in his crib or that he had to be nursed to sleep.

Our other standard operating procedure is to go for a drive. Bainbridge Island and the Kitsap county area are good for that because there are not a lot of stop lights. As long as the boys are well fed and clean they like riding in the car and will sleep for more than an hour at a time. It's good that their sleeping - just not good that they'll have to be moving in a car to do it.

Recognizing that we look at our situation through a magnifying glass, and that as one day melts into another, and then into another, I am sure we are more difficult on ourselves than we need to be. We are seeing progress on routine and need to remember that these little guys are only 7 months old and are doing really, really well.

Our nights are getting better, too. (knock on wood). Last night the boys went to bed at 7'pm and slept till 4'am and then woke up for good at 7:30am. Yahoo!!

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Posted by johnbenj at January 20, 2005 10:54 PM

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