03 May 2011

Nap Time

Ezra has the darndest time sleeping during the day. He'll be so tired (and grumpy, with his cute little pouty face), and I'll nurse him laying down, so he doesn't even have to move, and he'll still wake up after fifteen minutes. Several days he's done that for three or four go-arounds until I just give up.

I'm assuming it's because we don't really have a routine. I usually get up whenever he wakes up. Sort of. What I mean is, he'll nurse around 7:30-8:30, and I'll try and have sleepy cuddle time with him to get some more shut-eye. And he'll accept sleepy cuddle time for anywhere until 9:30 to noon, even. Noon is pretty extraordinary, but 10 or 10:30 is pretty common.

Should I be a little more structured in getting up? It hasn't really occurred to me to do so until the past couple of weeks. It's hard to know when he should be wanting a nap since we get up at a different time every day. He's settled into going to bed around 9pm, but other than that, we both kind of play the day by ear.

Do you think the lack of structure is hard on him? I kind of figured he'd establish his own little routine, but I'm not sure if I'm hindering it, or if he's like his momma - a by-the-seat-of-his-pants flyer.

The other thing that's hard is what will work to get him to sleep one afternoon won't work the next. Often he'll just fall asleep while I'm holding him. But sometimes he just won't. Sometimes it takes putting him in the swing. Sometimes it takes horizontal nursing and leaving him where he is. Sometimes he sleeps for three hours, and sometimes I can't get him to sleep more than fifteen minutes at a time. Is this normal?

What do you do to put your little one down? Did s/he establish his/her own schedule?


  1. We did not schedule Jude but let a routine emerge as he got older. Around 8 weeks, a pretty set schedule emerged - wake up, eat, play, sleep, wake up, eat, play sleep, etc. These weren't based on times during the day but his natural rhythm. Although, he would not sleep unless he was in the sling, so when he started to get fussy after playing, we would put him in the sling and bounce until he fell asleep and then just go about our days, cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, until he woke up ready to eat. He definitely slept longer when he was in the sling compared to being in a swing or just on the floor or something but every day varied.

    And yes, Ezra is normal. Every kiddo is so different and you guys are still establishing so many things right now. Just keep an open mind to keep trying new things and go with it! Know that you know best because you are his mama.

  2. We like structure. I like it because John likes it sooo much. At first when I was trying to increase my supply we didn't really have a schedule... other than feed him every hour... but as far as naps went he wasn't structured. When we went to bottles I thought he would establish a schedule on his own.... he didn't.

    I started doing the 'wake up at 7am and feed every three hours' as many women I know do (I often napped from 8-10 every morning with John). After that John started sleeping THROUGH the night (like more than 8 hours... 11 hours at 2 months) and took FOUR good naps during the day. I also swaddled until John was about 4 months old.

    So, yes, I'm a firm believe in scheduling. I'm not evil, I take his needs into consideration and sometimes we have days that are just completly off... but in general a good routine/schedule makes John a lot happier. I think getting enough sleep will also make anyone (infant or adult) much much happier.

    You're a great Mom! Don't sweat it... you'll figure out your & Ezra's groove soon.

  3. I kinda skimmed over this post for lack of time [sorry!], but I think I got the gist of it. I think you'll find that you will get tons of opinions, but it has been found that kids like structure [they like rules too] and will generally act up if they don't get it; I am not talking extremes, rather reasonable daily schedules. I found this to be true when I watched 3 kids after school for a period of time too. For me, it makes sense and is easier to start this when young. We started with our first very early and she's done really well, now she's almost 20 months. In fact, Stephen and I were just talking about trying to get our newborn on more of a schedule [and she is starting to find it on her own, but she'll need a little help and time].

  4. I'm assuming you really want comments since you directly asked for our thoughts. I've put all of my kids on a schedule. Not a super-rigid one, but a schedule none the less. It was hard sometimes, but I felt like it was the best thing for us. They (and I) would wake up around 7 and then they'd do the eat, play, sleep routine every 3 hours until 10pm. I put them in a swing a lot of the time when they were itty bitty, but then transitioned them to napping in their bed. They would nap for 1-2 hours between feedings and they sleep 9 hours at night. Eventually it worked down to 2 naps a day 9:30-11 and 1-3. For me, having a reliable nap time was important so that I could schedule/plan activities accordingly. I know that's not everybody's thing, though. No judgement here if you don't want to do a schedule, but it seemed to help all my kiddos become really good sleepers.

    I just saw that Fallon & Lisa posted while I was writing this...probably because all our kids nap from about 1-3 and it's about 2pm right now. This is our change to "play" on the computer!

  5. but 7am is so eeeeeaaaarly!
    ...this mommy stuff is hard.

  6. I put myself on a schedule.... does that count? No? Not at all? Ok.

    Sometimes I wish there was a baby whisperer spiritual gifting, every time I hold a fussy baby I close my eyes and try to drum one up.... I'll let you know if I make any progress.

  7. I am not one for scheduling babies, but a routine is great. The biggest thing for a baby is not to let them get too overtired during the day, and for my kids, I had to try to put them down for a nap if they had been awake for 2 hours (Annalise could only make it 1.5 hours). So, no matter what time you wake up, you can expect him to need a nap in 2 hours. The more scheduled times normally come as they get older, like somewhere in the 6-9 month range, I believe.

  8. I'm with Rachel. I never put Lucy on a schedule. I know some babies do great on them but it just didn't work for us. I was all stressed out for a while because her personality meant that the only way a schedule was going to happen was if I forced it and left her to cry. I do have a general routine because I'm boring and do the same thing most days so she does too :-)

    I get up when she gets up, which is normally between 6-7 and then I would just watch for when she was tired and pretty soon I saw a pattern. She used to take a nap after about 1.5 hr, then that become 2hrs, then 3 hrs. Even now at 11 months, she isn't rigid about her wake and naps times, even though her bedtime is consistent most days but as long as she takes one in the morning and one in the afternoon, she's a happy camper and so am I.

    I won't lie, if she took more regular naps and slept better at night, I would probably get more stuff done during the day since I could plan and not have to nap with her to make up sleep and I do sometimes envy other moms - BUT...I have to remember that God gave me this specific baby knowing what both of our needs are so He will supply me with what I need in terms of time and energy, even if I don't feel like it!