Monday, November 8, 2010

The Nap Plan

So if you've been keeping track of me at all, you know that Elijah isn't napping like I'd like him to.  He also isn't sleeping at night like I'd prefer, but I really can't complain that much about night sleep.  He generally sleeps until about 5:30 or 6:00 a.m., it's just that he's still sleeping in our bed.  I'd like to transfer him to his crib at night because I don't sleep well with him right there next to me.  I hear *every* little peep or movement he makes and so I don't sleep soundly.  (Plus, Mike and I don't really have any time to ourselves.)  However, not sleeping soundly, but sleeping for 7 hours straight is preferrable to actually being totally woken up every 30 minutes and then being up for another 30-45 minutes, which is what happens right now if I try to put him in the crib to sleep at night.

Anyway, so I read Elizabeth Pantley's "The No-Cry Sleep Solution" and "The No-Cry Nap Solution" and have a plan in place to get him to nap in his crib eventually.  That will, hopefully, lead to him being comfortable sleeping in his crib so that I can let him sleep there at night.

The first part of the plan is extending his naps from 30-45 minutes to 1 & 1/2 to 2 hours at a time.  Right now I am letting him nap in his bouncy chair at approximately 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. because he likes it and it has vibration.  The vibration helps him put himself back to sleep if he wakes up before 2 hours is up.  This week is going to be all bouncy chair on the kitchen table where I am at 10 and 2.  Next week it will be the same except the bouncy chair will be moved to his room.  I haven't decided if I'm going to start out with it on the floor or if I'm going to just put it in his bed.  This is going to be annoying for me because I'll have to stay in the room unless this week he perfects his ability to put himself back to sleep (right now I often have to intervene and help him get back to sleep).  So I am looking for some good books to read while I deal with that.  Eventually, I'll start turning off the vibration when he falls asleep so that he can learn to stay asleep without vibration.  Then he gets in it without the vibration on at all.  Then, finally, he gets laid down in the crib itself without the bouncy chair.  I am praying that this plan works because after he's had a few good weeks of napping in his crib, I'm going to start trying to put him in his crib to sleep at night.  I expect that it will take a few weeks of Mike and I getting up and going to him in his room and helping him get back to sleep, but after that, hopefully, our sleep problems will be more or less fixed.  I really hope it works because I have no other tricks up my sleeve.

I'm also introducing a "lovey".  It's this stuffed animal that he and I cuddle with when he nurses and I give it to him while he sleeps so that it can be like a comfort item.  I hope between "the plan" and the lovey and the fact that he'll be getting older as this goes along, that we will have this problem nipped in the bud by the time he's 6 months old.  Because then it's time to start introducing solid foods and soon after that we'll probably be dealing with separation anxiety.

Please, Lord.  Just one problem at a time, okay?  Love, Bonnie.