Friday, August 1, 2014

Naptime hell

I have been working with M on "self-soothing" and falling asleep by himself for naptime. It's been miserable for both of us. Before this week, I would read to him then sing/rock him to sleep. It usually took about 20 minutes give or take. I realized I was probably creating a problem for myself so I decided it was time to tackle the sleep monster. (My brother has two boys, 4.5 and 9 yo, who still need help going to sleep and I don't want that in our future.)  It has been tricky, thankfully I can see a little progress but I cannot wait for the day when it takes less than an hour for him to fall asleep. This morning it took almost 2 hours before he fell asleep...thanks to the dogs the nap only last 30 minutes. The neighbor's dog was sticking it's head through the fence and both of our dogs were barking. Next think I knew M was crying. Any tips/advice is more than welcome.

M fought the nap and the nap won!


  1. Ugh. Sleep is a hard one. I have zero advice as each child/situation is different. What I will say is once you find something that seems to work, stick with it. Establishing a routine is key, even down to the time of day when you put him down.

    Hang in there. This stuff is hard, but I'm sure you're doing a great job.

  2. Aw, such a sweetie... re: napping, I also thought there would never come a day when my Max would just go to sleep with no fussing, no rocking/lullabies required. But it happened and it's amazing. One thing I would say is that if your guy isn't going to bed at night without rocking and a whole rigamarole, then he isn't going to do that during the day either. Either he's able to self-soothe or he isn't, basically. And although it's probably not what you want to hear, the most direct route to him going to sleep on his own, in my personal opinion, is good old Ferber (ie. cry it out). That said, I agree with Cristy in that you just have to play around with it and see what works and what doesn't. Maybe if you bring him down to two naps a day instead of three, or shift what time he goes to sleep, or feed him solids right before, or whatever else you can think of -- something will surely help. I found Max really liked having his mobile on for 5 minutes before he went to sleep; I think it distracts him from the terror of mommy walking out of the room. I also found that less was more -- when I had an elaborate bedtime/nap ritual of singing and saying "goodnight" to things in the room and rocking him and all that, it almost created more build-up and made it worse. Now I try to act super casual about the whole thing; just plonk him down and cheerfully say "goodnight!" and walk out. Anyway, every kid is different, but you'll figure it out eventually -- definitely before he turns 9, haha! :)