Author Topic: How Tracy Helped Josie and her Family Get Past 45-Min. Naps!  (Read 62914 times)

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Offline deb

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How Tracy Helped Josie and her Family Get Past 45-Min. Naps!
« on: October 11, 2002, 21:33:28 pm »
I thought I'd stick this out there since once upon a time I remember posting this about 4 or 5 times a week and I see a bunch of posts about 45-minute naps out there. I don't know how much of this may apply to anyone's particular situation, but if it helps anyone, GREAT!

Anyway, around 10-11 weeks Josie's naps started getting shorter and shorter one nap at a time till all of them were 45 minutes long!  Extendng awake time to make her properly tired didn't help (surprise surprise!), so in order to keep her from being exhausted by bedtime (and unbelieeeevably cranky!), she ended up napping 5-6 times a day, each for 45 minutes. She couldn't stay awake much more than an hour; in fact, at almost exactly the 1-hour mark from waking up, she was whining for sleep! We were able to extend her naps once in a while by reinserting her paci and by patting and shh-ing her back down, but this was maybe one success every couple days.

Finally, around 4 months it got to the point where we ended up with a consult with Tracy (I told DH THAT was what I wanted for my first Mother's Day! lol), and here's what she said: Josie's nap problems were related to her 3-month growth spurt; she needed enough calories to get her through the night. She was down to one night waking, every morning at 4AM, and then she wouldn't go back to deep sleep after that, so she was waking up tired, and since she was tired she could only stay up an hour, but since she'd only been up an hour she only needed 45 minutes of sleep, and so on (read Tracy's Sleep Interview for more on this too!). We had to attack the problem on two fronts: getting more calories into her during the day and extending her naps. So, we made a basic timetable, looking something like this:

7AM Wake up and feed (usually more like 6 for us, but then we adjusted).
8AM Start getting cranky. Take to room, give light feed, try to keep awake till 8:40; I would play with her on the floor, lights dim or off, maybe soft music, with a soft toy, as long as she could stand it, usually 5-15 min.
8:40 (or in our case, 8:05-8:15) Start to put to sleep through the 3 stages; put down.
9:00 Asleep
9:40 Sneak into room and wait for her to stir and spit out paci. When she would do this (at almost EXACTLY 45 minutes), I would put the paci back in and try to soothe her back to sleep before she awoke fully. It took a couple days for this to succeed. Other things to try: shield eyes from light, keep arms/legs from flailing and waking her (this is where a good tight swaddle is useful), stroke top of head (Josie LOVES this).
10:25 Repeat as above, trying to extend the nap once more (we had little success with this, but a 90-min nap was so big an improvement we didn't mind much).
11:00-ish Wake up, feed, go through cycle again, try to keep up till 12:40 to go down at 1:00 and sleep till 3:00.
3:00 Wake up, try to keep awake till 4:30-ish, put down for short (45-minute) nap.
5:15 Wake up, play, bath, bottle, bed at 7:00

This schedule was the ideal, but we never quite got there. Josie did do 3 90-minute naps daily, though, which worked out fine for all of us. The 4-hour schedule was more appropriate for her as a 4-month-old than the 3-hour one I'd been trying to manage anyway.

Hope this helps someone! Feel free to PM me w/questions!


P.S.  Okay, a couple things I forgot about:

First, I TOTALLY forgot about the dreamfeed! We added a dreamfeed to Josie's schedule, around 10:30 PM, to get more calories into her. The goal was 4-5 ounces, and at first she sucked it right down, and then after about 2-3 weeks she slept straight through the dreamfeed - as in we couldn't get her to stir enough to take anything from the bottle. Tracy said if she was sleeping too deeply to try again in another half-hour, but the night I did that for about 2-1/2 hours was, I think, the night we gave up trying in favor of sleep. She was pretty much in the habit of sleeping through at that point.

Also, forgot to mention how long we kept up the regimen of having the extra feed before the naps; it was about two weeks. I was using the 1-hour cranky cues as the mark to take her back to her room, give her the light feed, and wind her down; one day she just kept playing happily and I was able to drop one of those feeds, and the next day she did it for two naps, and in a couple days the extra feeds were completely gone.

Not entirely sure how we would have wound Josie back down w/o her paci - she sure is addicted (she's upstairs having paci-free sleep now, but only 'cause she's exhausted!). The patting and shhing and keeping from flailing and blocking the light were big helps. Also, we have a noise generator (Nature's Lullaby) on her crib that I use when we travel and for noisy days (Friday is trash AND recycling here, and there are about 5 different trucks that come down our street for different materials); I think the sound helps the quality of her sleep by blocking out noises that would otherwise tell her it's time to wake up (like the trains, DH in the shower/getting dressed, etc.).

I know this post is already long, and it's been many months since I put it out there, but I wanted to add a couple other thoughts to cover questions I get most often.

First, right as we were beginning the process, Josie was diagnosed with reflux. Once she was on meds, her being able to fall asleep became less of a struggle for all of us (phew!).

Second, I think that winding her down very gently in her room had a lot to do with our success getting her to go down for her naps as well. I could watch her sleepy cues very closely and I was amazed at how much I'd been missing or just not seeing the right way - what behaviors were tired instead of hungry as I had previously thought.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2006, 21:28:47 pm by Meg's Mom »