Thursday, April 21, 2011

Help Me Out

I'm going to start a new thing. It may not be weekly, but it will be an occasional thing. Help Me Out will be where I ask you some questions, and you can humor me and help me out!

Jack (that is what I'm calling him this week *wink*) has been a horrible napper lately. He will fall asleep nursing and wake up immediately upon putting him down. He takes cat naps. Ten, maybe twenty minutes if I'm lucky. In order to get him to take a good nap during the day, I have been putting him in bed with Alice and me, and nursing him until he falls asleep. Then he will sleep for about three hours, BUT only if I'm lying next to him for a good part of that at the beginning. So I usually end up taking a nap for an hour or so (much needed!). I then put him in the bassinet, which I warm up with a heating pad so it feels like I'm still there for a bit. Any ideas on getting him to nap better and quit falling asleep at my breast? I don't swaddle him, but maybe that would help. He does well at night mostly. I put him in the swing, and he will go anywhere from 3-5 hours with the occasional longer stretch.

Alice, also, has been napping/sleeping poorly. She has been getting about 8 hours of sleep at night, and a two (sometimes three) hour nap. She really needs more like twelve hours of sleep a day. She will fall asleep for twenty to thirty minutes, and then be up for a few hours before actually napping (which means she goes down later than I'd like) and the same thing at bedtime. Tonight she went to bed with Sean (about 9:30) so I'm hoping she will stay asleep until morning. I think me lying in bed and being awake is what is interrupting her sleep. If Sean is here, I can stay out if the room until I'm ready to sleep, but if I'm the only one here, she won't stay in bed unless I'm right there with her. Any ideas for her?


The Captain's Wife said...

honestly, the heating pad would have been my suggestion. It worked wonders.

K wet through a period of a few weeks where she only slept on my chest - period. I went with it, knowing it would not last forever (of course I did not have 2nd child either). We also used the swing A LOT for the first few months (for naps only)

Good luck, maybe it is just the season change throwing them both off?

The Tompkins Family said...

These are just the ideas that popped into my may have already tried them.

Jack: swaddle, swaddle, swaddle. It will suck when you have to wean him of that (we just did it with P) but by then his system will have matured and he will be able to pass through the sleep cycles more easily on his own.
-will he take a soother?
-try to put him down drowsy. Since he's falling asleep at the boob, that is his sleep association. When he briefly wakes between cycles, he needs all the conditions to be the same and if he can't suck, no such luck.
-are you watching his signs closely? I know that's easier said than done when your attention is divided between 2 little one. But I was once told that the little cat naps mean he is overtired and overstimulated and that he was put down too late. According to Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, babies can only stay awake for 1-2 hours. After 1 hour, start watching him like a hawk and put him down at the first sign of drowsiness.
-have a naptime routine...something you do the same every time you put him down for a nap. Doesn't have to be long.

-have you tried putting her to bed earlier? 930 seems like a late bedtime for a toddler. S goes to bed at 7 and sleeps till 7. If she stays up until 9, she sleeps till she loses those 2 hours if we can't get her to bed on time.
-I found with S if I put her down too late for her nap, she was overstimulated and it would take her forever to fall asleep and then I'd end up having to wake her up so that she'd still be ready for bed by 7. Maybe try putting her down earlier? Directly after lunch?

Hope some of that helps!

Jenner said...

I think you have the right idea! Napping with Jack and then setting him in an already warm bassinet, that's a terrific idea! I'm not going to be much help with this though. I wasn't able to breastfeed my peapod so I never had an issue with that when she was small. I just always put her down in her bassinet after eating and swaddled her up and she'd nap.

Megan said...

The swing works for nighttime sleeping? Maybe try for naps too? Also, the swaddle- doesn't have to be super tight- might help if he is startling himself awake... I am glad you are getting him to sleep at night- that is something at least!

Lisa said...

I know this is against everything anyone ever said, but try putting him on his belly. I put both PJ and Maggie on their bellies at 3 weeks old (when they could lift their heads) and they instantly slept better.

HereWeGoAJen said...

Oh, I am so not the person to ask about sleep. My only idea is will Jack sleep in a sling? Elizabeth took a lot of good naps in a sling strapped to my chest.

Carrie27 said...

Do you have a boppy pillow? This was the ONLY thing, besides a swing or bouncer that worked for E. He had some major colic. I would have to put him in a bouncer, and rock him at the same time and there were days I couldn't stop for nearly an hour just to keep him asleep. He seemed to need to be elevated, so we started using the boppy to keep him snuggled up as well as elevated.

April said...

I agree with trying the swaddle. Avery seems to sleep the best that way (and Hunter was the same as a little one). During the day I can get her to nap good in her swing but the damn batteries are now dead and we've had a reeeeeally crappy nap day. She wants to be held (and warm!) constantly. And like Jack, she seems to enjoy falling asleep while nursing. I LOVE the heating pad idea, btw. I might have to try that to get her to nap better in the pack n play cuz right now she won't sleep in it!

And I'm probably going to be of no help with Alice cuz we have issues with Hunter's sleep too. His prob is not sleeping through the night AT ALL. I do put him to bed at 7pm (occasionally 7:30) every night no matter whether he seems tired or not. I try to do a bedtime routine now (we weren't before): cuddle with Daddy first, brush teeth and sometimes if I'm putting him to bed (and not Daryl which is usually the norm) I read to him. Some nights he fights it, but since he won't go to bed anyway without one of us laying with him, we just keep making him lay back down and repeat that it's bedtime.

Danifred said...

I've always been a big fan of routine and swaddling. We also had to get to the point with both girls where we put them down awake, but drowsy so they would learn to self soothe.