When to sleep?
How to go to sleep?
Where to sleep?
How long to sleep?
Too much sleep?
Not enough sleep?
Noise or quiet when asleep?
Light or dark when asleep?
AHHHH! Quite honestly I have to say that I have a very easy baby, he is mild tempered and only cries when he needs something. And he is an AWESOME night time sleeper 85% of the time. So, I really have nothing to complain about, but I will say that sleep is the most perplexing part of parenting. There are just too many questions and too many variables. He is still really young, but is totally showing signs of wanting to take a longer morning nap, which is awesome! But it brought up lots of questions about how to help him nap better.
I have been reading "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" and I really like it a lot. It makes sense to me that a baby needs to be helped to sleep when he is just getting drowsy and not overly tired... we all get cranky and difficult to soothe when we are exhausted, right? I also, like how the book walks you through what a baby is neurologically and developmentally capable of in regards to soothing and sleep. It has been a great help and I am sure it will continue to be.
So, the 2 basic conclusions I have come to right now about naps are:
1) Eli is too old to be taking all of his naps in Momma's arms
2) Eli is too young too soothe him self to sleep without some help (i.e. We aren't ready to let him cry alone in the bed, yet)
So, what we have been doing is a basic kind of "quick soothing" routine. When he shows signs of being sleepy ( i.e. fussing, not wanting to play) I wrap him up in a swaddler, read a book and rock him for 5-7 minutes. I often give him a pacifier, but sometimes he doesn't take it. He almost always has fallen to sleep within these few minutes and so I put him into his crib no matter how lightly he is sleeping. If he wakes, I pick him up immediately and rock him again usually for just 3-4 minutes and put him back down. 90% of the time it only takes 2 tries to get him down for morning nap... and it is awesome! He is sleeping nearly 2 hours for morning nap and I think he is much happier!
Afternoon naps are much less organized and lengthy generally. Often because we have to be somewhere or do something, but also because he eats very frequently in the afternoons and sleeps less, which is great for us because afternoons and evenings are when we get to play together as a family!
Today's morning nap
(yeah I know I am crazy for risking waking him up to take a picture for the blog)