It appears that we are coming to the end of the days of two naps–not that two naps ever meant much of any time spent sleeping. Our son has slept poorly from about four months on, and naps have been no exception. Typically, they have been no more than half an hour or forty minutes, but they have been consistent. We could rely on him taking a nap sometime around 9am and another sometime around 2pm. For the past month or so, the morning nap has been iffy, and if he has a morning nap, the afternoon nap has been hard to catch. Yesterday, we found ourselves with a boy who took a twenty-minute nap around 10am and then nothing. All. Day. Long. He was a mess by the time bedtime rolled around. There’s that myth that if a kid doesn’t nap, said child will then sleep all night or for long periods of time at night. But as I said, it’s a myth. He woke up nearly every hour throughout the entire night. Bleh.
But today was a new day, and we are accepting that we are going to have a one-nap boy now. While we tried for the morning nap, he refused and just had some quiet time snuggling instead. We then tried an early afternoon nap, and lo and behold, BG slept for over 90 minutes! He woke up cranky because he had been so very out, but the rest of the day was great, and he went down so smoothly tonight. I have my fingers crossed for the rest of the night.
We are in the midst of our No-Cry Sleep Solution implementation. There have been some good nights and some bad nights, but we’re finding a path toward more organized sleep. The first step is to get BG to stop the all-night nursing marathons, but we’re doing this while also training him to sleep in his own bed for most of the night. It’s a challenge. One night, after trying to put him down for two hours in the middle of the night, I found myself scribbling angry notes in our sleep log. Looking at it in the light of day, it looked like the scrawlings of a serial killer. I was a mess, but it’s all part of the strategy, and when I look at other factors, we are seeing improvements. He is sleeping for longer stretches at the beginning of the night. When he does nurse in the middle of the night, he does so very briefly then unlatches himself, rolls over, and falls back to sleep on his own, often for a number of hours. These are positive changes, and I have to look at these little gems glittering amidst the muck that is gentle sleep training.
I have to say, sometimes I wish I were equipped to let him cry it out, that we could find a faster solution, but the fact is, I’m not, and J is not. It just isn’t an option we can entertain, so we will continue to slog through this way until our son finally sleeps well. I feel it on the horizon.
Sleep is not one’s entire life, though. Recently, BG has discovered that outside is one of his favorite things in the whole world–perhaps because it is the whole world. He wakes up in the morning and wants nothing more than to go “outside! outside! outside!” Sadly, outside here is our balcony (overlooking a lovely creek) or toddling the sidewalks around our apartment complex. He can spend countless hours doing both right now, but what the boy really needs is a small yard. We all do, and we’re working harder than ever on getting him (and us) just that.
In the meantime, we have lots of visits to the park to keep our boy outside nearly as much as he wants to be.