Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Oh my god, he's asleep!

It's been difficult to get Sprout to sleep lately: napping during the day or going to bed at night. He used to just conk out wherever he was & we never really had to worry about naps or getting him to sleep. Now he gets tired after a couple of hours of being awake, then gets fussy & requires much cuddling, bouncing & will absolutely not let whoever's holding him sit down or stop moving. I love cuddling my little boy, but bouncing a fussing baby around for half an hour as he tires himself out is a bit of a chore when I'm really tired too.

Tonight, I decided to try something different. I waited until he seemed a bit sleepy but wasn't fussing yet, about two & a half hours after he'd woken up from his last nap. I brought him into our bedroom, laid him down in his bassinet without him crying (yay!) & zipped him into his sleep sack. Then I talked to him quietly & did some really simple massage, gentle downward strokes from his shoulders to his toes for a couple of minutes. That seemed to calm him even further, though he was still quite awake & looking around at the 'hood' part of his bassinet. (On a side note, I have no idea what he finds so fascinating about the tiny navy & white gingham printed cotton fabric of that thing). I then left the room. About ten minutes later, I heard a few small noises from the bedroom, but nothing really requiring attention. When Oli went back in about five minutes after that, he was asleep.

This is only once, I know & maybe he'll never go to sleep so easily again, but I will try the same thing tomorrow & keep my fingers crossed! Maybe, just maybe, my poor biceps will be able to take a bit of a break from the bouncing...

I'm off to bed now that Sprout's down. Just before I go, some questions for you out there: If you have kids, how do you get them to sleep? What is the bedtime routine? If you're an adult, do you still have a routine to get yourself to sleep?


  1. For many years, we've done a snack, bath, bed, story (or conversation), "the sleep song" and then sleep. The ritual of it all makes it easier. It's a challenging time of day because Toby has boat loads of energy and has a hard time falling asleep.

  2. Owen is the same way - he HATES sleeping. I don't bother to try and get him to nap during the day. I just put him in his Beco when he's fussing, take a little walk around the compound and he's out and I can go about my day for about 2 hours (with maybe 1 feed in the carrier during that time). In the evenings he usually catches a few more Zs when I'm relaxing on the couch and I keep him on the boob for about an hour. I've given up trying to lay him down for naps - it was futile! Our nighttime routine is nurse/nap, diaper change, naked-bum playtime on our bed, warm bath with chamomile, jammies then another full feed while I'm on the bed and his Miracle Baby Sleep System music plays. He usually gets sleepy and if I lay him down, even if his eyes open, he usually goes to sleep without crying - at least that's been the case for the past two weeks!

  3. I don't know if it is a change in parenting, or in child's temperament...but Jonah was a pain to get to sleep always. And still is. With the girls, they slept all the time when they were first born, and I could slowly see them being awake for longer and longer between naps. For them, the trick is to anticipate the nap a bit. I put them down for a nap as soon as they start a few eye rubs or cranky noises. It seems to help, as once they get overtired, they are worse to get to sleep.
    Up until the girls were 3 months, they used to just fall asleep wherever they were, when they were tired. Usually in their bouncy chairs. At 3 months, I started putting them down in their beds for naps, about 1.5-2 hours after they woke up, every time. They had 3 naps per day this way..and it kept them much more cheerful. Doesn't work if you like to go out though-we usually stay home, and have happy, well-rested children!

  4. Thanks for sharing, Susan. It's good to get an idea of what's in store in a decade or so. :)

    Terilyn: What is this Miracle Baby Sleep System that you speak of? Oh, wait, I'll google it...

    Wendy: I think noticing sleepiness cues EARLY is key, you're right. We weren't trying to put him to bed until he started fussing, but by then it's too late to easily get him to sleep.

    Tonight we tried the same routine again--feed, diaper change, into sleep sack, cuddle in a dim room, lay down, light massage strokes to calm him & then leave the room.

    He's still awake now, I can hear him, but he's not fussing... fingers crossed he'll go to sleep soon!

  5. Has he been going to sleep like this consistently? I have yet to find some of this magic with Sophia. She still requires us to sway/bounce her or I just end up nursing her to sleep. And I have to hold her once she falls asleep b/c she wakes up when I put her down. But I'll try laying her down sooner, as you said, and see if that makes a difference with her.

  6. Liezel, he's been going to sleep this way most of the time, though daytime naps it's often easier to just put him in the Bjorn or stroller & walk him around a bit.


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