Baby nap and sleep schedules

Photo Credit: Markus Spiske via Flickr

There are days and then there are days. The days when most things go right and I take pleasure at a job well done, praising myself even for having kept my cool, nurtured my children into a great future by reading and singing to them, teaching them new things, appreciating their contributions to our family in their own ways, praising them for their developmental, creative, intellectual, and/or physical achievements for the day, putting them to bed with hugs, kisses, and songs, and slowly unwinding at the end of the day watching ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’ on Netflix or ‘Bosch’ on Amazon or any random episode of ‘Curb your Enthusiasm’, exhausted, I go to bed with a song in my heart and a smile on my lips curled up in peaceful slumber until E wakes me, reminding me that it is time for her nocturnal feeding session.

Then there are days that absolutely frustrate me to no end when I actually scream at the top of my voice…could be anything from ‘Aaarrrghhh’ to the f-word or resort to playing loud music or just cry. Some of my other posts are testimony to my mothering ups and downs. I have previously blogged about my anguish, anger, and frustrations with Baby J’s naps. Baby E is proving to be J’s sister in many similar ways.

Her morning naps are all over the place. I put her down around 9:00 a.m. for her first nap. She takes anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes to fall asleep but then only sleeps between 20 -45 minutes. Once she wakes up, I pack her up, along with J and we go about our day. Today we went grocery shopping at Safeway. I wear her in the K’tan and she sleeps in it usually undisturbed and looking as cute as a button with her shmoosh face. Because we are on the go or around and about, this is not particularly frustrating for me. What does worry me is leaving J by himself while I go upstairs to put her to bed. TJ, my amazing little toddler sits reading his books waiting patiently for me. After about 10 minutes, he starts his slow whines, “Maawmy….maawmy…”…not too loud but loud that I can sometimes hear him upstairs worrying me and feeling utterly guilty for leaving a two year old to babysit himself.

Her second nap is around 1:00 p.m. Putting her to bed for this one takes longer but at least I am not as worried about J because I leave him watching YouTube videos and he sits there mesmerized.

While I follow the same routine for this nap as I do for the first nap, somehow she ends up sleeping longer. I do need to go in twice or thrice when she wakes up crying to soothe her down but today was exasperating. She refused to sleep. Oh she slept fine ON me on the Boppy but would open her eyes as soon as I laid her in her bassinet. The first time I went in, I successfully put her to sleep by rocking the bassinet but I had to pick her up the other two times. This whole thing was getting increasingly annoying but what’s a mama to do. I finally decided to let her cry it out (CIO). We started gentle CIO  with J around 4 months if I remember correctly. Perhaps, I thought, it was time to start E on CIO even though it is a little early. Eventually, she did sleep. In my defense, she was very tired. I had checked everything – diaper: check; nursed and burped: check; comfort level/hot/cold: perfect…nothing for me to do except let her fuss it out which she did and slept until I went in to wake her up at 5:20 p.m. With all the fussing and me going up and down trying to get her to sleep, she didn’t actually fall into a peaceful nap until after 2:30 p.m. I definitely think she isn’t getting enough sleep for an infant but that’s just going to have to be the case. I am really trying the best I can with her naps and sleep but can’t seem to make her sleep more or longer.

Night-time Sleep: We have followed this routine since she was a few weeks old. We wrap up dinner by 6:45 p.m. and then hang out as a family until 7:00 p.m. or so, then on alternate days, I massage her. This is followed by a bath, followed by diapering, clothing, nursing, and sleeping. Once she is a little older, we will include a book or two. On days I don’t massage her, she gets a sponge bath.

By the time she is clothed and swaddled, she is ready to eat and sleep. As she gently floats into sleepiness, I look at my sleeping beauty and a deep love fills my heart. I love this time of the day when she lays on the Boppy, drunk with milk, quietly breathing, eyes closed. I caress her hair only sometimes daring to kiss her cheeks for fear of waking her up, and slowly unfolding my legs (I sit cross-legged on the bed while nursing her), place her in her bassinet. This has worked perfectly well for us all these weeks and now all of a sudden, last three nights have had me pulling my hair out in anger and frustration. Perhaps she is going through a leap and I should be more understanding of the situation but if she is going to wake up and start crying the second I rest her in the bassinet every single time, I am going to go crazy.

wine meme Later that night, I poured myself a nice glass of wine. Something tells me I should keep my cellar well stocked.





Published by Suchitra

I am a former Communication Studies professor turned stay-at-home-mom (SAHM) to two multiracial kids. I write about my adventures in parenting and living a multicultural life with my family. Blogger at: Follow me: @thephdmama

2 thoughts on “Baby nap and sleep schedules

  1. Oh yes. I recall those nap/ bedtime struggles with G. He started sleeping through the night at 15 months old. He will be 2 in just a few short weeks. Sending you all the sleepy baby juju!


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