Wednesday, October 1, 2008

To Nap or Not to Nap

Ok, I have a confession.

So far, I have held Chloe for her morning and afternoon naps.

Every day I hold her.

I'm regretting that decision now.

At first, I did it because she would fall asleep in my arms and I would just love looking at her, watching her precious face as she slept. Then, I did it because she would wake up if I laid her down. She got a longer nap if I held her. Now, I know that this may have been a mistake.

I should have been putting her in her crib for naps. Crap.

We have a major habit to break now. I feel badly for her because she is going to have to make the change because of poor decision on my part.

So, yesterday I decided to put her in her crib when I would normally hold her. I laid her down in the morning. The crying started about 5 minutes later. I told myself to let her cry, eventually she would fall asleep. Well, she cried for 15 minutes. I went to check on her. She cried for 15 more. I went to check on her. She continued to cry. I got in the shower and she was whimpering when I got out. She finally fell asleep after 45 minutes of crying/whimpering.

She slept for 15 minutes.

The afternoon came. Time for another nap. I laid her down. She was silent for about 5 minutes. Then she "talked" to herself for 5 minutes. Then she started to cry. She cried for 15 minutes before she fell asleep.

She slept for 17 minutes.

It is so hard to listen to my child cry. I feel so badly, but I'm afraid that if I go in to get her, she will eventually learn that if she cries long enough, Mommy will come to me. Breaks my heart that she didn't get the sleep she needs yesterday. I know she was so exhausted last night. We started her bath about 15 minutes early because she was so tired.

How did all the Moms out there handle this? Did your child cry when you put them down for naps? Am I the only one who held them at first and then had to make this transition? If you went through this, how long before they started sleeping without so much fight?

Help! I need advice! I'm already dreading naptimes today.


SSU said...

When I started to transition my little one from naps in my arms, we laid down together. I let her nurse until she fell asleep. Then I got up and went about my stuff. Once she got the hang of that, I let her nurse while we were sitting up and then we would lay down together. Now she just goes to sleep on her own - but that transition didn't happen completely until she was too mobile to sleep on our bed...

Sarah said...

I'm sorry Corie! Sad for both of you. Just be strong and know that she's okay to cry. If she's fed and changed, there's no harm in her crying. But I know how hard it is to listen to. Sometimes I get a book and sit outside so I don't hear it. She'll learn, it may take a few days but she will.

Greta said...

I'm sorry to hear - it is so hard to listen to your little ones cry! It helps me to remind myself that crying is their only mode of communication (for almost a year). That means, they may just be annoyed...or tired and they cry.

It doesn't mean they are so hurt, or in such despair that they start crying...more like adults.

That sounds silly but it's easy to impart our emotions on them.

From the get-go, I put Sam in all different places to nap, on the couch, in his crib, on the floor, in the swing, in his pumpkin seat and really didn't let him nap much while I was holding him. So, I didn't have THAT habit to break but there are always adjustments that you're needing to make and schedules that need tweaking, like when you start dropping feedings and/or naps. I've found that these changes usually take a good 5, sometimes 10 days.

Stick with it. It sounds like you know how important it is for her to sleep and it sounds like you're doing great things by letting her cry, going to check on her, letting her cry and distracting yourself. It's great that she finally does fall asleep! That's that less ground you have to make up :).

You'll both get it figured out!

lil ole' me..... said...

Just a lil comment update....

Today, Chloe cried for about 15 minutes when I laid her down for her morning nap, but then slept for 40 minutes. Much better!!!

Her afternoon nap was not so hot. She cried for a long time, slept for 7 minutes, woke up and cried some more. Sigh.

It is THE WORST to go in to check on her and see her damp lil eyelashes. Double sigh.

kathycarr said...

One thing I discovered is a fleece crib sheet that I ordered online. (LOVE IT) It is never cold so when she rolls over she doesn't wake back up. Also, you can pre-warm the sheet with a hot water bottle and remove it before you put her down. Then she feels your warmth even though you're not there. On days that I choose to let her cry it out, I do not go in and check on her (except to peek through the crack) because it upsets her too much. She does much better on her own. Good luck! Oh- one more thing... allow yourself some freedom to be flexible since you're moving, there's chaos and everything will change. Just do what works that day and don't feel guilty about it. In the new place, you'll find a new rhythm and routine. Chloe will adapt, no habit is irreversible.

kathycarr said...

Ok, I have to amend my post from yesterday. I didn't really let my girls cry it out until they were older- like 6-7 months or so. When they were younger, I always rescued them and made sure it wasn't gas, or stuck on her tummy, spit up, or too cold or whatever. I usually nursed them laying down or in the rocker, and like "ssu" left them on the bed, or carefully transitioned to the crib. I didn't let her cry it out until I knew her personality and knew for sure that she was super tired and was just being difficult. I think mom knows best, so go with your gut. Chloe's got a good mommy!

Alexis Jacobs said...

I have no advice as I totally ruined Sam. She never napped if I wasn't holding her until she was in such a deep sleep I could lay her down or unless I was driving in a car. She never went to bed awake at night. I would nurse her until she fell asleep and then layed her down sleeping. She was almost 3 when she slept all night. Ask Val. Sam was a nightmare.

I am glad that things are getting better. You are an awesome mommy. Never think otherwise. ((hugs))

Beth said...

Just to let you know, Hunnybunny moved here before the rest of the us. He took Sam's bed, so Sam had to sleep with me. Well, Sam and the Pickle were roommates. And Pickle couldn't sleep with out him in the room. So to get some sleep, I brought him in with us. So then we move here, and he wants to sleep with us. It was 7 months before he slept by himself all night. The trick which I wish I had learned was the whole routine thing. I use that now with the baby I keep. We read 3 stories, I rock him a little, and then put him down. He cries some...then he's out for 2 hours.
Don't beat yourself up. Given the choice,anybody would love to cuddle a baby!

it's me, Val said...

Corie, this is hard!! I hope it's gotten better for you. Please update when you can. I did this with Noah, too!! I don't have good advice. Just that if you don't break it now, her sleeping habits will only stay bad! Noah was a horrible horrible sleeper and never slept through the night till he was 2 and I know it's all because of my bad mommy habits. It's hard, I know :(