Nap Routine

I love attachment parenting.  I love babywearing.  I love co-sleeping.

But it came to my attention here recently that Seedling will.not.fall.asleep unless she is in her Ergo.  And, well, as I’m now a SAHM and need to get housework done, that’s difficult to do while wearing a sleeping 12lb+ baby.  And really, the kiddo needs to learn to fall asleep without the Ergo.  Also, transferring from the Ergo to her bassinet or crib?  Usually she wakes up as she goes from being upright to horizontal.  Up until now the way I’ve been handling it is cranky/fussy baby goes in the Ergo, where she inevitably falls asleep.  Then I try to transition her, and 75% of the time she wakes up.  Eventually out of frustration I just let her nap her entire nap in the Ergo.  By the end of the day we are both cranky and exhausted, and my back is killing me.

So I knew that once I was no longer working I would start transitioning her to falling asleep outside of the Ergo, and that she would have her naps in her bassinet or crib.  No more sleeping in the Ergo.  (But we still plan to co-sleep at night.)

The day started off ok, but a bit shaky.  I’d hold and rock her and put her in her bassinet or crib half asleep – and she’d start screaming her head off.

A call to my SIL “A” helped me to realize I was trying to do too many things at once.  Having her learn to fall asleep outside of the Ergo is a big enough transition.  Having her learn to fall asleep by herself?  A totally different transition.

So I decided her new routine to fall asleep will be this:

When she starts getting fussy, and no longer wants to play, and is rubbing her eyes – I will calmly pick her up, loosely wrap her flannel blankie around her, turn on the fan in her nursery and go rock in the rocking chair.  (Which up until now has mostly held clean clothes that needed to be put away because sitting in the Ergo was difficult for me)  I rock and jiggle her, and sing her lullaby.  (I don’t really know any lullaby’s other that “Soft Kitty” from BBT, so I sing the “Lord Have Mercy” from liturgy.  It has a pleasant tune, easy to sing, repetitive nature that makes it actually a really good lullaby!  It also helps me to keep my patience when she’s screaming in my ear because she wants to be in the Ergo.)  I do not get out of the chair until she is asleep.  And even then I allow myself 5 minutes to sing softer and softer, and rock more and more gently until I’m sitting still and barely whispering the song.  Then it is stand up gently, place her in her bed, wrap her blankie around her, then top with “the magic blankie” (a crocheted gift from a family friend, that I swear is magic) and quietly leave the room.

I realize today was day number one, but so far, it’s gone well.  Yes, the crying while rocking goes on for a bit, but I’m trying to retrain her.  She is fed, has a dry diaper, and is being held in loving arms.  So I know she is crying out of confusion and frustration.  Crying is the only way she has of communicating.  But eventually she will figure out this is the new routine, and we will be ok.

For her “bedtime” prep, I put lotion on her when I change from clothes to jammies, and then read a story before the rocking and singing… I hope in that way to help her realize the difference between daytime naps and nighttime sleep.  And yes, she is currently in her crib at 10pm, although I expect her to wake up for a midnight dreamfeed.  My plan is to go in, feed her and then bring her back to bed with me until the morning.

Anyway, that’s the happy-hap-happenings.  I’m sure there will be some rough days, but for the most part, especially as this was just “day one”, I’m pretty content with how it went.

Wish me luck!

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One response to this post.

  1. We found it useful to do the lotion massage in the crib so the girls would associate the crib with something they like. They love it. We do the massage which now illicits giggles, and then I start singing the lullaby while I snap the jammies and put them into their sleep suits. I think it’s gone a long way towards alleviating that fear of abandonment when put in the crib and they generally seem pretty happy to be in the crib now.

    Reply

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