Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Sleep Seminar

     Yesterday I attended an Infant & Toddler Sleep Seminar.  I wanted to see if there was something I was missing, since C was having some difficulty napping and falling asleep at night by herself.  I'm just going to summarize a few things that I wish I had known and that they don't really tell you in the books I mentioned.

  • Sleep crutches, ex. pacifiers, nursing, rocking. are not only difficult habits to break, but when baby makes the transition from light sleep to deep sleep, usually about 20 minutes after they pass out, they wake up briefly and realize that their pacifier has fallen out or they're not being nursed or rocked and they get pissed.
  • Early bedtime is key.  Even a bed time as early as 6pm is beneficial if baby is having a difficult time napping for long periods (min 45mins) during the day.
  • A quick bedtime routine lasting no longer than 40 minutes is best.  Dragging it out will only bring baby past the point of exhaustion... then... good luck.
  • Instead of rushing in as soon as baby makes a peep, wait 10 minutes.  There's a magical moment that happens in between the 5 and10 minute mark when baby will settle after a freak out.  However, it doesn't always happen, so console that kid if they're still lost at 10 minutes.
  • BLACK OUT BLINDS ... no one wants to sleep when it's bright and sunny out.
  • BIG FAT FAIL on my part.... mobiles with bright lights and sounds are a horrible way to relax a baby.  Duh! ... C's previously mentioned Fisher Price Aquarium will be heading back to Walmart today... or I might just move it to the playpen.  It just makes more sense, since the playpen is for playing and the aquarium is definitely a toy.
  • White noise is great.  As long as it's not on a timer.  If the noise that baby used to drift off to sleep disappears at those 20 minute transition intervals, they're gonna lose it.

  • Nighttime Sleep should last 10 -12 hours ( for a 3-6 month old)
  • Daytime Naps should last 45mins - 1hr.  (anything shorter than 45 minutes doesn't count)
  • Baby should nap a total of 2-4 hours a day.  (again, for a 3-6 month old)
Here's a sample schedule that C and I currently 'try' to follow...
  • Morning Nap : 9:00am - 10:00am
  • Noon Nap : 12:00pm - 1:00pm
  • Afternoon Nap : 3:00pm - 5:00pm 
  • Bed Time : 7:00pm  (bedtime routine starts just after 6pm)
     It also varies depending on when C is actually sleepy.  I always watch for the basic signs of sleepiness and start to soothe her for a nap right then, and not once she's already tired.  Once baby is tired and cranky, it's too late and it'll be a lot harder for them to soothe themselves to sleep.

Hope this helps all the sleepless Momma's out there!

xo, Kiara

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