During my pregnancy I didn't worry about planning out each milestone of Johanna’s first year. Which, is not like me at all because at times I can be super anal-retentive. I hate uncertainty so I find myself planning and organizing things months even years ahead of time. I'll be honest, most of the time those plans never fall through like they do in my head. So when it came to thinking about Johanna’s sleep schedule I DID NOT plan a thing. I figured oh she will sleep when shes tired and we will figure it out. I thought I might have her sleeping in her crib in her own room by about 8 weeks but again it wasn't a plan of mine. Now more specifically, I only thought about her sleeping through the night and to my surprise that was the easiest thing! Who knew that problems with day time naps was a thing?! Not me! If you read my blog about phases, I’ve come to realize that this whole day time sleep thing is not a phase. It is a battle! A battle that I am not winning. Johanna - 1. Mama - 0. Seriously, this has been an ongoing thing for weeks now and I didn’t know that it could be an issue until I did a little bit of research. Going back, she has been sleeping through the night since she was 7 weeks old. On and off, she’ll wake up at odd hours but more than not she sleeps 8:30am to 6am then goes back to sleep from 6:30am to 9am. She’s also been sleeping in her crib in her own room for almost 2 weeks now. Perfect! Except for one thing…. She doesn’t sleep during the day and she gets down right sassy! Now, it’s not because she isn’t tired, she will literally fight her sleep until she is too tired to sleep. I have done everything I have read up on. This includes keeping her awake for longer periods of time, swaddling her during the day time, feeding her an 8oz bottle then laying her down, placing her in different rooms of the house, placing her in different chairs and beds, driving her around, walking for miles, playing music, tiring her out by playing or dancing with her, nursing her for longer than she needs to be nursed, rocking her, cuddling her, giving her a bath mid-day. You name it, I’ve done it. I cannot win this day time nap battle. When one of the thousand things I have tried actually works, she will sleep for 20 or 30 minutes then she is ready to party. Now, you’re probably thinking that this isn’t so bad since she is sleeping through the night and it wouldn’t be except for 2 things. I am dead by 5pm and she is so sassy when she is tired. Who has ever seen a 3 ½ month old yell at their Mama?! For the most part, Johanna is a very pleasant and happy baby. But when she is tired, she has no problems letting everyone know! Today, I was lucky enough to get some advice from someone who has been through this four times with her own children and now gives advice for her Grandchildren. She told me that I should try giving her a bottle using milk that is more fatty (if you’re a breastfeeding Mama then you know what I mean) around 2:30pm and putting her in her crib. She said that I should walk out of the room and let her cry it out until she figures out that this is her time to nap! I am all for trying this out but I’m so weak when it comes to her crying it out. The longest I have lasted is about 9 minutes. Tomorrow I hope I can go 5 minutes longer. Some of the research I have done has said that usually around 4 months old, babies tend to figure out their nap schedule on their own.
I’ve used a chart that I found that states the amount of naps your baby should be taking based on their age. 4 naps to 3 naps at age 4 to 5 months 3 naps to 2 naps at age 7 to 9 months 2 naps to 1 nap at age 13 to 17 months
More research I have done suggests that around 4 months of age babies will go through sleep regression. I have found that at this age a baby will go through sleep cycles that last 60 to 120 minutes. After each sleep cycle there is a mini “wake-up” period. During the wake up period, baby will check their surroundings, make sure they are safe and likely fall back asleep. However, it does not go this well for all babies and that includes Johanna! A problem that I found is that most of the time she falls asleep in my arms or while I am nursing her. I then place her in her crib or somewhere else that is not in my arms. During her “wake up” period, she does not recognize where she is as the place where she fell asleep. So she will not be able to put herself back to sleep. Okay, so then this should be a simple fix, right? I promised myself today that I will not rock her to sleep during the daytime. I will try my hardest to let her cry it out in her crib where she is supposed to sleep. At night, this is never an issue because she is able to fall asleep on her own. So basically, I am starting the 4 month sleep regression stage and I have to stop now! This brings me to the issue where when Johanna does fall asleep during the day it is only for about 20 to 30 minutes. Research has suggested that this is completely normal for a baby her age. Tips I have found through my research include things like making the room really dark, provide a comfortable environment like changing her clothes or swaddling her before naps, stay active in between naps, watch her for cues that she is sleepy and wait an extra 10-15 minutes before placing her down for a nap. So now that I have done all of this brilliant research on my little princess nap time issues, I will implement everything I possibly can to get her nap schedule down!!!! I would love to hear from you if you’ve had these same issues and what you did to conquer them! I’ll also keep you guys updated on whether or not I am able to follow through with any of the research I have done! Fingers crossed!