So, I shouln't have crowed so quickly with delight after one success. That was the only success with that method. That gimmick included waiting outside of the sleeper's room, watching until the first signs of early waking, dashing in, nursing/soothing the child back to sleep before she woke up. This is not the solution I needed. I needed something that didn't require me to re-sleep her half way through each nap.
The good thing about that original dud was the idea of lurking outside the room right around the time of the early nap awakening. I used that strategy to see that Eloise was startling herself awake. She looks like I might look when I have falling dreams. This triggered me to remember that the nap strike began around when I decided she was too wiggly to swaddle any more. So, I've resumed a semi-swaddle technique that seems to make her feel safe and keep her from startling. Longer naps have been the joyful result.
Friday, September 17, 2010
the simple entity I have enjoyed for so many years without giving it much thought has now become a prize to be pursued. I knew that it would because I've watched other parents wrestle with how to provide this gift to their children and to themselves. That's what it has become for me. A needed gift that I want to give my little girl. When her dark eyelashes close delicately on her porcelain chubby cheeks I feel the same satisfaction as when I hear her rhythmic gulping at my breast. I am providing her with the means to her brain growth, cell growth,and emotional well-being when I provide her with sleep.
The various books, the websites, the questioning of friends and doctor are all worth the effort if I gain a nugget that leads to sleep for Eloise. The problem with all of that information gathering is that, as with all things "baby", the study of sleep is rife with opinions at odds with each other, at odds with my specific child's behavior.
But today there was a breakthrough. For some reason about 3 weeks ago, my little darling decided to go on a nap strike. That's right. No signs, no memo to announce the radical change, just one day she slept for only 45 minutes instead of the usual 3 hours during her morning nap time. Not only did this throw off all the other naps of the day it disturbed my heretofore gentle grinning baby. Since that day, she hasn't slept for more than one hour at any of her nap times unless I decide to wear her in the carrier for her entire nap time. I have done this many days because after a 45 minute nap, she was waking up yawning, nervous, unwilling to play on her own, and much more clingy. I was sad. I wanted to read her Sandra Boynton books instead of trying to convince her not to cry.
But, as I said before, today there was a breakthrough. I read one of my books and it had a suggestion for my exact situation. I performed the suggestion, albeit skeptically. It worked. She slept 3 hours again. I had to keep checking on her to make sure she was ok. But what a relief. The reward for all that sleep? A cheerful enormous smile when she eased back into waking.