Nap training: Day 2

I’m not sure what it is about parenting that makes people want to start blogs, but here I am. I guess I want to be able to keep a record of all of the early days, before it all fades to a messy blur. I’m a scientist — I love data, and charts, and graphs — so I want to keep track of everything.

Maya is 19 weeks old today. She will be starting day care in 4 weeks. I told her day care provider, Therese, that Maya has a hard time taking naps, and most days I have to walk her around in her Moby wrap until she falls asleep. 

You’re spoiling her, she said. Babies have to be sleep trained. They have to learn to sleep on their own.

I came home and cried when I told my husband what she said. My baby is going to be crying and no one is going to hold her and I’m paying this woman to do this, I said. I know it’s hard, my husband said. It’ll be ok.

I don’t know that much about babies. I read a lot of blogs and I read a few chapters of Marc Weissbluth’s book about sleep. It convinced me that if Maya doesn’t sleep enough she’s getting brain damage and I’m ruining her for life. But I didn’t get to the part that tells me how much is enough or what the magic trick is for getting babies to sleep.

I’m sure she would be fine if we just let her cry it out. But it’s not for me. So my plan is to try my very own three-step approach to nap training:

  1. Get her on the nap schedule by any means necessary. Use any and all sleep crutches (in our case, nursing to sleep or walking to sleep) to get her napping from about 10:00am to 12:00pm and 2:00pm to 3:00pm.
  2. As she grows accustomed to her sleep schedule, start giving her sleep cues to associate with sleep. For now, I’m using a pink lovey, sleep sheep, and pacifier.
  3. Once schedule and cues are established, slowly remove crutches (nursing and walking).

11:14am — kiddo is up and not showing any signs of going back to sleep. Will keep attempting sleep until 12:30 since she didn’t go down until about 10:30.

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