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#1 of 12 Old 09-28-2004, 06:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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OK so I have figured out today that the nap situation is a huge contributor to my daily stress. The babies nap rather sporadically and unpredictably. They both need a lot of help falling asleep. The toddler no longer naps. I feel like I spend a tremendous amount of time and energy every day either trying to get babies to sleep or dealing with exhausted children. I don't even know where to begin fixing this, but it seems like it should be fixable. I think the babies are trying to transition from three (or so) naps a day to two (or so) naps a day. They only wake up once at night most of the time, so that is great but the days are just so stressful. I have read No-Cry but can't figure out how to apply it to two babies very well.

Analisa, Mama to Meg 12/12/01, Patrick 12/24/03, Catherine 12/24/03, Ben 2/26/06
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#2 of 12 Old 09-29-2004, 02:10 PM
 
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Hi Analisa!

I hear you on the 'need a lot of help falling asleep' thing. My 21 mos ds requires ALOT of rocking to go down for naps. I spend 1/2 my life in our glider! I use to feel like I spent all day also trying to get him asleep. Now that my girls are here I don't have that luxury so I let him play till he poops out or till the girls fall aseelp and I get a chance to rock him. If it's not working then I let him play another 1/2 hr or give him a snack or take a walk and try again. No use wasting your energy...what little we have left.

I think your toddler is being normal in not wanting to nap anymore at her age. At least that is how my neice that age has been. If she skips nap can you get her to bed earlier? That way you get a bit more time in evenings and she gets sleep she is missing from naps. Does doing something very active in the morning like playing outside get her energy out so she'll be more likely to nap...or does that just get her more wound up. I avoid the tv unless necessary but will having her watch a movie help wind her down.

And I think your babies going to 2 naps a day will make getting them to sleep easier. Getting them to nap 3xs seems like alot. Unless these are very short naps. How long are their naps?

I read No-Cry too and it sounds great but just doesn't work for me. I always had to either nurse, rock, take walk outside, or take ride in car to get my babies to sleep.

Or maybe try a new routine prior to nap time to help signal to them it's time to sleep. A routine different from what you have been doing...something new for them and you to help make nap time a bit more interesting...less monotonous. Normally they say not to stray from the normal routine but if yours isn't working then something new may be just what you need.

HTH mama!
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#3 of 12 Old 09-29-2004, 06:10 PM
 
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I can't offer you much advice because I don't have a toddler to go with my boys (I can't imagine how people manage with multiples +, good on you!). I just wanted to give you some encouragement, and tell you that I think you are doing totally the right thing... I realised something similar when my babies were about 6 months old and have worked pretty hard at getting them to nap regularly in the day time. I am lucky that my dp is at home in the day so can help me with putting them down for their naps. I nurse Tom first because he will consent to being put down by dp (!), and then Dan. One thing that did work for me from the NCSS was her idea for getting Dan to take longer naps (he is a real livewire) was to sneak in and start feeding him just before his usual wake up time (after about 35 mins). This worked really well, and he now usually does 1 and 1/2 hours after lunch.

Of course now I am wondering how I can work nap time by myself to give dp more time to write his thesis. Also, D seems to be transitioning to 1 nap a day, so have to think of way of working that one into the day too. It's all go isn't it? Hope you get some good advice.
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#4 of 12 Old 09-29-2004, 09:25 PM
 
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i agree with gotmilkmama... a new routine, maybe? we're at two naps right now (short one in the morning and long one in the afternoon) and sometimes stuff happens and for whatever reason, the usual thing doesn't work. bath, baby einstein before bed, will they fall asleep in a sling? i always figured if i could at least get one down that way, i was halfway there. our new thing right now is flashcards... when it's time for naps, after they've nursed, they go down in their cribs and they each get a stack of flashcards to look at. they usually do that for about ten minutes and then fall asleep on their own. i don't do CIO, but i will let them fuss it out if they're just being cranky. if they're cranking, as i call it, i go in and just say very matter-of-factly that it's time for a nap, i show them a new flashcard or put a different book in their bed and then walk out. i usually do laundry right across the hall during this time so that i can keep an eye on the situation and they see that i'm just doing boring mom stuff. :LOL usually then they settle right down. if not and it escalates to crying, i get them up and we watch a video or nurse or some other quiet activity until we're relaxed and then we try again. if they wake up early, i don't rush in to get them. i give it five minutes and over half the time they go back down by themselves. we have a clock that makes nature sounds and it is CRUCIAL for keeping them asleep... i turn on "ocean" or "brook" and crank it up and the white noise helps them sleep more soundly. as for your toddler... do you think she would do quiet time? i have a friend who does this with her little one and it seems to work well. she can look at books or color, but for an hour, it is quiet time and that means not getting up and running around or anything until mom goes and gets her from her room. HTH!
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#5 of 12 Old 09-30-2004, 07:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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OK, I just walked out of a kitchen with a crying baby, a fussy baby, and a (blessedly) content toddler. I can't take it. I'm *this* f-ing close to Ferberizing at nap time. How the f*** am I supposed to rock one baby while the other is in the high chair eating? How am I supposed to nurse one while I pat the other on the back in her crib? If they even have schedules, which I doubt, they are completely different.

We have started a quiet time with the toddler.

The babies have only napped once, briefly, today in the car. It's almost 6 pm and they are exhausted. DH doesn't get home until 7:15. No, they won't fall asleep in the sling. They won't fall asleep nursing. Driving is the only thing that works and I'm not willing to do that to my (mostly) sweet and long-suffering toddler.

Something's got to give. I'm afraid it's going to be my sanity.

Analisa, Mama to Meg 12/12/01, Patrick 12/24/03, Catherine 12/24/03, Ben 2/26/06
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#6 of 12 Old 09-30-2004, 11:05 PM
 
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i'm so sorry. i've had those days minus the toddler and they SUCK. here's a couple more things you could try.

if they're teething: hyland's teething tablets, a dose of tylonol 20 min before you want them to go to sleep. run the vaccuum cleaner. go for a walk outside in the stroller. put pillows on the living room floor and lay around watching baby einstein or some other video they like. lay them down in their cribs and run some white noise.

when you lay them down, are they outright crying or mostly fussing? are you opposed to letting them fuss it out? as in, whining but no serious, "i need mama" crying..? like i said, i would let mine fuss it out if they wouldn't go to sleep... if it escalated to crying, i pick them up, but when they were a little bit younger, if i came in and vaccuumed their room, they'd zonk out. do you have a back carrying sling? like a mei tai? mine won't even sit in the side sling anymore, but they'll pass out really quick when they're carried on my back.

it sounds like your little ones are definitely undergoing some sort of transition... i HATED it when mine stopped nursing to sleep all of the sudden... i really had to think up some new ways to get our bedtime routine back on track... anyway... hope things are getting better for you. let us know how it's going and feel free to vent as needed.
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#7 of 12 Old 09-30-2004, 11:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Not that I can afford one, but I wonder if a second crib would be helpful. We have C in a crib on one side of our bed and P in a toddler bed on the other side.

I am not at all opposed to fuss it out, and have certainly done that, but this is all-out crying.

Wonder if they could share a crib? Probably not at this point as P is a super-restless sleeper.

Analisa, Mama to Meg 12/12/01, Patrick 12/24/03, Catherine 12/24/03, Ben 2/26/06
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#8 of 12 Old 09-30-2004, 11:55 PM
 
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Ugh, I hate those transitions. For my own sanity & their safety, I was very strict about keeping them on the same schedule whether they would have done so on their own or not. Naptime was naptime period, everyone napped. I felt very on the edge a lot of the time as it was, I can't imagine if I hadn't done that.

I can't really remember how long mine stayed in their crib together but anything's worth a shot, right?

I do remember when my boys were little that they were a huge pain to get to sleep even when they were exhausted. We would have to just hang with them & pat them on the back for a while. Also, they didn't like to nap in their crib-- they preferred to nap on a blanket in the living room so maybe they might do better for you in a different spot during the day?
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#9 of 12 Old 10-02-2004, 06:18 PM
 
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Meg's mom, I was reading your post to my dh last night, and we agreed that we had no idea how we would manage if a toddler was added to the twin equation. So all day today I have been trying to think of stuff that might help whilst realising I have no concept of how hard you must be finding things at the moment. But in case you could use this...

When I was trying to get my nap routine sorted, it helped me to think about their behaviour on a standard : kind of day and work out from that when I thought they tended to nap or seemed to need a nap. Then I wrote down a schedule a stuck to it pretty strictly for a few days until it (pretty much) worked. If this sounds a bit obessive, I am afraid I was for a while (but that's another thread ). I had to do something to stay sane.

Do you think your little ones have completely given up nursing to sleep? I ask because, after a while of the routine working pretty well, I thought that my ds1 had done that too and completely panicked. I eventually realised that his sleep needs had changed a bit and that I was trying to nurse him into a nap when he wasn't really ready. So now he goes down quite easily about 30 mins after his brother (when everything is running smoothly...haha).

Hoping things are better today.
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#10 of 12 Old 10-03-2004, 01:44 PM
 
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Analisa - hugs to you! I know how you feel. Maryn doesn't nap at all (and hasn't for over a year) and my babies nap quite sporadically as well I just wear them for their naps (one in front, one in back) and see no end in sight for it. If I was trying to get them to lie down for their naps, I know I would go crazy because the logistics of trying to get two babies asleep and lying down is insane! It's hard enough at night when dh is around, for us, it's just not worth it to try it for naps, too When I get stressed about sleep (and it used to happen A LOT with Maryn), I would just totally back off and let her do her thing. Not great advice when there's two of them, I know...

Can you put one down while the other plays? Do they need to sleep at the same time? What about some quiet time for all of you when they're tired? Like a movie for Meg or music and all of you lie around in bed together?

I just reread that last sentence - sounds nice but there's no way it would work for us either

I really don't know Time is the only surefire solution I've found and it's a real bitch to wait :
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#11 of 12 Old 10-03-2004, 10:49 PM
 
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Hi Analisa,

I just had to respond to your post, even though I mostly
lurk, because I have had similar struggles. My twins are now
13 months, plus I have a (very needy) six year old.
The main way I've dealt is going for walks at naptime.
I've used combinations of stroller, backpack and sling.
One scenario is baby and big kid in jogging stroller,
other baby on back in kelty carrier. Both babies usually fall
asleep pretty quick this way, then stop at park so big kid can
get out and run around while I transition other baby to
the stroller. an advantage is being able to push the stroller
to get any fussing babies back down. I admit also to sometimes
bribing big kid to get cooperative behavior, which is
crucial at certain moments here. Thankfully these days, my babes
are on more-or-less the same schedule, but there was a good
3 months this summer when one really needed 2, the other only
one nap. I tell you, I got a lot of exercise. Everybody out in the
stroller/backpack/sling until the sleepy one went down then
the other 2 could get out and play at the park. I did this even all
winter in Michigan....just need the right clothes and attitude!

But I can totally understand how frustrated you are, and there
were many days when my above "system" broke down for whatever reason. It sucks! This is why I try really really hard
to always have another adult around at certain crucial times
when I needed to focus on getting someone down. Luckily, my husband has flexible hours and we have money to pay someone to
help. Can you find someone, anyone, to help for a couple
hours around naptime? You can't just let yourself go insane!

Karen
Mom to Sanelma (4/9/98), Tapio and Helena (8/24/03)
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#12 of 12 Old 10-04-2004, 02:34 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all so much for your ideas & support. I'll be back with an update.

Analisa, Mama to Meg 12/12/01, Patrick 12/24/03, Catherine 12/24/03, Ben 2/26/06
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