I apologize in advance for the haphazardness of this post. I'm trying to get it out quickly before he wakes up from this nap.
Any day now, a baby sleep specialist is going to return my call and help get my baby sleeping better. When she does, I'd like to have a preconceived notion of what's realistic and healthy to accomplish. Her website says she doesn't do cry-it-out, which I like, because we tried that, very briefly (for naps only, for 2 days, with a time limit of 1 hour of crying). I don't much care to try that again.
Currently, Oscar is taking 2-3 naps a day, for a total of 3-4 hours of napping. But he'll only sleep 35 minutes at a time on his own. When he wakes up, I usually just hop in bed and nurse him and he'll sleep 30 minutes to an hour more for that nap. He used to take all his naps in the Ergo, the stroller, the car, or nursing, so being able to put him down at all is a huge improvement over where we were a month ago. Since we've been doing designated nap time, his night sleep has gone down the tubes. He used to go to sleep about 9 PM, wake about 5 AM, nurse, and wake for the day about 7. Now he has an earlier bedtime of 6:30/7 PM (Per Weissbluth, Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child). He wakes up at 9, 11, 2, 4, 5, and 6, give or take. Sometimes he's wide awake at 6, sometimes I can get him to doze til 7. When he wakes up I try bouncing him, and if that doesn't work in a short time (usually under a minute), it's generally because he really wants to nurse. So we nurse and he goes right back to sleep. Am I trying to make him nap too much? When I put him down to nap, he always genuinely seems tired, and the only reason I nurse him to get him to sleep longer is because he wakes up grumpy. After his part-2 naps nursing, he's happy and ready to go. Since we started our nap regimen, he is happier. I realized that he wasn't getting good quality sleep on-the-move anymore, and changing to stationary sleep has made SUCH a difference in his mood.
I'm confused about night weaning. How many wake-ups for feeding are appropriate for 9 months, if any? Weissbluth seems to think that they should be able to sleep right through, and that's best for them. Jay Gordon says don't night wean before a year (based on my cursory internet investigation). Does it just depend on the kid? I'm pretty sure that Oscar isn't ready to night wean, based on current observation, but his pediatrician assures me that if I want to night wean, it's fine; he'll just eat more during the day. Personally, I enjoy our night nursing sessions and hope to keep at least one of them. But I don't want to do it at the expense of his sleep. It doesn't SEEM to be hurting his sleep any--he nurses and goes right back down.
I know I haven't asked any actual concrete questions here. . . mostly this is because I don't know what questions I should be asking. So bombard me with your experiences, advice, and requests that I clarify anything that's unclear, please. Thanks, y'all. I read this community religiously and have learned so much already.
A Beginner Course in Creative Parenting
- Sleep expectations for 9 month old