I never did like math. It was mostly because I'd have numbers and a multitude of equations and I always had to remember which equation worked how and where. Plus, it was very frustrating if I plugged numbers in the way that I thought I was supposed to and I still ended up with the wrong answer. However, for all of the frustrations that those challenges bring in math, there is the ultimate reward and satisfaction that comes with getting the right equation and the right answer!
It feels like parenting is no different. There are many different ways to come to a solution, but you mostly just want to find the solution. And, yes, for many things, there is no real solution. But more to my point, after spending my time analyzing a situation, reading various advice, and trying different things, I think I may have come to an answer.
What am I even talking about? My baby and his sleep pattern.
First....I had a problem with him not napping very well at all. I'd put him down and 15-30 minutes later he'd be up again and he would do this all day until he was overly tired and also did not sleep well at night.
I tried to figure out what in the world would cause him to wake up so quickly during naps when at night he would be put down and sleep for hours at a time. I found these things to be different between day and night sleep
1.) Noise- At night there is relatively no noise. During the day, there are cars zooming down the street, kids being loud after school, and a number of other things that could interrupt one's sleep.
2.) Darkness- At night it is dark, during the day it is light--a no-brainer.
3.) At night, he never had to cry. I was always right there! When I'd hear him fidgeting or squirming, I'd get him right away. Many times during the day, I'd go to take a shower or something when he was napping and come out to find him crying. So, I thought maybe he was hesitant to nap because something in him worried that I wouldn't be there when he woke up. So, I tried responding as quickly as I could during naps to help him feel more comfortable napping..I think that helped.
However, there were a few items of advice that I received from different people and websites they sent me that really helped our situation. I wanted to wait until he was doing this with some regularity before king a post on it. And, Gordon Lee has now been napping regularly in his crib, without any help, for about a week!
These things (I truly believe) are what mostly helped him learn to sleep better.
1.) A link I visited said that some babies are actually tired before showing signs of being tired. And once they start showing signs, they are actually already too tired and won't sleep as well. Well, with Gordon Lee, usually after about 2 hours of being awake, he'd start yawning and acting tired. He'd fall asleep easily but wake back up. So, I figured I'd start getting him ready for a nap before that point. WOW! It really worked! I started getting him ready more like 90 minutes after wake time and that's when I saw a real difference. He went to sleep easily and then stayed down for 90 minutes-2 hours at a time. One day, he even napped for 2 and 1/2 hours!
2.) CIO? (cry it out) not for us...but FIO? (fuss it out) Okay, that works! My baby gets really upset if left to cry and really only cries if something is wrong. So, crying it out for him doesn't work and I don't like the impact it has on him. Yet, I did notice that if I let him fuss for about 5 minutes or so, he WILL go back to sleep. I see it like I feel when I wake up too early in the morning...grumbling, "Shoot, I'm awake already? BLAH" And then I just go back to sleep. That's how his fussing has gone. I noticed if he is just fussing, he does it for no more than 5 minutes and goes back to sleep.
3.) Age----I think age does have something to do with it. Now that he can roll, he moves himself into a more comfortable position when sleeping sometimes and I think he's just more aware of the control he has over certain things like sleeping.
Also, I had learned that right around his age (4 months) babies are not as deep sleepers as they used to be. And I noticed this happening at night. He was in our room, but we were having to tip toe around him all night because if he was woken up, his eyes would pop open and he wouldn't go back to sleep. When things were quiet, he'd go back to sleep just fine on his own.
The only problem with that is that we just can't keep that quiet all the time. When my husband had to get up a 2 am for work one morning, I became aware that it was time to graduate Gordon Lee to his crib. When waking up after just hearing his daddy (who was being as quiet as possible) getting ready for work, I realized that for him to sleep better he needed to be in his own room.
So, I started him gradually. After his first night waking, I would put him in his crib to finish his sleep and turn the monitor on. Then, 3 nights ago, he spent his first whole night in his crib. He did pretty good! Each night, he has done better. And the last night was the best totaling 12 hours of sleep for him! He woke up jovial and cooing at his mobile.
(Here is a picture of him from this morning. As you can see, he is well rested and ready for the day!)
The only issue I have to face now is realizing the baby monitor is an alarm clock. In a sleepy state, I accidentally shut it off forgetting it was not an alarm clock! Fortunately, a few minutes later I realized what I had done.