Thursday, February 09, 2012

Sleep Breakthrough! the 2-1 nap transition & our current schedule

You may recall the blog I posted last Wednesday about my "failed" nap experiment. I went into it with the impression that I couldn't screw things up any worse than the already were--and it was just one day--so why not try something completely different regarding baby G's lack of sleep.

I couldn't have been more right. Apparently the ridiculous amount of crying G and I endured last Wednesday flipped some kind of switch in her brain. I hated it, she hated it, the whole apartment complex hated it. But then the most magnificent thing happened.

She slept through the night.

I'm not talking the kind-of-wishful-thinking sleep through the night of 10 pm to 6 am, I'm talking about the full night of sleep. 8 pm to 7:45 am. My husband and I felt pretty awesome after getting 7 straight hours of sleep ourselves. Aside from being engorged, I needed a repeat of that night!

On Thursday, I plotted to keep baby G awake until after lunch, because I think a late nap was vital to her STTN. We went to the gym at 10:30, ate lunch at noon, and she took a nap at 1 pm. She slept for an hour and a half! I hadn't seen that long of a nap in quite a while (except if she was sick). We did 8 pm bedtime again, and she slept through the night AGAIN!

Two STTN nights in a row?? That is not a fluke. She slept through the night again, again, and again!

It wasn't until Monday night that she didn't sleep well, and her nap was not great either. Tuesday night she did sleep all night, although she was up at 6 am crying, so I changed her diaper & nursed her so that she'd sleep in until 8. Wednesday was not an easy day despite trying to keep her on "schedule," and I am 100% positive her teeth are the problem. I was playing with her, holding her, rocking her, and she would just burst out in real tears. Poor thing. She threw down anything I tried to give her to soothe her, so I gave her ibuprofen. It is literally the only thing that worked.

Even though this sixth tooth has cut through, it's still not all the way in & seems to be pushing against the tooth next to it. It looks like it hurts badly.

Aside from that, my life is infinitely better than it was last week. I can get chores done during nap time, so the evenings are a lot more relaxing. I get blog things done, so I'm not nearly as stressed. I even decided to make dinner for a friend whose baby just got out of the hospital--the kind of thing I always love doing, but wouldn't have been able to find energy for a week ago. My outlook on life is so much more positive again. I am really feeling more like myself. A night full of sleep is absolutely magical.

2 - 1 Nap Transition

I've read about the 2-1 nap transition, and I think that is what our issue had been for the past few months. I thought something was wrong with baby G; but I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that something was just wrong with her schedule. When she went from 2 naps to 1 last fall, I never took care to force her nap to the afternoon. I just let her take the nap whenever she seemed tired--some days that'd be 10:30 am and other days it would be noon. That was a big mistake, especially when one was never very long. Her body wanted to take only one nap a day, but her mind would get super tired in the afternoon if she took a nap in the morning. Sometimes I would try to force a second nap if her other one ended before noon, but that rarely worked (and if it did, it was really short).
People had suggested making her wait to take a nap after lunch, but I didn't think that was possible because she always seemed so tired in the morning. Now I realize it was because I would let her sleep in the morning. After my little experiment, I've found that she needs to learn to be awake in the morning so that she takes a better nap in the afternoon & sleeps better at night. It's still pretty hard to keep her up, but she's learning.

You may be opposed to "schedules" for babies, but for one like G...I'd say it's vital. Perhaps some older babies still sleep whenever/however, but not mine. Now that we have her routine figured out, I hope that her sleep continues to be predictable!

If you are reading this, pulling your hair out in frustration with your baby's horrible sleep habits, please know that I have been there. If you've tried everything else, I'd suggest a complete schedule make-over!

At 11.5 months old, here is baby G's schedule (give or take 20 minutes):

8 pm: bedtime
7:45 am: awake, nurse
8:35 am: breakfast
10:20 am: nurse
12 pm: lunch
12:30 pm: nurse
1 pm: nap
3 pm: awake
3:30 pm: nurse (I think this one will be the first BF time to go, as it is slowly being replaced with a bigger snack)
5 pm: snack time (her new favorite thing)
6:15 pm: dinner
7:45 pm: nurse
8 pm: bedtime again

She is now getting around 13 hours of sleep a day, which is much more normal!


  1. Yay! So glad to hear you finally found a schedule that works for you and Gianna. I am a huge fan of a schedule for Alethea as well. I think we are getting close to the point of switching from 2 to 1 nap, but not quite yet. :-) Yay for more sleep all around! Hope she keeps it up!

  2. So glad you have figured it out. My oldest has been on a schedule for as long as I can remember, I hate it when something happens to interrupt it, it really throws everything off.

  3. When did G transition to one nap?


Thanks for leaving a comment! Have a great day!