Monday, February 16, 2009

That's The Ticket


I have a really sweet daughter. Most of the time. Sometimes my sweet little one is taken over by her evil twin, SuperFuss. I've been working on eliminating Moana The SuperFuss. I may have found the answer.

Turns out she needs to sleep. A lot. 3 naps per day. Minimum. Missed a nap? Welcome SuperFuss. Late for a nap? SuperFuss arrives. Nap interrupted? You guessed it.

So out of necessity, we have settled into a daily routine around here lately. I never thought I would be the mom who had everything running on a tight schedule, but I guess I should be reminded to 'never say never'...

It has become clear that when we follow a routine, Moana and I both have a better day. Really it just means that there's less of this.

All the times are approximate and vary some from day to day, but it generally goes something like this: (and yes, I realize that the moment I press the 'publish' button on this blog post, it'll all change...)

4:30(ish) Moana wakes up and announces her strong desire to be fed. Feed her. Back to bed by 5:00(ish). She generally goes right back to sleep, even though she's wide awake after a diaper change.

6:00 I get up and go workout. Home by 8:00 so Scott can get to work. I'm lucky he doesn't have to leave earlier. ;) He's lucky Moana sleeps this whole time so he can take a long shower and drink his coffee in peace.

8:30(ish) Moana wakes up for the day. She eats and then we play. We practice standing, tummy time, hitting her play toys, grabbing for things, take the dog for a walk, etc. Check it out- she can stand on her own now if she can balance on the back of the couch. This is Moana the SuperHero! ;)

I put her back down for a morning nap about 2 - 2 1/2 hours after she wakes up... so nap time from like 11-12. This can vary, but she generally lets me know when it's time to go down by yawning, rubbing her eyes, or screaming out in her SuperFuss-is-on-the-way voice. I know I'm supposed to get her in her crib for day time naps, but we're not that advanced yet. We still depend on the swing for daytime naps. Although sometimes this nap is spent in the baby jogger. Take today, for example. We started running and she looked like this...

20 Minutes later...

Around noon-ish, Moana wakes up again. Same thing. Eat. Play. This is the best time for us to go on a field trip if we're going to do that (grocery store, beach, park, etc). I wait for her to fuss a little, which usually comes by 2:00(ish) and she's back in her swing for a longer nap. Sometimes she'll sleep for almost 2 hours this time. This is the best time for me to get on my bike trainer if I'm gonna do that...

3:30-4:00(ish) Wake up. Eat again. Play a little. Eat again. Play some more. Eat again. This is her cluster feed time and she eats pretty much straight from 3:30-5:00ish. I don't mind so much because A) I'm used to it and B) it means she sleeps better at night if she eats a lot in the afternoon. I'll do anything that'll make her sleep better at night!

I usually try to get her to take a little nap from 6-6:30. Then she eats again at around 7:00. Bath time followed up with baby massage and maybe one more smaller feeding right before she goes down for the night at about 8:00-8:30.

Sometimes she goes right to sleep. We're starting to let her cry it out if she protests. I know we're lucky in that crying it out for her lasts only like 15 minutes. It's still a really hard 15 minutes, but then she goes to sleep on her own. I do not pretend to have any expertise in childhood sleep habits, but from what I've read, I'm hoping that this works. I'm noticing as Moana gets older that her sleep times really do have to be orchestrated by me, and if she misses one (or is late getting to the nap) we endure a lot of very fussy crying and I really just don't have the patience for that. And it's definitely true for her that the more she sleeps, the more she sleeps.

So here's the problem... I don't want to be a slave to the schedule (that's why I call it a routine), but I find myself viewing *everything* in the context of how it will affect Moana's eating and nap times. I like it that I can generally predict now when she's going to want to eat and sleep (and therefore what time will be best for different activities). It used to be such a huge guessing game. I would think it'll get even easier as she gets older and can stay awake for longer periods without getting all fussy, but I'm curious about how other moms out there organize your baby's day? How long can your baby stay awake before getting all fussy?

13 comments:

jessica said...

We had a really similar routine approach when Lola was that age.
It's funny that at 3 years, the one nap time she still has is the same as her afternoon nap was at 3 months--roughly noon to 2pm EVERY day.

Just when we think she's outgrowing her need for so much structure, something as subtle as Daylight Saving Time turns our world upside down (and I suddenly realize how much I've come to like those routines too)!

Now, if I can just get #2 to sync with her schedule, I'll be too lucky!

Rebecca DeWire said...

When Elena was around Moana's age, she could get good naps on the go (i.e. BOB or car. Now that she is older, I insist on being home for nap times (10am and 3pm). If she falls asleep in the car even for a minute, then her next nap is totally messed up. I have learned through experience that it just isn't worth messing with the nap schedule. So I feel like I am a super slave to the nap schedule.

H said...

It sounds like you're so organised :) I guess you've just swapped your routines around... i.e at one time you would have centered everything around when you could train, eat and sleep but now you centre it around when Moana eats, sleeps and needs playtime and you fit yourself in as and when possible, good work!! :) ALthough it sounds harder than training and equally as relentless but with just as huge, if not bigger rewards.

The Chapples said...

Michelle, we're in a similar routine, which makes sense since our kiddos are a few days apart! It's so funny how I read about Moana doing something and Baker has either just done it or does it right after Moana. He smiles at her when I look at your blog. (I think he ha sa crush on your lovely little lady).

Clare said...

we're just figuring out a routine...which i hope will make it easier when i go back to work. and yeah, i plan around what i hope will be nap times too, it ultimately makes it easier so why not? and i got a bike trainer yesterday and just jumped on it during morning nap time! nice!

Angela said...

It's the nature of the beast for the first year to 18 months. Naps are crucial for the little ones. Ryan used to be able to sleep anywhere so we didn't have to worry about being home, but Brayden is a completely different story...if it's not his crip, it's not happening. We've been lucky though that brayden's second nap syncs up with Ryan's daily nap.

You should start to see longer "awake" periods pretty soon, I'd say around 5-6 months they will stay awake for 2.5 to 3 hours (depending on the child) and may even move to 2 naps/day...those naps being slightly longer. Ryan didn't give up nap #2 until around 15 months.

I agree with Jessica hole heartedly though...daylight savings time, although only an hour difference, kills us twice a year for about a week.

Heather said...

Angeline has since she's been born needed and wanted very little sleep. She used to sleep about 10 hours a day, she's up to 12-14 now.

She's also not wanted a schedule.

But since she's happy and rarely ever fusses, and I'm home with her and there's no practical reason for a schedule, I don't worry about it!

Heather said...

Oh and at 6 months, Angeline is regularly awake 7 hours at a stretch

Without a set schedule, she normally wakes up around 10, naps around 2 for her only nap and goes to bed around midnight. Sometimes this is off and she stays up later or wakes up earlier, or vice versa, but it just goes on her mood.

Alicia Parr said...

Remy's consistent in that he's ready for a nap (even when he doesn't go there) about 2 hours after waking, but he doesn't wake at the same time each day. He also has sleepier days and eat-more days. It's a continous 4-5 day cycle that goes all the way back to when he was in utero when there were some days he'd move a lot and others he'd sleep a lot (and I'd often be hungrier those days). I'm not comfortable fighting this natural cycle by forcing him into a schedule, but our days do have a flow of routine to them. Since he's been fighting the morning naps, I think a 9-9:30am walk needs to be part of the plan. It's not like I'm getting anything done then anyway because he's being high maintenance and Gary's still sleeping. Gary stays up until 2ish and handles any feeds that occur then so I get to sleep through until at least 5am or so.

Natalie D said...

it sounds like this routine is working out for you!! And you find the time to fit in your workouts which is great. She is so cute! fuss or no fuss. your post cracked me up! can the baby jogger face you so that you can see the baby or does it face out?

Mnowac said...

I have no advice as my baby is still rolling around in my belly, but that photo of her standing up just made my day. Too cute.

Angela and David Kidd said...

Zach doesn't have scheduled naps but he consistently takes one in the morning and the afternoon. But I will not mess with his bedtime. I put him down around 7 every night. It is killing our social life but making me so much more sane.

Lizzie said...

I have no baby (yet) and therefore no advice to offer on the nap front (except that my nieces ages 5 and 3 still take naps if my MIL is watching them and the 5 year old I baby-sit for does occasionally when she's burnt out - and I think that maybe we all should be taking European naps!!), but just had to say how cute is Moana?! She looks like so much fun!