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?
Posted by Michelle Simmons