March 22, 2013

Moving Naptime to the Crib

Back in the days of the Good Nap

I never posted a follow up to my last baby sleep post, but Nicki slept through the night the very next day. Even though she was no longer waking up, she was once again crying for an average of 15 minutes, sometimes as much as 30 minutes, after being put down. While she never stopped crying after we started sleep training, the crying sessions would not typically last beyond the time it took me to walk down stairs, so the uptick in crying was a little worry some.

I called her pediatrician, who was one of the many many people who recommended sleep training, to ask if we were doing something wrong or if something could be wrong. The pediatrician’s advice was that some babies are just more sensitive to being left alone at night and to make sure she was not hearing or seing any sign. A friend also suggested moving her bed time up from 8:30 to 7:30. We took both pieces of advice to heart, the crying ended completely and she now is sleeping for an average of 11 hours, 23 minutes (with a standard deviation of 13 minutes). All was happy in baby sleep land.


It was past time to end the nap time in the rock and play. Not only were we worried about her rolling out, or trying to sit up in the rock n’ play, but she also wasn’t napping as well in it. She’d wake up at the end of each sleep cycle and need me to put her back to sleep. That, by the way, was also our criteria for moving her to the crib at night. (Note to my future self when the next baby comes: when the current sleeping arrangement isn’t working, it’s past time to change it.)

Since my parents were visiting this week, and Nicki was off from day care, it seemed like the perfect time to try. Moral support from my mom, and no day care to disrupt the attempt at establishing the new routine.

For naptimes I was still rocking her to sleep and putting her down in the rocking play. She’d wake up as I put her down, but happily drift off to sleep again in the rock n’ play for a sleep cycle. I tried rocking her to sleep and putting her down in the crib on Sunday. Didn’t work. As soon as I tried to put her down somewhere other than the rock n’ play she revolted. She’s too alert these days for me to put her down in her sleep, she always wakes up. So Monday we had no choice but to start sleep training in the crib, which meant she had to put herself to sleep in the crib.

Nap time sleep training is way harder than bed time sleep training.

I’m sure the fact that she’s older and more capable of resisting is part of the problem. Another part of the problem is we didn’t have a gradual transition to the crib for naps. Logically she happily sleeps in the crib at night, and she likes her naps, so it she shouldn’t mind sleeping in the crib at nap time right, right? Except babies aren’t logical. They pattern match. And putting her down in the crib doesn’t match the pattern, ergo Nicki doesn’t seem to know she should fall asleep.

We’ve been doing this for a week and her average time crying is down to seven minutes, but naps are only 15-30 minutes. Way short of what she needs. On the one hand, I feel validated in my assertion that moving her to the crib and simultaneously crying it out at bed time would not have worked. On the other hand, I feel terrible that nap time has become so difficult. I feel a bit helpless and not sure what to do other than just stay the course.

At least this hasn’t disrupted bed time.

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  1. […] nap time in the crib from the start, so I gave up and put her back in the rock and play. Then we decided to try sleep training in the crib. We had marginal improvements that first week at home where I could be consistent, but her day care […]

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