I've spent the last few days reading every sleep consulting website and babywise blog the internet has to offer. Nolan's sleep patterns are not as predictable as Beckett's were, and he has been a very light sleeper during the day. At night he sleeps like a rock though so I am grateful for that! I'm trying to understand why he has a hard time sleeping during the day, and how to help him. It's definitely a process of trial and error; each day is getting better so I seem to be making progress! Here are some of the things I've been able to figure out so far:
- I had a hard time nailing down the perfect wake time for him. Everything I read seemed to tell me that if he was struggling falling asleep or with short naps that I was keeping him awake too long. I went as short as 45 minute and he would not fall asleep. I tried 1 hour and 15 minutes and was so overtired that he would have a burst of crying before he could fall asleep. I've finally figured out that 60 minutes is his max. He needs to be swaddled and in a dark room at 60 minutes, so I usually start to lay him down at 55 minutes. Anything past 60 and he has a very hard time getting to sleep.
- I think I need to buy blackout curtains. He is suddenly very aware of his surroundings, which has been so fun when he is supposed to be awake! But his dim room at nap time isn't enough and he just lays there all wide-eyed and looking around. I started hanging a dark blanket over his swing and he has been falling asleep much more easily.
- I can't say enough about how important white noise is. It was helpful when I had one baby in case a dog barked or the doorbell rang. But it is absolutely necessary with a baby and a toddler! It's the only way I can drown out all the racket and chaos happening around my house.
- Nolan has a very hard time making it past the 45 minute mark. For a few days I was so frustrated every time he would wake up at 45 minutes. I wasn't frustrated he was awake, but frustrated that I couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong. After reading something other than Babywise material and learning more about baby sleep patterns and circadian rhythms, I've just decided to accept that that's how his little body is and I'm not doing anything "wrong". Now that I just plan on a 45 minute nap, I'm less stressed and just pleasantly surprised if he happens to take a 90 minute nap!
- I'm still following the sleep, eat, play pattern. He is eating more often than every three hours for sure, but he is content and happy while he is awake. He can sleep up to 5 hours at night without needing to eat so I don't feel like it's hurting anything!
- Because he is a light sleeper, he sleeps the best at home or if I'm wearing him. He is happy in the car, but rarely falls asleep while we're driving, and he never falls asleep in his stroller. There is just too much to look at! I'm learning to plan our day accordingly so he is either at home to nap, or we're out doing something and I can wear him while he naps. Once he is in a deep sleep, I can usually put him in the carseat without waking him up which is helpful. He just wants to be in on the action at all times!
I swear I've been getting little half smiles lately and it makes my day. He may not be a by-the-book kind of baby, but he is healthy, sleeps great at night, and is the sweetest little guy. We are definitely blessed with some sweet and spunky boys!