Tuesday, January 26, 2010


It's working, it's working, it's working!

If you have babies, young children, or even teenagers that are having sleep issues, this book is a fantastic resource.

Once Dr. Stafford got us started, James almost immediately started sleeping through the night. However, his daytime naps were still a fight, didn't last longer than 40 minutes, and sometimes only 20. That first hour and a half nap, I think, was a 'crash'.

Dr. Weissbluth's advice for too-short naps is to implement an extremely early bedtime temporarily (between 5:30 and 6:30) and then during the day, don't let your baby get overtired before putting them down for a nap. I already knew not to let James become overtired, but I had my sleep cues mixed up. Here's a chart, copied straight from pg. 63, to help discern if you're entering into the 'overtired zone' (NOT a good place to be):
Becoming Drowsy:
  • decreased activity
  • slower motions
  • less vocal
  • sucking is weaker or slower
  • quieter
  • calmer
  • appears disinterested in surroundings
  • eyes are less focused (staring off)
  • eyelids drooping
  • yawning
Becoming Overtired:
  • fussing
  • rubbing eyes
  • irritable
  • cranky
I kept waiting until he was fretful and rubbing his eyes before starting to put him down, but that only led to LOTS of crying. He was too overtired to settle himself down! This morning, he woke up at 6:45 (happily, I might add) and I watched for the drowsy signs. He was playing on the floor (again, not something he would have been happy about before) and I saw a yawn and then staring off for a moment. He started playing again, but I didn't want to risk it, so I scooped him up, stuck in his pacifier, and rocked him for about 2 minutes. It felt so weird, because he looked awake and alert. But, wouldn't you know it, I laid him in his crib and he fell asleep 3 minutes later. And get this. WITH NO CRYING.

Unreal. I can hardly believe that this is my child.

Every baby is different, and I'm sure that some babies' cues are black and white and others' are not as easy to read. I wish I had learned to read his sleepy cues earlier and saved him a lot of uncomfortable overtired-ness! Momma's sorry, sweet James. Part of being the first-born, hate to say. :)


The Halbert Home said...

That's great Sara!

Julie said...

Great post. I have always used The Baby Whisperer and she has the exact same advice. Two kids later, I one hundred percent agree that the longer you "keep kids up" the crankier they are and worse they sleep.

I always put Judah down on the early-end of my friends' kids' bedtimes and naptimes, and people have given me a hard time for it, but he has also always been a great sleeper!

Loni said...

Thanks so much for posting this! I told Jared to order that book today!!! Not just for Jedi who actually sleeps fairly well just not consistently but for Josiah also. He has breathing issues with snoring, etc that the chiropractor and a natural vitamin D supplement has helped a ton with, but he still seems tired some days.

Emily Jennings said...

No question one of my favorite books!!!

Jenn said...

Hey great post. I was wondering how the cloth diapers are going for you. That's something my husband and I are interested in doing when we have a little one. I would love to know which one's you use and all.

Anonymous said...

Sara, are you still working at the Pearl Center or are you taking time off to be with James?

Helen Joy said...

When I learned to look for cues to sleepiness, my life changed. INstead of trying to completely trying to put them down at the same time.
I'm still doing it. Especially in this in between time for Barclay as he's moving to 1 nap a day.
Yay for it working for James!