TAKING CARA BABIES
I’m an E.A.S.Y. Failure; Short Naps and Newborns
Cara Dumaplin, Founder
November 5, 2016
Each month, I stand before over 100 new parents who are desperate to learn the “secret” to infant sleep in my newborn class called, “Will I Ever Sleep Again?”. This class demonstrates how to create healthy sleep habits from the very beginning. Parents learn about feedings, naps, bedtimes, night awakenings and how to fit them all together so the entire family gets more sleep. If you have a newborn less than 12 weeks old, you can attend the class in Scottsdale, AZ or watch it online HERE!
With over 18 years of experience with infants as a nurse and mom, I found that creating healthy sleep habits is so much easier than trying to correct sleep problems. This is never easier than in the first few months of a baby’s life. The great news is that it doesn’t have to be difficult or unnatural. In fact, my class encourages breastfeeding, allows moms to baby wear, and promotes lots of snuggles and rocking too. It truly fits with most parenting styles.
In class, I teach the E.A.S.Y. method as coined from the Baby Whisperer, Tracy Hogg. Basically, this method breaks up the association between eating and sleep. Infants learn how to fall asleep without having to be fed to sleep. Click HERE to read about why that is so important in order to overcome the ‘4-month sleep regression’ and prevent major sleep pitfalls throughout infancy. Trust me, my class helps you see how “EASY” that can be. (Yes, sorry that pun was intended.)
Unfortunately, I hear way too often that many new parents feel like they are absolute failures when they can’t get their newborn on a “perfect daytime schedule.” First, let me say that you are not a failure. You gave birth to a human being NOT a clock. There is no such thing as a “perfect newborn daytime schedule.”
Did you know that it is NORMAL for newborns to nap for between 20 and 120 minutes at a time? Yes, this is absolutely normal! Those short naps (that you despise) are what your baby should be doing in the first several months of life. I know, I know…it really wreaks havoc on that perfect eat/awake/sleep routine that you are so keen on creating. It’s okay. This post will help you.
Occasionally, I’ll meet a family who has a newborn taking four beautiful two-hour naps each and every day. “Occasionally” is the key word because, developmentally, babies typically just don’t BEGIN to have those naps conquered until about 5 months of age. This is the age when naps become more regular and consistent. If you have a baby over 5 months and are struggling, see if THIS post can shed some light on your situation.
So, what in the world are parents supposed to do in the meantime? Well, all those “secrets” are available when you take my class, but here’s a hint: nighttime sleep is typically conquered prior to daytime sleep. So…work on your baby putting himself to sleep at bedtime and consolidating nighttime sleep first.
During the day, keep attempting the E.A.S.Y. method, but please don’t stress. Offer feedings every 2-3 hours according to his hunger cues. Always offer naps, but it’s your baby’s job to take them.
Your day could look like this:
7:30 awake time
8-10 nap (oh yay, a long nap)
11:10-11:30 SHORT NAP. (You tried for 15 minutes to get him back to sleep. It wasn’t happening. No, you probably don’t need to feed yet as it’s only been 90 minutes.)
12:30 feeding (falls asleep while eating because he’s been awake since 11:30. No, you’re not a failure! So he fell asleep while eating… oh well- hold him and let him nap. DON’T FEEL GUILTY. ENJOY IT!!!)
12:45-2:45 Naps on mama
2:45-3:00 awake time
3:30 awake time
3:55 swaddle and offer nap in bassinet (see how we did a short little activity to break up “eat” and “sleep”)
4:45-5:30 awake time
5:30 feeding (getting tired because he’s been up since 4:45)
5:55 change him and swaddle him (See how you’re breaking up the feeding and the sleeping? He was totally asleep when you put him in his crib though. That’s okay.)
5:58-6:35 naps on mom or in crib (my class will teach you tips on how you get him to fall asleep in his crib.)
7:05 cluster feed (Notice it has only been an hour and a half since last feeding… but he’s showing hunger cues. Cluster feedings are common this time of the evening.)
7:30 bath, jammies, swaddle
10:15 Dream Feed! Go to my blog and read about the dream feed.
Did you see how that schedule was perfectly imperfect? You’re not a failure. The E.A.S.Y. method is fabulous, but short naps are VERY common with newborns. It’s okay. In fact, it’s more than OK; it’s PERFECT!
If your baby is between 3 and 4 months, we have help for you as well! Our newest resource is a digital download called “Navigating Months 3 &4.” This 50-page guide helps you to deal with both nights and naps as you walk through this tricky developmental phase.
If your baby is older than 5 months and is still struggling with naps, my first question is this: how are nights going? If your baby isn’t yet sleeping through the night, this is the place to start. Please know that help is available for both naps and nights in our online class “ABC’s of Sleep.” This class is a 2-week plan that will help you conquer both nights and naps!
Cara Dumaplin is not a blogger. She is, however, a mom to four kids who keep her laughing daily. Although she swore she would never date a doctor, it is with joy that she admits marrying her husband, a pediatrician, was the beginning of a crazy-amazing life together. (Albeit, she has had to learn to forgive him for constantly feeding their kids Pop-Tarts for breakfast.) A registered nurse with 18 years experience, Cara’s eyes light up when she discusses her passion of educating, encouraging, and empowering new parents. Follow Taking Cara Babies on Facebook or Instagram for helpful baby sleep tips, successful infant sleep stories, and a glimpse into this chaotic, yet blessed life. For more blogs by Cara, you can click HERE.
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