The last couple of months though Michael had started to catch on that nursing makes him sleepy, so he would cut feedings short before he fell asleep. It was time to implement a nap routine so he would know that his 8:30am and 12:00pm-ish feedings were followed by naps. The first couple of weeks were filled with resistance--screaming, crying, wriggling, just ugliness. Same at bedtime which was between 6 and 7. The Ergo carrier has become my nap buddy because I can't keep my big baby still when he writhes around! It usually helps to calm him down, frees my hands to stroke his head or back, and most importantly keeps him secure while I swing or squat (yes squat, or sometimes more of a side lunge) or rock him to sleep. Lately the rocking chair seems to be sufficient. His sleepy song is Apples and Bananas--for some reason it soothes him (and it's fun to sing!).
So, the big question, has his sleep improved? It's been about 5 weeks. Nap and bedtimes are much more peaceful. Bedtime is now between 5 and 6pm, wake up for the day between 6 and 7. Naps are still around 9am and 1pm, lasting 30min to one hour. Michael doesn't resist or cry as much (or at all some days) and I no longer feel like I'm forcing him to sleep. Our pre-sleep routine is very sweet and snuggly now--sometimes he'll just stare up at me while I sing and just fall asleep. Although, since he's a high needs baby, he manages to find a distraction while rocking, even if it's my face. As long as he's not getting too worked up, I let him fidget with whatever's caught his attention, and he usually stops after a few minutes and puts his head down. His naps were running 1-2 hours, but they've been getting shorter with morning being the shortest, around 30 min. He's still waking up at night, but there does seem to be an overall progression to fewer wake-ups, this week especially with about 3 wake ups, so I'm very hopeful that the schedule is working and he is catching up on his sleep debt. I'm also only nursing at night if he seems really upset and absolutely can't fall asleep. Just as the book says, he usually has a wake up between 4am and 6am where he has a hard time going back to sleep. Even nursing doesn't work unless I catch him before he fully wakes up. Otherwise I usually have to use the rocking chair, where he squirms and squirms until working his way down to my lap with his head in my tummy--not very comfy for me to hold but it works! I can't believe I never heard of this book before! I think this would be a great read for mommas of high needs babies wsho just don't want to sleep! Now if only there's a book on transitioning a 10 month old high needs baby with separation anxiety from the family bed to the crib...Maybe I'll have to write that one. ;-)