But we've still worked on those naps! We've had some success and some setbacks, but even the setbacks are steps forward compared to what naps were like prior to last week. So, I can say the result of Naptime Boot Camp has been very favorable. We're going to focus on the positive, right, folks? :)
Here is what a typical nap is now looking like for Aiden (typical meaning more than half of them):
5-10 min. Nurse
15-30 min. Naptime Routine
- Read story on Mom's lap
- Lie down in crib while Mom reads another story (putting the book in the crib for me to see - this helps me settle down in the crib). I will actually reach towards the crib because I know I'll get another story if I get in there!
- Roll around and "play" in crib quietly while Mom sits nearby
- If I get tired but am having a hard time getting to sleep on own (usually the case at this point), Mom will pick up, rock for a couple minutes until I'm calm, and then lie me back in the crib...pat my back a bit while singing, and I will doze off. Mom will stop patting before I close my eyes. I like for Mom to sing "You Are My Sunshine" - at first, she said she wouldn't because it's her and Camden's song, but it helps me more than any other song, and Camden doesn't seem to mind sharing it.
If I wake up before or at an hour, Mom will come in, rock me a few minutes, and try to get me back to sleep.
I wake up rather happy from my nap and will even play a bit in the crib before calling for Mom to get me.
We started reading Aiden a second story in the crib to get him ok with going into the crib. At first, I would have to sit him up and read the story. Then I could lie him down and read it again. Now, after doing a story on my lap, he'll reach for the crib - and I can lie him down and read one additional story before he's ready to chill in the crib a bit. I still stay in the room while he rolls around some - he is content for a while if I am still there but will get upset if I actually leave. That's fine - it's still progress! (Not considering the fact that he used to lie down on his own and fall to sleep in less than 5 minutes with me in the other room, but oh well. Right?) ;)
Rocking in this scenario means that I am standing and cradling Aiden in my arms, while swaying him a little. Once he's moved around in the bed a bit, he'll start to fuss. I pick him up, do this, and sing "You are My Sunshine" a few times, and he usually gets to a point where he is what I call "in the zone." Once he is there, I can lie him down, he'll roll right over, and...almost go to sleep. I still need to pat/rub him a bit and maybe sing a bit more. But this is soooooo much better than it was before. And he's doing a lot more on his own, so I am rather pleased (most of the time).
Another plus...he is doing better going to bed, too. He was on a big Daddy-strike there for a while, and I was having to do all the work. It was exhuasting after doing it all day, but I would have to step in. But now, he's doing great with Ryan again. I'm nursing him before Ryan changes Aiden's clothes (before, Ryan did pj's, I nursed, and then Ryan did storytime and down for bed), so maybe that helps a bit, too. I still have to go in some nights, but most of the time now, it seems, he goes down just fine for Ryan. Sometimes quicker than he does with me. Ryan put him down for a nap this weekend in no time at all, and the little guy slept two solid hours!! I told Ryan he is now in charge of weekend naps. Yes, that is what he gets! (And I deserve it, too, right?)
So...yes, we saw improvement. No, it's not perfect. We still have our days! Trust me. BUT I'm looking for improvement of any measure, not perfection. Hopefully we will continue to see improvement, as well. We've had a couple short naps the past two days, but still longer than those 30-minute naps! Baby steps; baby steps! And actually, some of these steps have been bigger than that.
Oh - another thing... The other night, when I did the sign for "milk" (squeeze together fist like you're milking a cow - most of my family shouldn't even have to think about this one), Aiden did it back!! Then yesterday, a not-so-great nap day, Aiden woke up from his first nap. While I was trying to get him back to sleep, he was fussing some and then....he made the sign all on his own!!! I said, "oh, do you want some milk?" and those eyes of his lit up and he gave me this big grin! He knew exactly what he was asking for. He's clearly been recognizing the sign for milk for a long time now, but he is just now doing it himself. How exciting!!