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Archive for December, 2009

Usually sometime between 15-18 months old, your toddler will no longer need two naps and will start the transition to one nap. The mid-day nap usually starts around 12:30/1:00pm and last 2-3 hours. However, for some young toddlers, this transition can happen soon, as was the case with my son. Right around my son’s first birthday (12 months-old), my son stopped taking good naps. This was a sign to me that it was time to start the process of weaning him off two naps and down to one nap.

Signs that your toddler might be ready for one nap:
1. Takes too long to fall asleep for the morning nap
2. Takes a very short morning nap
3. Sleeps too long for the morning nap that your child will not take an afternoon nap or will take a very late afternoon nap that effects bedtime
4. In some cases, the afternoon nap can also be effected- same reasons listed for #1-3

How I knew my son was ready to make the transition from 2 naps to 1 nap:
My son was taking pretty solid naps 2- 1.5 hours of sleep daily for each nap. Then he started taking very long to fall asleep for his morning nap and needing a longer wake time to take the afternoon nap. His also started taking a longer amount of time to fall asleep at bedtime because his afternoon sleep was too close to his nap.

What I did to help transition my son from two naps to one nap:
So I pushed the morning nap up by 1/2 hour so he would be tired enough to take the nap and shortened the morning nap to a cat nap (30-45 minutes). I also increase the amount of wake time between the two naps so he would be tired enough to take the afternoon nap. The second transition schedule worked for a very short while (2-3 weeks). Then suddenly he stopped taking his morning nap. Instead of taking a morning nap, he would just “rest in his crib”. After his morning nap was a “rest period” instead of a nap for over a week, I decided to drop the morning nap and just move to one middle of the day nap. This is what his schedules looked like during the transition:

#1 Schedule with two solid naps
7am wake up
10-11:30/12:00 nap
3:00-4:30/5:00 nap
8:00 bedtime
#2 Schedule with two naps in transition
7am wake up
10:30-11:00/ 11:15 nap
3:00-4:30 nap
8:00 bedtime

#3 Schedule with one middle of day nap
7am wake up
1:00-3:30/4:00 nap
8:00 Bedtime


Some tricks to dealing with one nap a day (when the transition is first made):

Your child is going to have a hard time at first with one nap a day. There morning wake time has lengthened considerably and they will most likely get fussy, cranky, and throw tantrums more easily. In order to deal with the late morning during the beginning stages of this transition I suggest you keep them active. Go outside to play, take them to the library for story time, have a play date with another child, go the park, run around the house…but do something to keep them busy so they will not be as agitated.  Don’t do activities that require sitting, such as watching a movie or driving in the car. They are sure fire ways to make them more cranky or even fall asleep before it is time for their nap. This will make their one nap disrupted and cause sleep problems.

There might be days when your child still needs two naps:
There might be days when after you have made the switch to one nap that your child might need two naps. I would say allow your child to take two naps only if necessary. I would try to limited your child to having two naps only once a week once you have made the switch over to one nap. Jumping from two naps to one nap will not allow your child’s body to adjust to a longer wake time in the morning.

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My son is 14 months old and I have been giving him a bottle at bedtime now since he was 10 months old. Prior to that, I was breastfeeding him. I have been reluctant to give up the bedtime bottle of milk because I feared that he would not sleep through the night or he would wake up super early. Well, it has been three nights with no nighttime bottle, and he has slept his normal 11 hours of sleep.

Reasons I decided to drop the bedtime bottle:
1. He was not eating a good breakfast anymore. I think that his bedtime bottle was filling him up to much and he was not hungry enough to eat breakfast.
2. His diapers were becoming soaked over night and leaking through his clothing. I was even using a larger diaper at night and he still leaked.
3. According to Kim West in the book Good Night, Sleep Tight, at one year old they no longer need the milk to help them sleep through the night.

How to drop the bedtime bottle or breastfeeding:

Option #1: Try reducing the amount of ounces that goes in the bottle every night or the amount of time you breastfeed.

  • With my son I was giving him 8 ounce of milk at night. He would happily drink this. I slowly reduced the amount of ounces every few nights until we were down to almost 2-3 ounce of milk. Then I decided to go cold turkey, and just not offer him milk. I made sure he was drinking at least 16-24 ounce of milk during the day before I did this.
  • If you are breastfeeding, you can reduce the duration/ length you breastfeed at night. So if your child normally breastfeeds for 15 minutes, than try reducing it by 2-3 minutes every few nights until you are down to only nursing for 2-3 minutes. I did this when I was weaning my son of his early morning feeding (4am) when he was 4 months old. It helped my body adjust to not feeding him during that time and it helped my son to adjust to not needing that feeding.

Option #2: Try moving the bedtime bottle/ breastfeeding further away from bedtime.

Let’s say you feed your child dinner at 5:30pm and bedtime is at 7:30pm. You would try to move the bedtime bottle/ nursing further away from bedtime. So the first night you might give the bottle/ nurse at 7:15pm. Then 3 days later, you would give the bottle/ nurse at 7:05. Then 3 days later you would give the bottle/ nurse at 6:55… and so on and so on….until you reach dinner time.

Important things to keep in mind:
1. Always check with your child’s pediatrician to make sure they are getting enough formula, milk, or breast milk before you drop the nighttime bottle.
2. If you child is dependent on a bottle/ nursing to go to sleep at night, you will need to work on replacing that bottle/ nursing with a bedtime routine that will help sooth your child to sleep. A good replacement for bottle/ nursing is reading books, cuddling, rocking, and signing to your child. Your child will probably still desire closeness with you so go ahead an offer an alternative.
3. If your child still needs something to drink, try offering a sippy cup of water. That way water will not fill them up, but possibly satisfy their need to suck. Just a warning if you use water, it will still lead to a very heavy and wet diaper in the morning. If you are potty training, try to limited liquids at least an hour before bedtime.
4. If you are breastfeeding, you might need to leave the bedtime feeding to maintain your milk supply. If you decide to stop the bedtime feeding and see a dip in your milk supply, please add back the bedtime feeding.


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If you live somewhere where it gets cold in the fall and the winter and you have a young baby who is still in an infant carrier, than I highly recommend you buy this car seat cover!

The JJ Cole Bundle me is a zipper cover that lines the inside of the carseat and zips over the top, keeping your infant warm and snug without having to go through the trouble of putting a jacket on her. Have you tried putting a jacket on your infant and then placing them in their infant carriers? It is hard and your baby looks all smushed and uncomfortable.

The zipper makes it easy to unzip and remove if the weather becomes warmer, only leaving the bottom lining. I have also unzipped the top layer to use as a blanket to lay my son on when I forgot to bring a blanket to lay him on when visiting friends or traveling.

I really love this product! I give it 5 out of 5 because it is easy to use, keeps your baby warm, and not to expensive (under $40.00). You can find them even cheaper on Craigslist!

http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2266846

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At some point you are going to need to wean your baby of being swaddled. For me, I started to the weaning process once my son started to roll over. I felt it was dangerous for him to have both of his arms wrapped in his swaddle if he rolled onto his tummy. Something magical also happened once I started to wean him of his swaddle, he discovered how to suck on his fingers and I did not have to worry about putting his binky back in his mouth if it fell out.

Here is how I weaned my son of swaddling

1. I left one arm out of his swaddle until he was sleeping well and not waking himself up.

2. He slept in a sleep sac at night but swaddled with one arm out during the day for naps. I tired to make the switch to the sleep sac for both naps and nighttime sleep, but that proved to be a bad mistake. My son was just not ready to give up the swaddle quite yet. My son slept more sound at night so we tired not swaddling at night and that worked well. He has some adjustment problems, but he eventually got the hang of it. There were a few night he would wake up in the middle of the night and have some trouble, but we just let him cry-it-out a little and then he would go back to sleep. He would only cry for 5 minutes or so and it only lasted for a few nights.

3. He slept in a sleep sac for both naps and nighttime sleep. This was a hard transition for him during his naps. He had a hard time falling asleep with both arms out. He also had a hard time during his sleep transition during his naps (45 minute sleep cycle/ 45 minute intruder). There were days that I caved in and just decided to go in and just swaddle him for his naps, but those days of needing to swaddle become less and less. I only re-swaddled him during a nap if he really had a hard time falling asleep or he would wake in the middle of a nap and have difficult returning to sleep (if he woke early in the nap). It took about 2 weeks for him to get the napping without a swaddle down.

For more information about weaning from swaddling please read this article I found:
http://www.thesleepstore.co.nz/Swaddling/Weaning+your+baby+off+wrapping.html

The Swaddle I used was the kidapotomus brand called swaddleme: http://www.kiddopotamus.com/p_swad.php
The Sleep Sac I used was the Halo brand: https://www.halosleep.com/products/results/?product_category_id=10
You Can also sew your own sleep sac: http://cbfoley.com/2009/05/08/a-weeks-worth-of-posts/

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