|"Helping" me do laundry :) He likes to take rides...|
I used to put Ayden down for his morning nap and then attempt the impossible and try to shower and get ready while he took his 30 minute catnap. Lately, I've been showering, then putting him down which left me the half hour for hair, makeup and dressing, which I can totally handle.
Side note: Ayden is still on a three hour routine. Back when I was attempting to follow baby "manuals" (when Ayden was about 4 months old), the baby whisperer told me that babies 4 months and older need to be on a 4 hour routine. Since Ayden was 4 months old, I attempted to gradually shift his routine to follow her methods but since his naps seemed to only be getting shorter, we'd rarely make it to 4 hours and he was still wanting to nurse every three. - end side note :)
Since I was running late this morning I had to postpone putting him down for his morning nap despite his sleepy cues (yawns, eye rubbing, fussing, etc). According to The Baby Whisperer, you should move toward nap time as soon as you see the cues so that is what I had gotten into the habit of doing. Supposedly if you wait too long, your baby will be overtired and their sleep
will be fitful and interrupted. I originally followed this advice because we were already dealing with that and setting Ayden up for even less sleep was not appealing. Then, it became a habit and part of our usual routine. He ended up going down for his morning nap at about 9:10 am (which is about 40 minutes later than he usually goes down) and proceeded to nap for an hour and ten minutes! I can count the number of times he's napped for an hour on one hand (not counting the newborn days) and cannot even remember the last time he slept for more than an hour. Once we passed the 40 minute mark, every time I looked at the clock I got butterflies in my stomach because I just could not believe it! Little Miss was pretty happy too because she had me all to herself. It felt like fall outside this morning so we hung out on the porch and worked puzzles while Ayden snoozed away.
When he woke up I watched him on the video monitor for a bit. He just lifted his head, looked around and eventually sat up. Not a single fuss, or any sound for that matter, came out of his mouth. When I walked in and said my usual, "Hi, sweet baby! Did you have a good nap?" he replied with his adorable two tooth grin.
As I nursed him afterward I got to thinking... Maybe Ayden sleeps better when he's a little over tired. Thinking back to the week of the dance recital, during which he slept like a rock star, and the last time he slept a 5 hour stretch, those were after days that his usual routine was interrupted or thrown off in some way. I decided to continue this experiment for the rest of the day. When he started getting sleepy and fussy 2 hours later I got down on the floor and played with him to keep him active and help him forget about being tired.
It worked like a charm. He didn't go down for his next nap until around 1:50 and guess what? He slept for ANOTHER hour! Now that has never happened. Since he started having the sleep decreases and disruptions, he has never had two great naps in one day. My plan was to let him have a cat nap around 5 or so if he needed it but we ended up having to have dinner during that time so he powered through, and was asleep by 7:30. We shall see how this experiment pans out but even if he wakes a lot tonight, I think we're onto something here. Two great naps in one day is definitely a success and honestly, two long naps a day would make things a bit more convenient than 4 cat nap in so many ways!
For dinner tonight, we grilled pork chops with the Loco rub that my sister's farm makes, broccoli and peaches. We drizzled honey on the peaches and added a sprinkle of cinnamon and no joke, they tasted like peach cobbler. I wish I had snapped a picture because they were also beautiful. Fruit really is nature's candy. Even more so when you add honey so maybe honey is nature's candy... Anyway, we will definitely add that meal to our usual rotation because the flavors were so amazing together! Ayden is actually ingesting more and more food which shows he is learning! He is a demanding little fella too. We better have his food ready before putting him in his booster because once he's in, he knows what's up and definitely protests any delays. He's a good little eater and grilled peaches, along with any meat, seem to be up there with Valencia oranges on his favorite foods list.
After dinner, David went to work out at a CrossFit gym in our area and I gave Ayden a long bath, let him play naked for a little bit (probably the highlight of his day, ha!) and attempted to keep him up long enough so David could see him again but because of our experiment and no cat nap he was just too tired to wait. David is going to keep him while I go to another turbo kick class tomorrow night. We've decided that's the best way for us to get regular workouts in for now. We both need the motivation of a group setting and the comfort that the other is watching Ayden while we workout. We'll each do our own class two nights a week and workout/play together on the "off" days. For now it will be jogging, swimming, etc. but in the fall we hope to start hiking regularly.
I'm actually looking forward to tonight (pretty sure I haven't said that since before he was born...) to see how things pan out. Maybe all he needed to stop his anti-sleep vicious cycle was for me to throw a wrench in the gears. Trying not to get my hopes up too high though. I shall update tomorrow!