The Quest to Help a Struggling Baby Nap – Day 9

Kiddo had a bad cough and cold and I kept him home today.

If you are new joining this challenge of sleep issues with an older baby, read the full series below.

After morning nap with baby, the three of us went out for a walk with a friend. I made sure to take the walk during both kids “awake time”.

We had a packed lunch after the walk and I piled the kids into the car for a drive. I didn’t want to do it, but with husband working at home, I needed both children to nap.

On the negative side, I started our drive at 2PM (14:00), late for both children’s naps. Toddler should have been asleep by 1pm (the time he sleeps at preschool) and baby should be nursing by the same time.

The upside is that baby slept two hours in the car and toddler slept one hour. He did not want to sleep. Since starting his new school, he has been nap resistant – hopefully he relaxes and starts taking naps at school. He is the type of child that needs naps. Absolutely needs a nap or he becomes possessed by the poltergeist.

Woke up through the night
20:00 fell asleep with daddy, easily
16:10 woke up, car drive over
14:25 fell asleep, made sure she was extra hydrated
14:00 car ride
13:00 lunch
Hike with Friend
11:00 awake
09:38 asleep!
ignored baby, she played and chatted
09:10 in crib, nursed. Put a pillow under mattress to elevate. Put on white noise.
Gave 2ml Tylenol, low fever
08:45 nursed
08:00 breakfast
Nursed twice more…
04:00 awake crying, nursed
02:30 awake crying, nursed 2-3 times before that. Left baby with daddy, could not take the nursing anymore

As usual, baby is waking during the night – several times. Part of this is being sick and part is the comfort nursing. I will tackle this issue next week when she is healthy and is more comfortable with the crib. For now, one sleep issue at a time.

Day 10 has both kiddos sick – fun times!

The Quest to Help a Struggling Baby Nap – Day 7

Today was a blur. There was a fair amount of whining and crying from baby (admittedly, some from me too).

I was grasping for straws seeking out new ways to help calm and ease the sleep cycles. We tried a sleep sack (only good for sleeping on the back though), black paper to block out light (somewhat worked), and white noise (who knows if it worked).

22:30 awake, night nurse
19:45 asleep!
19:25 nursed
18:40 had a small dinner
17:05 awake!
16:18 awake, did not cry, rolled part over, back to sleep
16:00 back asleep
15:45 bathroom, then went to comfort her, back in crib, nursed…a lot
15:40 awake and crying
15:20 woke up, cried for a minute, back to sleep
14:50 back asleep
14:42 awake, crying, snuggled lying down, did not nurse
14:20 asleep!
14:05 nursed 15 min, ate one bite of pancake
13:45 put up black poster boards, extra curtains. Not completely black, but darker!
13:30 nursed
13:20 fell asleep for five minutes in stroller
Did not want to eat
Ran errands, took stroller
11:25 out of crib. Going to michaels to buy black poster paper
11:10 awake, crying. Saw daddy. Nap over
10:45 asleep again, really, there’s an 11 month regression?
10:30 awake crying, put in sleep sack, propped her on a pillow
10:20 asleep
10:15 awake crying
09:55 asleep!
09:35 nursed
07:00 woke up, did not nurse (nursed many times during the night)

Catch up on Day 7 and see what happens tomorrow with Day 8! August is almost over!

The Quest to Help a Struggling Baby Nap – Day 6

Day 6 didn’t start well. It’s the weekend and weekends are always hard to get baby to sleep. Why? Brother is around. And brother is the best thing ever.

Day 5 was terrible, here’s to a somewhat better day!

Morning nap:
20 minutes. Tried all sorts of things to help to fall back asleep including a lot of boob time. Didn’t help. Found a sleep sack and testing it out for the first time ever.

Afternoon nap:
It was a strange afternoon nap. Brother and pappa went out and baby fell asleep five minutes later. Kid you not.

But there were several wake ups by baby that resulted in crying for a minute, then falling back asleep.

As it would turn out, she began running a fever in the evening. I think the afternoon random cries were her falling sick.
night: Woke up several times, light fever, gave Tylenol, husband had to comfort her
21:45 awake, crying, husband tried comforting
21:10 awake, crying, husband got baby back to sleep
20:45 had to leave crib to help Arjun, fell asleep
19:55-20:40 crying, nursing, fell asleep, woke up screaming, nursed again
19:45 bedtime, overtired,
Small dinner, good mood
16:05 awake!
15:53 woke up, cried for a minute, back to sleep
15:40 woke up, cried for a minute, back to sleep
15:09 woke up, cried for a minute, back to sleep
15:03 woke up crying, fell back asleep after 1 min
14:36 woke up crying, turned over, back to sleep
14:13 transfer to crib
14:00 asleep on me, attempt to transfer
13:40 got in crib, put sleep sack on, nursed
Ate lunch
12:00 Gave up. Never went back to sleep
11:05 found a sleep sack! Attempting to use it
10:45-11:00 nursed, but baby wanted to be silly. Overtired
10:40-10:45 went to bathroom, left baby in crib.
10:00-10:40 refused to sleep. Cried, nursed, acres silly.
10:00 awake
09:40 sleeping
09:15-09:35 nursed
07:00 wakes up
00:00-07:00 Nursed during night 🙄

Read on to Day 7!

The Quest to Help a Struggling Baby Nap – Day 5

Today was terrible. Awful. Tear filled. I tried everything to help her nap, but we never made it past 20 minutes.

Yes, from waking time to sleep time, she napped a total of 20 minutes.

And add on that she woke two more times right after bedtime.

It was an exhausting day.

Did you catch day 4? At least she napped for two hours total.

23:30 awake, nursed in bed, slept with mommy
21:15 asleep and moved back to crib
21:10 awake, crying, daddy took her
20:35 asleep…stuck in crib
20:15 awake, crying. Nursed
19:40 asleep
19:30 nursed
had dinner, played, did not nurse until bedtime
13:55-15:00 tried everything to help her sleep. Nothing worked. 🙁
13:45-13:55 slept 10 min. Husband and kiddo came home; she woke up. Never went back to sleep 🤦🏽‍♀️
13:35 still awake. Finally left crib to see if she can fall asleep
12:40 nursed and refused to sleep
12:35 had few bites of food, discovered one tiny boil on hand – yikes
12:25 stayed in crib for 15 min and didn’t cry!
12:00 tried to fed her, refused. Still in crib
11:00-11:50 attempted to get baby to sleep, nursed few minutes, snuggled, ignored for rest of time (20+min), refused to sleep
11:00 awake!
10:35 asleep!
10:25 nursed again in crib
09:40 went to crib to nurse, baby pooped – noticed red spots (diaper rash or something else??)

Head to day 5, pray for naps…

The Quest to Help a Struggling Baby Nap – Day 3

Today was an okay day. It was a two steps forward, one step backward type of day.

Before delving in, don’t forget to catch Day 2 and Day 4 here.

Morning nap:
The morning nap went much more smoothly than expected. I dropped kiddo to daycare, came home, and promptly grabbed baby to start the nap ritual.

We nursed for 5-10 minutes in bed but didn’t read any books. Once she showed signs of playing and being silly (the combination of playing but tired), we went to the crib.

She always cries when I put her in the crib; it is important I immediately hop in with her. Phone, water, and baby water cup easily available!

She was definitely more easy going and spent 10 minutes walking around the crib chattering away. The she threw everything out of the crib except puppy and elephant stuffies. Once I began laying her down on her side (not back!), she play with the stuffed toy puppy and her feet. This is a huge win for us. She was self entertaining IN THE CRIB! At this point, I lay down next to her and pretend I’m asleep.

Around 9:50AM she tried to nurse, but I kept steadfast pretending to sleep. She whined for a few minutes, gave up, grabbed puppy, and passed out. SHE FELL ASLEEP!

Afternoon nap:
Car ride happened. Slept just under an hour. We were visiting a school that was closing down and picked materials. While she was in a happy mood exploring, she was tired. She had a small snack. On the drive back she slept one hour and upon arriving home, we moved her car seat into the house. She woke up immediately.

She had a few bites of dinner and nursed for a long time (not a surprise). She fell asleep. If I remember correctly, she woke up once in the middle of the night.

21:05 asleep
20:45 nursed baby for 20 min, very tired
20:30 few bites of dinner
19:10-20:10 slept in car
19:00 left school
17:15 school
16:10-16:50 slept
16:00 went for car ride
15:25 awake because daddy walked into the room 😡
14:45 asleep!
14:30 breakdown, had to nurse again
14:10 sat in crib, nursed because distracted by daddy (wanted to play)
13:50-14:10 nursed, ate blueberries
12:10-12:30 nursed on/off, had a small amount of food to eat, in the waking up period – not very hungry, somewhat tired, wanting comfort, happy
11:35 awake!
10:00 asleep!
09:50 tried to nurse but wouldn’t let her, whined for a minute, snuggled with Brown puppy and feet eating
09:17 went to crib, played, drank some water from pink cup, was more easy going
09:10 nursed

The Quest to Help a Struggling Baby Nap – Day 4

Friday was a mess because we were out for the day. I did coincide my drive times with her nap schedule. With the unforgiving Bay Area traffic in my favor, baby took a great morning nap.

The afternoon nap did not that well. She slept on the ride home, but once I was home and parked the car, she woke up. Somehow changing gears from D to P causes her to wake. I would have stayed in the car had it not been for needing to use the restroom. She slept an hour.

When she does not nap well, night sleep is an issue. The overtired daytime leads to evening overtired; she does not get restful sleep during the night as a result.

03:30 (8/25) woke up, nursed, back to sleep
23:00 woke up, nursed, back to sleep
19:20-19:45 scream fest. Calmed down after “bzzzz” and “aaauuummm” sounds
19:15 fell asleep in crib, tried moving arm, total meltdown. Nursed to calm down
18:45 take baby to bed, nursed, read books, very tired
15:00 awake
14:00 asleep in car ride home
Did not have a good lunch or nurse well – but did meet friends!
11:00 awake
09:50 asleep in car
07:00’ish woke up and nursed

The “buzzzing” and “aum” (like the Indian aum) sounds helped calm her down. They’re sounds that mimic the womb and vibrate through your chest. Either having baby on you or their hand on your chest while you makes these sounds can help calm them.

The Quest to Help a Struggling Baby Nap

Our struggle to get baby to nap has come to a tipping point: my sanity and ability to do anything in the house.

The sleeping issues have gotten to the point that I’m exhausted because my days are spent trying to get her to sleep. All that laundry, cleaning, cooking, taking care of bunnies, playing with toddler, running errands, talking to husband, writing, doing consulting work is out the window. not to mention my displaced pelvis that keeps flaring up.

I am essentially bare boned and running ragged.

While we found some sleep solutions to improving the nap nightmare, it turned out to be more superficial.

I spend most days chasing naps with an overtired, crying baby. And this is not sustainable. I am a stay at home by choice this year, and I have better things to do with my family than chase naps.

Now that family visits are over and my husband is home for the next month, I decided I need to do something drastic. Something that will absolutely help my ten month old nap properly. She deserves good naps and she deserves my help.

From now until the day she begins part-time daycare, I am committing myself to help her nap. Forget the other sleep advice, it does not work for us. I need to come up with a solution that helps an attached baby (boob and otherwise) take restful naps.

This means I commit my days to her and her only. In my spare time (haha, that’s a joke!), I will get household work done. It also means that my toddler is at daycare/school. A toddler who is home will only distract your work. I know, this is a luxury situation, but if you can, have someone else watch your other children, while you work with the baby.

If you’re a parent struggling to help your baby sleep, join me for the next three weeks as I document our daily sleep wins and struggles.

Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5
Day 6
Day 7
Day 8
Day 9
Day 10
Day 11
Day 12

sweet dreams!

The Quest to Help a Struggling Baby Nap – Day 2

Hello! I’m back with day two of my quest to get baby to take real, meaningful naps. If you’re just starting reading here, we have been struggling with nap issues for months. Essentially, half of baby’s life.

Catch my intro post and day 1 to get caught up.

Here was my schedule for day 2:
19:40 baby sleeping on daddy, transferred over to crib
19:25 give baby to daddy to take care of kiddo, baby angry!
19:10 take baby to bedroom, nurse, read book in bed
18:20 dinner for both kids
17:00 both kids have snack
16:30 picked up toddler from school
14:30-16:00 napped in crib, short nursing
13:30 nursed and played
10:40-11:50 napped in cribbed!
10:30 had to give a small snack to fill tummy
10:10 sat in crib, nursed few minutes
08:30-9:00 toddler drop off
07:30 oatmeal for breakfast
06:30 morning nurse
02:50 nursed baby for 10 min, then slept – middle of night feedings…sigh

The first thing you should notice is that baby fell asleep late for the first nap, at 10:40AM. That meant she had to eat a snack to fill her belly. There’s nothing worse than a hungry baby that goes down for a nap. My mistake though, we had errands to run and got home too late. I should have given her snack while on the go or as soon as I got home before beginning the nap ritual.

Nap rituals:
Today’s nap ritual was nursing in my bed, reading a book (followed by eating said book), then going to the crib. I climbed in the crib with her for both the morning and afternoon naps. There is no leave baby in crib, let cry and self sooth, then visit every 5 minutes – that does not work for us. Baby needs to know that I’m there.

While in the crib I let her play for 10-15 minutes, she love throwing out everything from the crib – it’s a game. Once she’s done doing that and acting over silly, every time she stood up I took her and laid her back down. She was not happy, not totally angry, but crying for a few seconds. Every time she stood up, I laid her back down. Rinse, repeat.

She eventually had a breakdown that was not going to be controlled by anything else other than comfort nursing. I didn’t want to, but I also didn’t want the crying to escalate. I nursed her for a few minutes (less than five minutes ), then popped her off. She whined but calmed down. She did the stand up/lay her back down routine for a few more minutes, before settling in next to me and falling sleep.

At this point, I stay in the crib for another 10-15 minutes, moving a little here and there to ensure she is truly asleep. If she wakes, I begin the disengage interaction, lay her back down, stroke her back.

Day 2 was already one of the easiest days ever in laying baby down for a nap. Let’s see what day 3 brings us!

Ready for day 3?!

The Quest to Help a Struggling Baby Nap – Day 1

Five months of trying. FIVE MONTHS.

Today was the first day little A napped in the crib for longer than 30 minutes. How long did she nap you ask?

2 hours, 15 minutes!!!

Yes, TWO HOURS AND FIFTEEN MINUTES! As a 10 month old baby, she needs that long afternoon nap desperately. Overtired babies are no fun, and this little baby here is a hot mess when she doesn’t nap properly.

Okay, I was in the crib with her for 1 hour 30 minutes, but if you’ve followed our life story with little A, napping has been a struggle. A real struggle.

But I am on a mission. Mission:Impossible. A quest to help my ten month baby take restful naps.

The next 20 days are going to be interesting. I am committing myself to lock down and spending my days with her to nap in the crib.

No more stroller walks, no more car rides, no more sleep on daddy, no more hang on mommy, no more. There will be minimal attempt to sleep train, and more an attempt to individualize and self snuggle.

This might mean me sleeping in the crib with her or letting her snuggle with me those first days, that’s fine. She needs to find the confidence and know it’s okay to sleep away from us in her mini space for short times.

In twenty days she starts PT daycare and the last thing I want is a crying baby who is left alone to fall asleep. I want her to know how wonderful naps are, and how you can be a happy baby when you have a little sleep.

Here’s to the next three weeks!

Go over to Day 2 and follow the adventures.

Summertime Grilling Inspiration with Veggie Dogs

Summertime is all about the chilling, swimming, and grilling. But oh the grilling when you are vegetarian or vegan. What do you do then? To be honest, there isn’t an Indian version of a hot dog that’s quick to make, so other than that cheese cutlet, there aren’t many options.

Enter the vegan dog! Lightlife makes all plant based products from veggie burgers to veggie bacon to veggie dogs! These are perfect for desi kids who want to participate in all things American summer offers without the meat.

Lightlife was kind to send us some hot dogs and bacon and since my toddler son is well, in a hot dog obsessed stage. This was the perfect opportunity to create hot dog day.

Since I’m Indian, I love grilled/sauteed onions. YUMMY.

Fire up the stove and saute one onion for 10 minutes in olive oil. You want the onions to melt and become caramelized.

Once the onions are done you can turn off the stove and let them cool in the pan. On an indoor grill pan or outside grill, put the veggie dogs and bacon on. Cook on medium-high for 5-7 minutes – we like them with a little char.

Once done, well, you’re done! You could get fancy and make a chutney to go with the dogs, but we stuck with classic Americana of Heinz’s mustard, ketchup, and sweet relish. We also had the grilled onions, avocado because we are Californian, vegan mayo, and crumbled Smart Bacon.

Those little hands couldn’t wait to eat it!

For the kids and adults, we loved the soy based Lightlife dogs. It’s a great alternative to meat hog dogs and bacon, while maintaining taste. A tiny word of caution, if you a vegetarian who has never tasted meat, the Lightlife hot dogs and bacon do have a meaty flavor – it could be a taste bud surprise.

You can buy LightLife products at Safeway, 365 Whole Foods, Whole Foods, Sprouts, and many other stores.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Lightlife. All thoughts and opinions are my own.