Monday, October 5, 2009

Book Rec: The 90 Minute Baby Sleep Program

I had the extreme luxury of getting a pedicure on Saturday, thanks to my kind Dad who volunteered to watch WEB while my Mom, Sister, and I went and got our nails done. They were a tad short handed, so I got to finish my book, The 90 Minute Baby Sleep Program by Polly Moore, Ph.D, while Mom and Sis finished their appointments. This book has been an extreme wealth of information. I picked it up before WEB got sick, but during the time his first two bottom teeth were coming in. His nighttime sleep habits have been less than stellar since this teething started, and now that he's sick, forget about it. This book has helped me wrap my head around what is going on with him, and why. It has helped me plan my day a little bit better, now realizing how important it is for him to have good naps during the day to set the scene for good sleep at night.

In essence, Dr. Polly Moore, suggests using the N.A.P.S. plan, which is:
N: Note the time of your baby's last waking
A: Add 90 minutes
P: Play and pursue other activities with your baby
S: Soothe your baby to sleep.

This doesn't seem like rocket science, but sometimes you/I need to be hit on the head with something until I go "OH! I get it!" This book explains what signs to look for in your baby that might signal he's tired, and they aren't necessarily what you would have thought - such as tugging on his ears. Often times, we are looking for the more typical signs that, we as adults give, but babies don't always know these signs right away. I was sometimes missing the signals WEB was throwing my way, and therefore he would get a little fussy. By the time I realized tiredness was his problem, it was too late and a meltdown was already in progress.

One of my favorite quotes from her book is "Sleep is like breathing. Your baby can't breathe too much today and not need to breathe tonight. The same goes for sleep." She also talks about all of the books you read as a new soon-to-be parent. You take classes, read tons of books and magazines to prepare yourself for any and all possibilities. Hubby and I were well versed in how often and how much our baby should eat, which was our main concern per all of the experts. They neglect to mention that when a baby cries, it could be that he's hungry, wet, sick, or in pain, but he could also be crying because he's TIRED. They aren't born with the ability to just fall asleep when they're tired. It's a learned thing. Duh! Half the time our couple month old baby was crying and we shoved a bottle or boob in his face, he would eat for a minute but get fussy again. Now I know that it was probably because he was tired!

She also talks about breaking your baby of associating food with sleep. Often times, like I just mentioned above, we were misreading his cues. So he was tired but we were feeding him. Then he would eat till he fell asleep. This is fine when your baby is a newborn and up till a couple months because they eat every 2 hours. When they are 3 months and older, they will continue to wake up in those intervals, even at night, because both mom, dad, and baby are trained that these are feeding times. That would explain why we were up every 3 or 4 hours at night feeding WEB. Once we nixed the night time feedings, he was sleeping much longer intervals at night (Well, before he got sick anyways.).

I can't recommend this book enough! I will probably read it again because there is so much information in this little thing. Maybe I'm weird, but I found it extremely interesting. Every time I was reading and went "Huh" or "Wow! Cool!", I'd read the excerpt to Hubby and he didn't seem quite as enthused as I I guess I am weird... I wish I would've read this book right before WEB was born, but I probably would've read it again when he was a month or two old, and again around now. I think it would've made the first 6 months a little easier, and we might've slept a little more. There haven't been too many books that I've found to be half as helpful as this book has been. As soon as WEB is over his cold, we will be re-implementing some sleep training, and hopefully get back into some kind of routine. I really hope that means more sleep for me and Hubby. Lord knows we need it!

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