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5 steps to get your baby to nap FOR A LONG FREAKING TIME EVERY DAY OF YOUR LIFE.

August 23, 2011

Ning Hao bitches.

I’ve been slightly busy duct taping raviolis and bagels to my waist. No? That’s now how that works? Seems like it would just save time. Regardless, here I am, fat and happy. It’s really amazing what 12 soft pretzels can do for your mood.

Many of you have been asking me here and there about some baby black magic. I’m hesitant to share my secrets because 1) they are secrets and 2) sometimes I pretend I’m a cast member of Pretty Little Liars and give the pretend camera side eye all day. But because I’m the nicest most prettiest britney spears on the internet, I’m going to tell you about

***BABY  NAPS***

cue dramatic mystery music.

The one question I get over and over is HOW did I finally get G to take longer and regular naps. I will answer this for you my friends. However, know this: My answer will probably not apply to you. Because I googled this question no less than 45 times a week to find the answer. I read hundreds of posts on babycenter.com about naps, I read 5 books on getting your baby to sleep, and no luck. Finally after a solid 5 months of the child napping ON us or in bed with us, we struck gold.

Most of you know that it ripped my gut out to use the Ferber method on G. As a proud hippie, this is frowned upon in the tie dye society. But you know what? I don’t care. We decided however, we were only using this method to end the co-sleeping business and get G into the crib. Once he was comfortable in his crib, no more crying it out. And yet, I still can brag about our success with naps. Are you shitting yourself in anticipation yet?

One book we read early on and the general hippie consensus tells you to follow your baby’s sleep cues and put them to sleep AS SOON as you see a yawn or a drowsy eye or a drunk head bob. I’m here to tell you that that is bullshit pie. That may work for a teeny tiny baby, but it’s not going to get you past the dreaded 30 minute cat nap that every mother with a magazine and the internet dreads. We were cat nap slaves. I HATED THE CAT NAP. And it’s also a terrible name for a nap as my cats sleep all the damn day.

G says Bitch Please now to cat naps.

But after reading the Ferber book, we had a new goal. 2 naps a day. This was a seemingly impossible goal as G seemed to be tired every 2 hours. And so he was napping for 30 minutes every 2 hours. But it wasn’t quality sleep and he was a crank ass because of it. How on earth were we going to go from 4-5 naps a day to just 2?

1) Make it a freaking baby party

It took time. G was so used to his frequent naps that he would doze off in the middle of play time. It took a lot of HEY LOOK AT THIS AWESOME THING. HEY LETS GO OUTSIDE AND DANCE AROUND. HEY LETS GO IN THE POOL. Once we distracted him, he woke up enough and made it a little bit longer. It took maybe 2 weeks to get him to the desired 930am nap and 2pm nap. But day by day he was getting used to being awake longer and actually enjoying it and was much happier. He could play longer, he wasn’t groggy and he was TA DAAAH


Most seasoned moms know that the key to wearing a kid out is lots of brain busting activity. So right around 5 months, we were busy. We had lots of play time and we had a solid routine and that routine carried over into our naps. This is another key to the nap success.

2) Do the same shit over and over

Be consistent. So before every nap, G and I would read a story, change our diaper, put on socks, put on the sound machine, close the curtains (so it’s absurdly dark), nurse, he gets Ghost Dog, and it’s sleep city.

G sleeps for an hour in the morning and about 2 hours in the afternoon.

3) The schedule is more important than the air in the air

Here’s another key factor. Be consistent in your schedule. LIVE BY THE GODDAMN SCHEDULE.

G wakes up at 7am, naps at 930-1030am, 2pm and asleep by 8pm. NO MATTER WHAT. This means in the morning if he’s not awake at 7, we wake him up. This means if he tries to sleep past 1030am, I wake him up. The 2pm nap he can sleep as long as his little heart desires. I’ve found that the long afternoon nap is much more important than the morning one for his mood and our sanity. The wake up hurts your skin when you have to do it. You want to watch just 15 minutes more of RHONY, but you MUST STICK TO THE SCHEDULE.

4) The car and the cat naps are in cahoots

Now, people ask me, So how do you ever leave the house? Here is the drawback my friends. If your kid is like mine and sneaks car naps, he won’t nap for his long naps in the crib. And he’ll be pissy. So for the most part, we avoid car rides longer than 15 minutes, especially close to nap time. After the 2nd nap of the day though, it’s free game and that’s car time.

You just have to accept that you’re either going to have a pissy child who cat naps and go wherever you want, whenever you want. Or a happy child, with long naps and not so much car time. Both choices are kind of sucky, but you have a baby now. DEAL WITH IT.

5) If all else fails, implore the suck (that’s what she said)

Finally, if the kid wakes up in the middle of the nap and you know he needs to sleep longer. I’ve had success with nursing him in the dark and sticking him right back in the crib. Now that we’re a pacifier family (if you can get your kid to take one DO IT), he’ll take that and go right back to sleep)

G didn't take a pacifier until he was 7 months old. GAME CHANGER.

So, to recap.

1) Stretch the awake time

2) Have a routine

3) Stick to the schedule

4) Avoid the car around naps

5) Nurse or Paci back to sleep

And you my friend, will be the proud owner of a long napping baby. But like I said, every baby is different. (I don’t know why, they should all be programmed the same). So this might not work for you. But try it and tell me what happens.

If it works, you owe me boots

You do.



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  • Rachael August 23, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    Love it. Our babe is now 10 months old and I agree with everything you said in this post. We no longer have to wake him up to keep him on a good schedule, he can sleep a bit longer in the mornings or at any nap and still stick to the rest of his schedule. It’s heaven.

    Also.. pacifiers are magic. But as soon as our baby started standing up in his crib he’d start chucking it out constantly. I could put 4 in his crib and he’d be standing there crying while all 4 lay on the floor. Not the smartest baby on the block. So I bought attachments. We always attach it to his right shoulder so he isn’t laying on it, and he knows where to find it. Have not had a problem since. More magic.


    • MODG August 23, 2011 at 9:39 pm

      Great idea. We haven’t had throwing episodes yet, but I can see that in our future.

  • Rach August 23, 2011 at 9:46 pm

    Confession Tuesday: I’m child-free but I have MAD love for these “Hey dummies, this is Baby 101” posts. I’m in my mid-30s and just starting to sort of remotely think about the baby thing (but way far from now, like, hovercrafts and apes taking over the planet). At the same time, I love love love my Carrie Bradshaw/Britney-styled life… and your candor and humor and wise-astronaut (baby-safe!) honesty are exactly the reassurance I never knew I needed!! Thanks for proving to moms AND not-moms everywhere that you can have a kickass little munchkin and still be kickass yourself.

    Also? That child has MASTERED the stink-eye. LOVE that you have a million pics of that face! Hope you’re saving them for his HS senior yearbook….

  • Bree August 23, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    Yep, that is what we did with our kids as well! Honestly…another thing that helped with getting our kids to sleep through the night and take good naps is to completely do away with the morning nap and make the afternoon nap noonish. The best part about that? our kids are in bed by 630-7 and the hubs and I get to have date night every night if we want :)

  • Krista August 23, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    Is he sleeping straight through from 8-7 without waking up? My 7.5 month old is in bed by 5:30 and might wake up twice to eat before starting the day around 7. I’m about ready to cut out at least one night feeding. His naps are ok, but he still throws in an occasional cat nap, usually in the morning. As long as the afternoon nap starts at the same time as his sister’s I’m cool. You are right about car rides – they f everything up.

    • MODG August 23, 2011 at 9:52 pm

      He wakes up once in the night to feed. Although as soon as I publicly say this to the internet, he changes it to like 5 times. But I’m ok with once. I mean that’s a long time for a baby to go who is exclusively breastfed.

      • Krista August 23, 2011 at 9:56 pm

        That’s great. Congrats on the sleep success. There is nothing better in the whole world that hours of sleep in a row.

        • Morgan August 25, 2011 at 8:59 pm

          We followed the BabyWise book and our 7 month old has been sleeping from 8:30pm to 7am solidly since about 3 months, and she’s exclusively breastfed. Not bragging, just recommending a great book!

  • Kelly M August 23, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    “Be consistent. So before every nap, G and I would read a story, change our diaper, put on socks, put on the sound machine, ”

    OUR DIAPER. You’re wearing diapers now too?

    • MODG August 23, 2011 at 9:52 pm

      Oh I didn’t tell you? Saves so much time.

      • Skooks August 24, 2011 at 3:28 pm


        I almost spit my pop out when I read that line too. Interesting visual.

  • Jamers13 August 23, 2011 at 9:56 pm

    Ok so if you are giving away secrets I need another one. How did you get G to take a paci? Our little girl is 3 months and I am only breastfeeding. However I am returning to work and she does take a bottle but not a paci… which leads to a lot of cat naps and a crabby child. When she does take the paci she always sleeps longer, but I am looking for some sweet advice on how to make her like the paci.

    G has an amazing stink eye and he is so adorable :)

  • MODG August 23, 2011 at 9:59 pm

    We gave them to him all the time as teething toys. He just chewed on them. For some reason at night when we were changing his diaper he was sooo upset and just wanted to suck. He started sucking on a finger and then we tried a paci, and bingo. He wanted to suck so bad, it stuck.

    • Jamers13 August 23, 2011 at 10:03 pm

      Amazing… I will keep trying that. She is in the routine of sucking her own hands and my fingers but a paci she spits it out. Thank you for all the encouragement for us new moms out there. Sparkle hearts to naps.

      • britney is-always wright August 23, 2011 at 11:26 pm

        I’ve found that our baby girl will sometimes accidentally spit out the pacifier because she’s trying SO HARD to suck on it- that automatic tongue thrust gets her. So we hold it in her mouth for a couple seconds until we’re sure she’s got a good hold on it.

        • Valerie Vanity August 25, 2011 at 1:26 am

          Silas does that too, but EVERY TIME. So I have to sit there and kind of hold it in his mouth for a little while. I’m terrified someone will see me do this in public and think I’m just some crazy bitch “TAKE THE PACIFIER TAKE ITTT!!!!”.

          • Megan U. August 25, 2011 at 5:51 am

            bahahaha me too valerie!! but sometimes when she’s crying I and I know she just wants to suck I silently think that to myself :)

    • Morgan August 25, 2011 at 9:04 pm

      Try the Wubbanub. It will change your paci life: http://www.amazon.com/Wubbanub-Infant-Plush-Pacifier-Brown/dp/B0027AB7PI/ref=sr_1_12?ie=UTF8&qid=1314320527&sr=8-12. Any of them except the giraffe – too hard to hold on to. Babies can keep the paci in their mouth by holding on to the stuffy. No more retrieving a fallen paci (especially when they’re really young and it just drops out of their mouth). When they sleep it stays on their chest and they can find it in the middle of the night on their own.

    • Jamers13 August 27, 2011 at 8:37 am

      Just a quick update to tell you I FREAKIN LOVE YOU!! Number 1, my child is sleeping for at least one nap of 2+ hours. Number 2, she is finally playing with her paci and the other day took it all day and slept so much better. So it looks like I need to get my SAHM ass back to work… I owe you boots :)

    • Liz August 29, 2011 at 6:32 pm

      When they start chewing on the paci when they’re teething, you need to start checking the paci regularly for wear and bite marks, ’cause they will chew right through them and could wind up choking on the business end of the paci. Shouldn’t be a big deal, though, just take a look at them when you wash or rinse. It helps if you hold them up to a light (paci, not baby).

  • RhodeyGirl August 23, 2011 at 10:09 pm

    When did you start worrying about sleep schedules? 2 months? 3? 4?

  • MODG August 23, 2011 at 10:13 pm

    We started worrying about it when he was clearly not getting enough sleep. I think around 3 months. But we didn’t really figure it out until 4-5 months.

  • julie s. August 23, 2011 at 10:19 pm

    You give me so much hope that my 3.5 month old will start taking a pacifier at some point. She’s done it maybe 4 times ever, and when she does, it’s amazing. But she has recently started screaming at the bottle (she’s breastfed, never had a problem with a bottle before), what the hell is that all about? She’s a fan of the catnaps a lot of days, too…those days make me F’ing NUTS. If this works, it would be totally worth $350.

  • Nicole August 23, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    Creepy, my 6.5 month old is literally on that same schedule. And it does work! Now, I’m so intrigued about the paci at 7 months..my baby would not take a paci, but figured out thumb sucking. However she has ditched the thumb since getting teeth. I thought about introducing a paci but could just picture the hands being thrown into the air and the finger-wagging in my face about that. Hmm…so tempting for those fussy, teething times.

    • MODG August 23, 2011 at 10:25 pm

      I feel the same way, but it’s soooo worth it. He sleeps so much better now. I’ll have him off of it by a year I think.

  • Andi August 23, 2011 at 10:42 pm

    I LOVE your blog. It’s like a big virtual hippie hug and drinks with my girlfriends at the same time. My Boob Squirting friends who I met at Boob Group (you’re right. Best. Group. Ever.) read you rather religiously Anywayyyy…Hubby and I are right smack in the middle of our first week of moving Bug from co-sleeping to crib-sleeping. It is miraculous. Hubby and I had dinner together the other night for the first time in 6.5 months. The only annoyance is that my Hub gets Bug to sleep in all of 5 minutes with only tiny amounts of fussing. Me…well, it takes a good, um…45 minutes to an hour to get Bug to Snoozyland. Any tips for that?

    • MODG August 23, 2011 at 10:45 pm

      you guys both need to do exactly the same shit when you put him to sleep. Bounce, shh shh shh, crib, done. I will tell you though that B doesn’t put him to sleep ever, it’s just me.

      • Aja August 25, 2011 at 1:37 pm

        Us too! Still trying to figure out when he got off the bedtime hook. No boobs, I guess.

        • melissa September 3, 2011 at 6:52 pm

          Totally agree, we do the same thing every time — I have a 5 minute rule and hold myself to the standard that I should be able to get the boo to nap in less than 5 minutes. My hubby never puts him to sleep, always me, too. Curse of the boob!

  • Maria August 23, 2011 at 10:43 pm

    If this works for baby #3, I will love you forever. If it works also with my 2 year old, I will marry you as well (when gay polygamy is legal.)

  • Jill August 23, 2011 at 11:01 pm

    My twin 8.5 month-olds WERE on the same schedule (but I let them sleep as they want for the am nap as well) – until last week, when they started refusing to sleep for more than 45 minutes for either nap, and opted for upping the CRAB quotient all day (but especially in the afternoon). Because of this, they’re beside themselves with exhaustion by 6/6:30, so we’ve been putting them to sleep closer to 7, so they wake up closer to 6, so I want to rip my own head off by the time my husband gets home from work each day…

    Any suggestions??

    • Stacy August 24, 2011 at 6:36 am

      I’m no baby sleep genius but with my 10 month old she dropped the 9:00ish nap time and we started an 11am nap because she did the same thing. I just go to the gym and they give her a bottle and I feed her in the cafe. She falls asleep on the way home and I put her in the crib and BAM 2 HR nap. Eventually they adjust. She naps again at 4 and I make sure she is awake by 5:15 or so to keep bedtime consistent.

      This is a similar schedule that my friends with magical, perfect babies had and I could never achieve until my baby was older. good luck though.

    • Modg August 24, 2011 at 8:56 am

      When in doubt go back to the schedule. Dont compensate with earlier bed times for messed up naps. It will only further mess it up.

  • Caels Momma August 23, 2011 at 11:07 pm

    Love this! Cael would wake up every two damn hours to nurse till around two months. Then I guess he figured he would be generous since he had put me through so much in those first two months, that he finally just decided he was gonna sleep through the night in the crib. FREAKING AMAZEBALLS IN MY FACE! He goes to sleep around 8-9:30 every night and wakes up at exactly 7 almost every morning. Only problem is, those damn cat naps! Theres no real schedule during the day. Problem is he’s 3.5 months so I’m not sure if i should be trying to keep him awake longer, or if he needs to have those little naps throughtout the day bc hes still so little…but ohemgee would it be amazinnng if he took a solid hour nap, im lucky if he gets a thirty minute nap. And when he is awake all we do is play, sing songs, watch my baby can read, play outside, whatever the hell keeps him entertained, but be will get fussy bc he is tired so I let him nap. So obviously that’s what I’m doing qrong, right? Should I deal with the crying and screaming for just a little longer each day till he gradually learns to stay awake longer?

    • Modg August 24, 2011 at 8:58 am

      Just stretch the awake time a little to get the longer nap…not as much as i am

    • Anna August 24, 2011 at 9:35 pm

      I have 3.5 year old as well (I had a question below about feeding and nap) and am in the same boat. He seems to just need a lot of sleep. My guy does an hour in the morning and then suddenly the afternoon has been longer but sometimes in his swing not crib. I am going to try crib tomorrow and see if it is as long. Would love to know how any experimenting you do goes.

      • Caels momma August 25, 2011 at 10:10 pm

        We should email eachother for advice since they’re so close in age. My email is crcocoa88@gmail.com

  • Jen @familyfoodfitnessandfun August 23, 2011 at 11:10 pm

    So glad to hear there is another mom out there who STICKS TO THE SCHEDULE! I did the exact same thing with my 3 babies, and they napped like a dream. I would wake them at certain times so as not to compromise the next nap. No one else I knew did this…and this is why their children don’t nap properly. WORD.

  • ashlie August 23, 2011 at 11:30 pm

    I’m so glad G is on a schedule for you! I’m bad for not sticking to a schedule, because it always seems like every day is different. I find that if we have a busy on the go day, I just try to have a couple of chill out at home days so Vivian can get back on track. If we’re out and there’s shit to see, she won’t sleep. We went to Niagara Falls with her over the weekend and she stayed up all. day. long. Seriously, the one day she was up from 7:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. She wasn’t pissed about it, she just wouldn’t close her eyes because there were people around. We’re big on the soother too – but I’m pretty strict about it staying in the crib. It’s either in the crib or ready if we need it in the car. I don’t let her have it all day long whenever she wants because I don’t want to be fighting with her when she’s older trying to get it away (Toddlers and Tiaras has scarred me – “I want my nini!!!”). That being said, Vivian still thinks she needs a third nap. She usually does the shorter (1 1/2 hourish) nap in the morning, 2 hour nap in the afternoon, but then she still wants a super short (45 minuteish) nap at dinner time to get her through until bed. I find even if I push her through the dinner time nap, she’ll just take it anyway. I’ll put her down for bed at 8:00 and she’ll be up screaming her freaking head off at 8:45. The other night she screamed for an hour before I gave in and let her get up. She played for about 45 minutes then went back to bed for the night. Of course, we’re up to only waking up every 4 hours at night, and she’s the same age as G. She was waking up every 1-2 hours a night, every night up until about a month ago. I’ll take whatever progress I can get at this point.

  • Meg August 23, 2011 at 11:55 pm

    I completely understand how great the paci can be. I did, however, just wean my 21 month old son from it & let me tell you it can be painful! He didn’t start taking it until 11 months when I started to wean him from nursing, I spent 3 months doing that. I thought he’d never go to sleep without nursing! It was awesome for that & made weaning a breeze, that & his new found talent of walking. But man that shit becomes baby crack! I am not lying. We totally understand why there are 4 year olds walking around with them, b/c they are monsters without it! My son would through them out of his crib too & scream in the morning until you came in & got them for him. I didn’t plan o. Letting him have them for that long, but he was 14 months when he finally weaned & at 16 months his little sister was born. So I figured it would help with the transition & planned to have him off at 18 months. And I did have him down to just naps & nighttime until 1 day he learned that if he bugged Daddy hard enough he’d get 1. And then the paci crack monster came out! It was harder than anything we’ve dealt with so far. Worse than getting him to sleep through the night. It did start to affect his speech & so it recommended to be taken away. He is now 3+ weeks sober, I mean paci-free & he stll asks for it, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I just want to share my experience as a breastfeeding mom who tried for months to get her kid to take 1 b/c he thought I was his pacifier! And I was pregnant! Ouch! He does call it his ‘ma’. And it just backfired! I feel if others know the demon that the paci can bring out they can cut it off sooner & avoid it. My daughter stopped taking hers altogether at 2 months & b/c of my son I plan to donate all the pacis we received as gifts b/c I never want to go through that again.

  • rebecca August 24, 2011 at 12:10 am

    I have never gotten a baby to take a pacifier. How do you even do that? However, I have three kids (4, 2, and 7 months) and they all take an afternoon nap at the same time. This was possibly more difficult to accomplish than my phd. Of course I am now jinxed FOREVAH.

  • Caylee August 24, 2011 at 12:24 am

    You are reading my mind… I was just telling my husband like 5 minutes ago that we need to get our six month old little man on a schedule during the day. When he was 1 month old he pretty much stopped napping altogether so I would take it where I could get It and not complain about cat naps as he would regularly stay up for 10-12 hour stretches. Now that he has realized the awesomess that is sleeping during the day we are going to follow your five easy steps to better napping as they seem so much easier than most of the nonsense that I have dug up on the Internet.
    Im a new reader and instant fan, just wanted to thank you for the secrets and for giving me hours entertainment… Yes, turns out I have a little stalker in me and I have read old posts while the boobie monster feeds.

  • colleen August 24, 2011 at 12:25 am

    the real question is, as a singleton far away from having babies but a lover of the site, when, exactly, did we get our 9:30 and 2 PM naps taken away from us? as an adult, i could still really use that 2 PM nap.

  • Grace August 24, 2011 at 3:42 am

    When did he change over from 3 to 2 naps? My 6 mo. old is on a schedule (usually): 9:30, 1 and 4 pm naps (45-60 min each), bed at 8. If she doesn’t have the third nap then she is a total grump all afternoon/evening; but with a third nap we can never go anywhere for more than 2 hours. I am very much looking forward to having more awake time in the pm at some point!

    • Modg August 24, 2011 at 9:00 am

      Sometimes g gets a third nap too if he falls asleep in the car or wakes up early from 2nd nap. This is fine and hasnt affected anything

  • Kathleen August 24, 2011 at 3:47 am

    What you described? Basically Babywise. Srsly. Except for the paci which BW considers a “sleep prop”, but I don’t care. My 3 yr old still uses a paci for sleeping and she can have it as long as she wants. But the whole “make a schedule and stick to it” is the gist. Saved my sanity with all three kids and I will refer to it again with #4 (on the way)!

    First time poster, started reading a couple weeks ago – I think someone linked your blog on a pregnancy message board. Love it!

  • Bekkah August 24, 2011 at 6:23 am

    I love the way you give kid advice. It’s like you’ve found nirvana and want to share the absolute bliss with everyone around you. Then again, anyone who has ever worked with kids knows that getting a baby on a quality nap schedule is pretty much nirvana anyway… so kudos! Glad you found a system that works for you and G!

    I don’t have kids yet, but I am already planning to be a major hippie about it when they do come along. I’m counting on you, my sort of hippie internet friend, to teach me the cool tricks I don’t know yet. :)

  • Anna August 24, 2011 at 7:02 am

    Love to know your feeding schedule. My 3 1/2 month old nurses every 3 hours. I pushed to get here from 2 hours. He naps pretty well in his crib for usually 1 hour although sometimes he is in his swing (much longer naps). Not sure if I should push his feedings longer although I go back to work next week so trying to direct babysitter with all this and feedings will be pumped milk bottles, (directing sitter sucks by the way so I am conflictingly jealous of SAHM as I love my job (teacher) too, but that’s a whole other can o’ worms). Thanks for the hints. Any post about getting babies to sleep is going to get you tons more pub too, good move for increasing internet fame.

    • Modg August 24, 2011 at 9:01 am

      I dont beleve in a feeding schedule. G was nursed on demand especially at three months.

      • Anna August 24, 2011 at 11:12 am

        Thank you, I have been pretty much nursing on demand but stretched to 3 hours as it seemed he snacked too much at 2 and would not nurse for that long. What is hard now is that like today he slept later so nursed at 6:30am instead of 6 am then was not hungry at 9-30 so I did not want to put him down for his normal nap around that time so he ate at 10 and has now gone down for his nap at 11. He goes down pretty well I am just having a hard time coordinating feeding and naps. I guess if he is napping well in his crib for long blocks and is a happy baby I should just forget about it and stop pontificating about the minute details of these things. Sometimes I just need people to tell me what I already know/think so I don’t doubt myself.

        P.S I am a bit giddy you responded to my comment so yes you are famous at least to me.

        • Caels Momma August 24, 2011 at 9:30 pm

          I was extremely giddy the first IME she responded to me. She’s like freaking famous (to me) and she actually talked to me!!! My bf made fun of me bc it made so so happy and giddy.

  • Ashley August 24, 2011 at 8:37 am

    This is all so complicated!! But, interesting.

  • Lluvia August 24, 2011 at 8:50 am

    Yep. We DO NOT go out after 8 because that’s her bedtime. We always work around her sleep schedule. She’s almost two and still naps for more than 2 hours.

  • NSC August 24, 2011 at 10:00 am

    In my childcare experiences (currently limited to watching other people’s sex trophies running around, my trophy is still gestating) kidlets need routine. When routine is interrupted, all hell breaks loose. For example, my sister in the military got time off, and came to visit. Three year old niece was used to waking up at a certain time, and going places at strict times, with the exceptions of weekends, which were still loosely regulated.

    She gets to my house, routine is gone, and the monster broke loose.

    And everyone blamed it on the routine being interupted. There is alot to be said about keeping a schedule for kids.

  • Jen August 24, 2011 at 10:01 am

    This rules for the first kid. Not so easy to be rigid with the second kid, unless you want G to be house bound and bored. I am just saying – I know you want a second so go easy on yourself when you look back at this post in two years and are bumming that you can’t do it all again just so.

    • Krista August 24, 2011 at 10:35 am

      Sooo true! This is one of the hardest things with two. My sleep bible is Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child and it was so easy to follow all of the advice with my first. I try with my second, but things are never as strict. I can tell it makes a difference too, which kills me. The baby is 7 months old and I have had and know that I will have more struggles with him than I had with his sister.

      • Jen August 24, 2011 at 11:14 am

        But with the bummer of the inability to schedule comes the beauty of watching siblings bond, so stay positive! I have three under the age of 5. With the third, I didn’t even unpack half the shit I used with the second, which was already half of what I used with the first. He sleeps when and where he can during the day. And you know what, he is the most chill of all of them. I think we are so focused on the first’s schedule and mood and well, every little thing, because we have nothing else to think about. It is actually very freeing when you know that you can’t do it all. It takes a lot to screw a kid up for life. My mom says I never slept (one of three kids) and she was sure that my brain was frying from lack of sleep. I am now a lawyer. It all works out.

    • MODG August 24, 2011 at 3:54 pm

      I already have mini nightmares about when there are 2 kids and I can’t be schedule nazi. Like the others said though, hopefully the 2nd will be happy child usa just to play with HER brother

  • Katy August 24, 2011 at 10:08 am

    effity eff eff eff!! i needed this SO badly. my 5 month old is going the same thing and i’m about to sell her if i can’t figure it out. Question: do you put toys in the crib so he can play until he’s drowsy enough to sleep? Or is is strictly a place for sleep? And do you let him cry? (Maybe you already answered this but please answer again :))

    • MODG August 24, 2011 at 3:55 pm

      no toys, just sleep. We don’t let him cry. We did to get him into the crib initially but now that he knows that is sleep place, if he cries, I go to him. Usually giving him a pacifier or nursing him puts him back to sleep

      • Katy August 25, 2011 at 2:31 pm

        MODG HERSELF (her assistant must be out) wrote me back? Printing NOW….

        • MODG August 25, 2011 at 2:37 pm

          you are a whack job. I am just a regular girl who stares at my computer. NOT famous.

  • Britt August 24, 2011 at 10:12 am

    Don’t tell anyone but I set up two fans in the garage and if I stay out past my 11 month old’s nap time, I just turn on the fans and she sleeps in the garage. So well in fact, she slept through the earthquake yesterday. I’m sure its not the best for continuity but whatever, she sleeps at the same time everyday so that’s a good thing.

    • Krista August 24, 2011 at 4:25 pm

      I live in the Pacific Northwest where even in August the temp. rarely gets out of the 70s. Everyone does the garage nap here. Whatever works!

      In other news I’m now completely psycho commenting on this post. I think this is what happens when you spend 2+ years thinking about nothing but getting kids to sleep and sleep well.

      • Britt August 25, 2011 at 4:02 pm

        I am so glad I am not the only one. I knew there had to be others but no one wanted to admit to it!

  • Gail August 24, 2011 at 10:35 am

    Yep, agree. Routine is KEY.
    With my first born, it took me 6 weeks to figure out how to do it, and I thought I was going to die. With my 2nd, we had some belly issues, so it took 10 weeks. Again, thought it was going to DIE. (I know, you want to kill me about right now.) I am lucky in that I don’t have to stick to a strict schedule as long as I have the routine. Morning nap, afternoon nap, close the blinds, change the diaper, put on the sound machine, pop in pacifier, rock a little. Read a book to them if I feel so inclined. It settles the kid down and gets them in the mood to sleep. Just think about yourself…you can’t sleep with all the lights on after you just did the MOST EXCITING THING EVER, right? Same goes for babies.
    Love this post. Total truth.

  • natalie August 24, 2011 at 10:43 am

    love your blog…. never commented before even though i’m a long time reader. anyway, i am pregnant, due in november. i have put a lot of stuff from your favorite things lists on my registries, and i am wondering where you got the blue elephant in the last pic of this post? so cute. thanks!

    • MODG August 24, 2011 at 3:55 pm

      it was a gift from GAP.

  • SA August 24, 2011 at 10:55 am

    This has absolutely nothing to do with this post but I saw this on facebook this morning and immediately thought of you and your blog and thought WHY HAVE YOU NOT FEATURED THIS YET because I know you must know about it.


    Suri’s Burn Book. Please tell me you’re the ghost author. Or at least spread the gospel.

    • Kathleen August 24, 2011 at 12:37 pm

      OMG, thanks for the link! That’s hysterical!

      • MODG August 24, 2011 at 3:56 pm

        I’ve mentioned it a few times on my facebook page. I think whoever is writing it was a MODG reader (seriously I do) and swiped my idea.

        • melissa September 3, 2011 at 11:24 pm

          that sucks! THIEF lurking in the dark!

          I swear, I can’t stop commenting. this is like facebook, but MODGbook.

  • Brandy August 24, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    This post just snapped me back to reality. We followed a similar routine when my first was little (now 2.5 years old) and have been trying to keep it up with our 11 week old. However, when the baby tries to sleep in I have been letting her….so nice to only have 1 kid hanging on me instead of 2 for an hour. But I realize this is leading to other problems and your slap-me-in-the-face post just kicked me into gear. Xie xie!

  • Cait August 24, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU for this!! My 5 month old has only ever slept in my arms, and I have been trying to get him to actually sleep in his own bed during naps. I read this post last night and it all made so much sense! And as of right now, I’m going on hour #2 of his first nap in his crib!

    • MODG August 24, 2011 at 3:57 pm



  • Tamara August 24, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    Congrats on the nappage. We were militant about schedules for our twins and lo and behold they sleep like logs at night and then twice a day. Only wish the afternoon nap would last long enough for me to watch a little mommy porn (a/k/a Bravo).

    And loving the expressive little mug on Baby G. That kid gives seriously good face!

  • Vanessa August 24, 2011 at 5:47 pm

    I’m thinking I need to start structuring my kid’s naptimes more. He sleeps for a decent amount at least once a day — his morning nap is typically 1.5-2 hours — and he goes down really easily at bedtime and only gets up to eat once from either 8-5 or 8-6, but still varies his wakeup for the day time. Sometimes he’ll eat at 5 and sleep in for another 2.5 hours, other times he’s up for the day at 5am which just isn’t on in Mommy’s world, especially knowing that come November we’ll all be falling back with the time change and Baby doesn’t know how to tell time yet.

    The hippie sleep experts still think he needs 3 naps until 6 months, though. What do you think about that?

    • Vanessa August 24, 2011 at 5:48 pm

      Uh, my kid’s 4 months, btw. I didn’t expect you to waste your psychic powers determining that.

  • Cindy August 24, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    I’m done having babies, but I WANT THOSE BOOTS too!

  • Heather August 24, 2011 at 10:11 pm

    Love your ideas! I have prayed to the paci gods but my daughter will not entertain a nipple that does not have milk behind it. We are working on falling asleep by herself. Got any tips for that?

  • Selena August 25, 2011 at 1:30 am

    Seriously, did you hijack my computer and have been secretly skype-stalking me today? My 2 month old had the worst day today – several lame cat naps (like 15 minutes) and she is CRANKY and I am exhausted. Do you think 2 months is too early to start with the longer awake times? Seems like I should start this now to avoid bad habits since this is the first time we have had a bad day like this. Help! What the hell do I do to entertain a 2 month old?
    PS G is so very very handsome… showoff.

  • S August 25, 2011 at 11:19 am

    MODG – what is the teething situation like at your house? Can we have an entry similar to this one on that topic? I have an almost 7-mo old who was up ALL. NIGHT. last night just pissed, I’m guessing because of his teeth. Tylenol and Orajel did nothing for his mood. Half the time he wasn’t even crying, just awake. Keep in mind he is generally a great sleeper, so this is unusual.

  • Laura August 25, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    OMG you are my hero. Seriously. At the very second you posted this, I was on hour 3 of trying to get my 4.5 mo old down for bed. I’d been googling “cry it out” like a maniac, wanting something to BE FIXED but scared to pull the trigger on the screaming. Like a poster above, I was ready to sell her (“to the circus,” specifically). We started your plan immediately and though she refused the first AM nap, she took a great PM nap, went down for bed easier, slept for 10 hours (she’s EBF, so big deal) and just now took a great AM nap. You’re A NINJA.

    • MODG August 25, 2011 at 2:38 pm


      10 points adults 0 points babies


  • Tesla August 25, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    I don’t have kids, but I did work at a daycare for two years in the infant and crawler room and we always let them cry naps out. It kind of sounds mean, but it was the best method. A lot of kids would start and have always been rocked to sleep, which we don’t do, and consoling them again and again would only make it worse and keep them up. They cried for a few minutes and were out. Eventually, they got used to it and went right to sleep.

    • elizabeth August 26, 2011 at 12:06 am

      And that’s why my baby isn’t in daycare.

  • ZDub August 25, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    I am a kickass hippie nap instructor mom person. It’s the bedtime that crushes my soul.

    Also, I am super anti paci, but maybe if I gave Zoe one now, she would stay the eff asleep in her own bed.

    Disregard that she’s ten.

    AND Troy was the best napper in the universe until Zoe taught him to climb out of his crib. That’s the deebil’s work right there.

  • Morgan August 25, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    Ahhhh this could have not come and a better time! No less than five minutes ago I was stuck to the rocker pleading with my 7 month old to sleep. She went from world’s-best-napper to cat nap city for the last couple of months (as soon as we stopped swaddling… though it’s still tempting). I’m trying this out pronto.

  • Courtney August 25, 2011 at 11:19 pm

    *Oops, I accidentally left this comment on your Ferber/baby sorcerer post that you linked to above*

    This post couldn’t have come at a better time. I have a 4 week old and I’m already dying over these inconsistent nap times. Some days she’ll have like a 3 hour nap and I can go on a long walk and shower or go to a bunch of shops and cry over the clothes that I can’t fit into.. Other days she just has a bunch of little 15 minute or 30 minute naps. I like the idea of 2 naps, but hate the idea of getting up at 7am everyday. Ugh!

    My question is; when you say that G sleeps from 8pm to 7am, does he sleep straight or do you have to change his diaper and feed him once or twice? My bb goes to bed at around 11:30 and gets up around 3am and 7am to eat/change diaper but does go back to sleep. At least she knows her days and nights, so I’m thankful for that. She sleeps in our Arms Reach bassinet that sits next to our bed. I want to cut out that 3am feeding/changing, but maybe that’s just wishful thinking and not going to happen until she’s much older.

    By the way, I love all your oddly funny posts about nothing, but I REALLY like these ‘help a girl out’ posts that you do because you know a lot of your readers are preggers or new moms who need all the help they can get. So keep up these info posts because I’ll glean on anyone who has had a successful situation, baby-wise! Thanks!

  • Melissa N August 26, 2011 at 12:09 am

    Thanks for the inspiration!!! We completed day 2 of working from a bunch of cat naps to two naps a day and an earlier bedtime. So far so good, but it’s going to be a long road ahead. Just gotta keep reminding myself the current struggle will be worth it in the end! He will be 4 months old tomorrow, a good time to start with this. I’m a fairly new reader, love catching up on past entries :) Definately have woken up my husband while reading it in bed b/c I’m laughing so hard :)

  • Pamela Michno September 3, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    Do not have 3 children in 4 years if you want to keep a schedule. My poor third kid gets sleep when he can. Driving kids to preschool and play group and parks and babies r us. or while I’m interneting. or reading them a story. or cooking. or on the floor in the hall outside the bathroom while I braid his sisters’ hair. you get the point. It’s fucking ridiculous over here. Also, why can’t my 3 year old babysit herself, her 2 yr old sister and their newborn baby brother so I can just run to the mother fucking grocery store to get that one ingredient we forgot that I need for dinner?! seriously, fml and my husband needs to get a vasectomy like yesterday.

  • melissa September 3, 2011 at 11:30 pm

    Yay! I finally made it to the bottom to post my own comment. I hope you dont mind my replying to other people’s comments. I am a fairly new reader, have been addicted to your blog ever since breastfeeding week, so I hope that is okay MODG etiquette. LOVE this nap post. My boy is a good napper for the morning nap, but always wakes up cranky from the second nap. I’m going to try the MODG method and see if it helps. Oh, and I am a swaddler. We gave up swaddling for bedtime when LO was 6 months, but I can’t seem to part with it for naps, yet. My guy is 8 months, btw.

    LOVE your blog. Love it!

  • Morgan December 4, 2011 at 7:23 pm

    We’re finally trying Ferber… For naps, do you put him in his crib wide awake? It’s torturous.

  • TM December 3, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    Does this stretching waketime even work for a 4.5 month old? I want to try it but i fear the monster he will become because of it, but because he is a short napper and his wake time varies, his naps are all over the board….

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  • Diana January 4, 2013 at 11:10 pm

    Did you gradually work up to the extended wake times? or did you go cold turkey? I started this with my son today. he’s five months old and he’s waking up every 15 minutes during his night sleep crying. I think he is really overtired. You say it took two weeks for you to get G adjusted to the schedule. Can you talk more about that and the transition?

  • Mandy January 17, 2013 at 11:27 am

    I just found this article & have been battling with my 9 month old sons crazy schedule for way too long. I laughed my butt off reading this. Just had to tell you that. And I will be trying to implement all of your tips ASAfrickinP! : )

  • Cathy January 29, 2013 at 10:16 am

    Can I try this with my 3 1/2 months old baby? I wonder if he would be overtures with this method. What happen if he woke earier in the morning? Did u adjust the morning nap or stay with 9:30?

  • Ashley February 2, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    Spot on! We do the same routine and have the same results. Couldn’t have put it any better!! I can’t stand how people comment “oh you’re so lucky that your baby sleeps “…… Well it it surely wasn’t luck….. it took a lot of work! They certanly don’t come out trained like that!!