Saturday, July 25, 2009

The 90 minute baby

Emily and I went to story time at the library last week. While she was listening to the stories I stumbled on a book about getting babies to nap. I checked it out and read through a bit of it that first day. Quite honestly the book didn't impress me that much. It basically went on and on about one basic premise, but the premise was an interesting one. The author believed that babies have a 90 minute awake cycle. She thinks the best thing to do is count 90 minutes from the time the baby wakes and then try to put the baby back down from another nap. In other words, if a baby wakes in the morning at 7 a.m. then the baby will be ready for another nap at 8:30. She also says that if a baby stays awake past the 90 minutes, then the baby becomes fussy as a result of being overly tired and possibly even sleep deprived.

So I thought, "what the heck?" I talked with Scott about it and we tried it for one day. It wasn't easy at first, but after they both woke from their nap they nursed and played until the 90 minutes were up. Scott and I swaddled them both, and gave them their pacifier. They were both asleep within five minutes. I was amazed!

We continued the plan, and the babies took great naps. One day Eli even slept for over three hours! They don't always nap the same length of time, but that's okay. They are both sleeping so much better at night! After the second day on this "90 minute plan" Elsie slept for ten hours at night, and Eli for seven. I was thrilled! Of course this could just be a coincidence, or the babies could completely object to this plan tomorrow, but until then we will continue to count ahead every 90 minutes after their wake time.

This morning the babies woke, and 90 minutes later we swaddled them and put them in their cribs, though they were still awake. They both fell asleep themselves, and woke up an hour later. This gave me a chance to shower (a huge deal!), put on a load of laundry, and hang with Emily for a bit.

Yay babies! :)

P.S. Mom says that she wants more pictures. I am keeping the camera out all day, and promise to post some later today.


Jenny said...

I have noticed that Jack seems to get tired about an hour and a half after he wakes up so this makes sense to me. The challenge is Ryan not waking Jack after I get him back to sleep. For whatever reason Ryan seems to think Jack needs to be awake all the hours he is awake.

Katie said...

I'm intrigued. I will have to give this a try. At what age does their awake period extend? I'm curious.

Scott and Malisa Johnson said...

That is funny that you mention that about Ryan, because Emily walked into the nursery today during the babies' naps and turned on the aquarium thing and woke Eli up. Grrrrrr.

Scott and Malisa Johnson said...

Katie, the book says the awake periods double in increments of 90 minutes. Theoretically around six months a baby will be awake for 3 hours between naps, and then when the child is older he/she will stay awake for a greater multiple of 90 minutes.

It will be interesting to see if that is true of my babies.