The Sleep Thing
We mostly cosleep overnight. Natalie starts in her crib (safer that way--she moves around a lot without us there), and then joins us in bed whenever she wakes up, somewhere between 10 and 12. On a good night, she nurses when she joins us, and then not again until somewhere in the 6-7 am zone. Other nights she nurses more, but we've been mostly successful with the no eating after 2 am rule, which has made for more pleasant nursing for her and Jen in the mornings (i.e. less biting).
Natalie is home with me 2 days a week, and with Jen's mom or a babysitter the other 3 days. I can get her to nap decently (2 naps ranging from 1-2 hours each) with some effort. She naps pretty crappily elsewhere. She naps in a crib (except for occasional weekend family naps). She nearly always has to be resettled somewhere in the middle of her nap. Sometimes this just means a rebink* or a short rocking session, but often it's more difficult than that. I have hoped that if I continue to resettle her, she'll get in the habit of taking longer naps on her own. Thus far, that has not been the case.
We are not interested in doing CIO at this point. This is not a judgement on anyone who has used this technique--it's just not what we want to do.
How have you made naps successful at home? We currently do music and white noise and feeding and rocking and singing before putting her down. Sometimes she's slightly awake and settles herself, other times she needs to be completely, totally out when we put her down.
Are her naps elsewhere always going to be few and short, or is it worth talking with the various parties taking care of her about strategies? If so, what should we suggest?
If you cosleep, has this affected your child's ability to nap in a crib?
Have you used one of those soft wool fleece mattress pad things? I'm wondering if making her crib more comfortable would help in any way. If it's worth us trying one, where can we find a decent but inexpensive one? Anybody got a secondhand one to sell? Or are we dreaming to think we can get one without spending a fortune? We're pretty broke.
Did/do you use a lovey? How did you introduce it? We've offered Natalie different kinds of loveys, and she's happy to play with them, but they don't really help her sleep in any way, and she hasn't gotten attached to any of them.
Any other words of wisdom?
*Our queendom for a binky monkey.