I have a confession to make: I cheated on our morning nap. Juna got a little fussy when I started swaddling her to go down, so I nursed her for five minutes. She calmed right down, and we still did the over the shoulder shush/pat. After minimal fussing, and no crying, she pretty much fell asleep on my shoulder. I put her down in the crib and she fell easily back to sleep. Of course, forty minutes later she started stirring, so I began working on the nap extension by doing shush/pat on her tummy until she fell back asleep. After about five minutes, I took my hand away and waited until she stirred again, and then repeated the process. The third time I took my hand away, she awoke and this time started crying. I picked her up, and started to soothe her by walking. Then over the shoulder. Then tried the pacifier. Then walking again. Then I remembered that I was doing exactly what I wasn't supposed to by being inconsistent! I bagged the nap, took her downstairs and vowed to keep it simpler next time.
I am proud to announce that we have finally extended a nap to an hour-and-a-half! Her late morning nap, which was supposed to be about noon, started at 11:40a.m. today. Juna is just now starting to show drowsy signs, which makes it much easier to go with her routine rather than imposing a schedule. She got a little fussy, and again I gave her a five minute snack, shush/pat and down in about ten minutes total, no crying. I went in at thirty minutes to do a fake pick up/put down, but it didn't work, and she began to stir at forty minutes. I put my hand on her tummy and did the shush/pat like I did before, but I stayed for about fifteen minutes until she had fallen into a deep sleep. It worked! She slept for a little over an hour-and-a-half.
We started our bedtime routine a little early tonight as she was fussy, and I experimented with putting her down awake and leaving the room. She chatted to herself for about twenty minutes and then started fussing and crying a little. I went back into the room and did the shush/pat on her tummy (without taking her out of the crib) for about five minutes, and she fell asleep. It's a miracle! If you had told me five days ago that we would have such an easy time getting this baby to sleep, I would've laughed at you. Bradford and I feel so relieved and relaxed. Our evenings alone together are so much more enjoyable now that we're not worried about getting Juna to stay asleep. I don't panic about our days anymore because I know exactly what our routine should be and how to give Juna the rest she needs.
I am looking forward to a restful night and a great day tomorrow, with hopefully two nap extensions and more smiling, happy times with Juna!