Monday, May 21, 2012

The 45 minute intruder.

My friend Arleigh and her son Clark.
Last week, our playgroup got together at Lake Calhoun, and as we were walking back to our cars to head home, one of the other moms and I got into a conversation about our babys' sleep schedules. Arleigh is a friend of mine from my pageant days, and she has a one-year-old named Clark and a little girl due in August. I asked Arleigh when Clark stopped doing "two-a-day" naps, because I'm literally fearing the day Linna becomes a "bad" napper. She told me that Clark has never really been a "good" napper, and she usually only gets one two-hour nap out of him a day. Nap time is something every mom cherishes, and I don't know what I'm going to do when Linna decides that her two, two-hour naps a day aren't necessary!

Anyway, we got into a conversation about naps, and I told her that we (my husband and I) never get Linna out of her crib if she wakes up crying. We always make sure that when she wakes up, she's either just hanging out in her crib or playing with her toys/blanket. When I told Arleigh this, she said, "that's called the 45 minute intruder."

Huh?! The 45 minute... what?! I never knew that this "thing" had a name, but once she said it, it made sense! Sometimes, Linna will wake up fussing or crying about 45 minutes or an hour after she falls asleep during her naps. The first time it happened, I went in to get her because I thought she was up. BIG MISTAKE! She was so crabby and wouldn't stop whining for anything. After that, I learned that if I let her fuss for a couple minutes, she'd go right back to sleep, wake up a little bit later and be happy as a clam! Arleigh told me she wished she had figured this out BEFORE she got into a pattern of going in to get Clark up from his naps when he would fuss around 45 minutes after she'd put him down.

The "45 minute intruder" is a term coined by the book Baby Wise. My husband and I aren't followers of the book, but I have read bits and pieces. Until Arleigh and I got into our conversation about naps, I had never heard of this phrase, but I had definitely experienced it! Baby Wise explains that babies cycle from light, deep, and back to light sleep in about 45 to 50 minutes. When your baby returns to light sleep, they may partially arouse.

I remember when she would fall asleep anywhere...
I feel very lucky that I figured out this sleep pattern, even before I ever learned what the phrase "45 minute intruder" meant. We all know that babies need sleep, because they grow and develop when they're sleeping. I feel like the longer my baby sleeps, the better. But before I got into this conversation with Arleigh, I had no idea that other moms deal with this "45 minute intruder" too. I thought it was just something Linna did. Thankfully, I figured it out on my own, but for other moms out there who may be dealing with this right now... it actually has a "name"! So the next time your baby wakes up fussing after 45 minutes or so of you putting them down, maybe try letting them cry or fuss them self back to sleep. It worked for us, and since sleep is something we ALL need, maybe it will work for you too:)


Have you experienced the "45 minute intruder" and did you know how to deal with it at the time???

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