I'm pretty sure sleep is a huge issue with most babies. Before the girls came W and I both read parts of the book Babywise. We had some idea going into it how we wanted to do things.
Night time sleep has always been fairly good. The girls nurse before bed around 10:30. We swaddle them and put them down drowsy yet awake in order to let them fall asleep. Lucy needs her pacifier most nights to fall asleep, but Clara generally falls asleep quickly and without any help. After their first stretch of 6-7 hours they wake up, nurse, and then go back to sleep for another 3-4 hours. I have zero complaints about our nighttime routine. It's SO much better than the early days where we got about 2 hours of sleep at a time.
My issue unfortunately has to do with daytime napping. The girls don't really sleep well during the day. They catnap here and there somewhere downstairs (in the swing, in a rock and play, on a boppy, etc.). These little naps last about a half hour max and rarely occur at the same time. They are unpredictable and short. I was starting to lose my sanity.
This past week I decided I needed to do something about our daytime routine. I needed to put my foot down so I picked back up my book and started to read. I laughed when I saw I had left off on a chapter about napping. No wonder I had no plan or idea of what I was doing. So I read and decided the next day I would enact our new routine. It wasn't rocket science, but it consisted of a pattern of eating, playing, and then sleeping.
The first day for our first nap I tried to put the girls down in their cribs. That was a total no go since they are still sleeping in our room at night (Clara in a cradle at the foot of our bed and Lucy in a rock and play next to the bed). For the next nap I tried to mimic our nighttime routine as closely as possible. I swaddled the girls and then put them down where they sleep at night. To my surprise, they slept. At the same time. For more than a half hour.
I started this routine on Tuesday and have continued it since. So far it is going pretty well. There are times when one girl refuses to sleep or times when I have to go back upstairs to put their pacifiers back in their mouths, but things are so hugely improved. I have some time to myself. I am able to eat and sit down without a baby attached to me.
We shall see how things progress, but so far I would consider my first week of operation napping to be a success. Our next mission will be operation sleep in the crib, but I'm not sure I'm quite ready for that yet. They are probably more ready than me. For now though I'll just take it one step at a time.