Waketime Lengths: A Quick Fix For Short Naps

Today, my friends in The Babywise Friendly Blog Network are writing on one of the most frustrating topics there is to deal with as a Mama: short naps. Sometimes called the "45 Minute Intruder" or the "pull-my-hair-out" nap. If you've experienced it, you know the desperation to find a fix. Hopefully today, you can find some good insight and wisdom from Mamas who have been there and dealt with this issue first hand. (Look for links at the bottom of the page).

If you are dealing with Short Naps, I think the first thing you have to rule out is a hunger issue. "Is my baby hungry?" Always feed your baby if they are hungry. If you try to feed your baby and they only snack or don't eat, then you can probably rule out hunger being the problem. (If they do eat a full feeding, consider adjusting his or her schedule or consider that it could be a growth spurt.)

After you have ruled out the hunger issue, it's time to consider waketime lengths. This is often (not always, but often) a quick fix for short naps.

Shortening Waketime

The most likely and common reason for a baby waking early from naps is that they are awake too long before the nap and are overstimulated. With two of my babies, I had to work through the intruder. When Shepherd was two months old, he went through a two-week period where he would only nap for 45 minutes at a time. I felt like I was trying everything (the swing, rocking back to sleep, not hungry, etc...) until I read a blog post on Val's blog about sleep cues. I started watching for Shep's cues and discovered he gave them to me 20 minutes earlier than I was putting him down for a nap. I can still remember thinking "there's no way this is going to work, it will mess up our whole schedule for the day", but I put him down earlier and it worked right away; he slept for 2 and half hours.

It goes against common sense to say more sleep equals more sleep, but it's true and it often works. Sleep begets sleep. So, if you havn't tried it, try cutting back on waketime 15-20 minutes. It could be just the trick.

Lengthening Waketime 

After you have eliminated a hunger issue and tried shortening waketime (and I mean really tried... like for 3 -5 days of shorter wake times... some babies take a little bit longer to adjust), you might want to try the opposite.... lengthening waketime.

My fourth baby, Archer, had short naps for what felt like forever. Weeks and months is not an exaggeration. Some of you have been there. Maybe you're there now. One of the things I finally figured out was that I actually needed to lengthen his awake time. I didn't try this for a long time because I just knew and knew that more sleep equals more sleep. But it did not work for him. So I tried the opposite, almost as a "Hail Mary" just to eliminate it from my ideas list. I started with 15 minutes, but ended up lengthening his awake time by 30 minutes. It was not a quick fix that day, but after several days of trying it, he slowly started napping longer little bit by little bit, until he was napping 2 hours at a time. It probably took 2 weeks to get there though. It is worth trying! Just remember to give it a fair shot and be consistent with whatever you try for a few days before you try something new!

You can read a little bit more details about how we conquered the 45 minute intruder with Archer in this post: Conquering the 45 Minute Intruder.

Hang tough Mamas! IT WON'T LAST FOREVER. Somehow some day they will nap or worst case: they will grow to big to need it anyway. I know it doesn't feel like it, but it's true.

Be sure and check out these posts for even more ideas and wisdom about getting rid of these nasty short naps!

Chronicles of a Babywise Mom: What to Do when Your Baby is Taking Short Naps (The First 5 Things to Check)

Mamas Organized Chaos: How To Avoid Short Naps

Team Cartwright: Dealing With Short Naps With Twins

Twinning Babywise: Naps "By The Clock"

The Moses Home: Short Naps
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Favorite Blog Posts {Show and Tell Tuesday}

It's show and tell Tuesday and today I'm linking up with the Momfessionals blog sharing my favorite blog posts!

Kyle and I originally started this blog when we went on staff with a Missions org as a way to keep our ministry partners up to date with what was going in our life.We found some more efficient ways to communicate with ministry partners and this blog pretty quickly evolved into a way for me to chronicle the adventures of our family and served as a sort of "baby book" for me. This place became my place... my little corner of the world to house pictures of my favorite peopleand a place to journal and get words out my head and out into the world. I love it here and love having you here with me. 

Laura Kate Wiley broke me in GOOD for mommy-hood. She earned her nickname "the Sasster". The twos and threes with this girl REALLY "special". Also, they were hilarious. One of my all-time favorite Sasster stories was that day she escaped out the front door only partially clothed....

When Shepherd started showing signs of developmental delays as a baby, I felt really alone. People talk a lot about the things their kids to right and how they excel, but not as much about the things that they struggle with. I wanted to be honest about where we were with Shepherd and my thoughts and fears as a mom. The response was overwhelming, as people came out of the woodwork talking about their own experiences with delays in their children and it made me feel less vulnerable and like there was a support system here.  This article is still one of the most read articles on this blog. 

If there was a time I could say that I ever felt or heard an audible voice from the Lord is was this day. There has yet to be a more life-changing moment from the Lord for me or a more specific charge from the one I received from Him on this day. I will remember this as the most defining (up to the point) day in my parenting. It's the day I moved from defensive parenting to offensive parenting. It's my favorite post I have ever written, and one of my favorite things I've ever experienced in the first place. 

Last year, I wrote a post about a "A Day In The Life of Me"! I loved it and will probably do another one this year too. Here's Last Year's

Another reason I love this blog is that it has been a safe place for me to grieve and get my thoughts out as I have processed different losses that I've experienced in my life. While my circumstances were not my favorite things to write about, the posts themselves were therapeutic for me and became a favorite because it was a place to get my feelings and heaviness out. Here are some posts I have written about or in times of grief:

My most popular, most read blog post of all time on this blog is about Conquering the 45 minute intruder or the short naps with your babies. Y'all. I FEEL YOU. I know exactly why this post is so popular. When you are there, you want to know ANYTHING to try to fix it. It will drive you MAD. Here's the post if you havn't read it yet: 
(Also, check back here on Thursday of this week, because the ladies in the Babywise Blog Network are exploring this topic in detail and I'll share all the links with you!)

Another favorite were my Pregnancy Posts. I have been pregnant approximately 172 weeks of my 32 years of life. Thats 3.29644 years or 1,204 days of my life, if anyone's counting. You can read some about those weeks here: 

Fischer's Birth Day was one of the scariest of my life, but also one that I felt the most loved and taken care of. My sweet blog readers are among those as I received so many encouraging messages and prayers from people reading and following his story. The story of his birth is a favorite of mine and a popular one among readers here. 

Whether you've been along the journey of all these posts or are reading for the first time today, thanks for being here and for being part of my family's lives! Blog friends are the best!

For even more favorites, click on the "Favorites" tab at the top of the page! 

Read my past Show and Tell Tuesday Posts here:

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My Favorite Quick Service Food at Walt Disney World

I tell people all the time that everything at Disney World is my favorite, and the FOOD ranks pretty high on my list of Favorites. Before our last trip, I did a good bit of research of all of the food options so I could have a good plan going in. The trip before, I felt overwhelmed by options and didn't know what was better and wished I had a better plan. I came home and felt like I missed out. This last time, however, the food was one of my favorite parts of the trip.

Magic Kingdom:

Pot Roast Macaroni and Cheese at The Friar's Nook

This little Nook is located in Fantasyland right around the corner from the Carousel and in between Princess Fairytale Hall and Winnie The Pooh.

I like to think of myself as a Mac 'n Cheese connoisseur, and I can without question say that this is the best Mac 'n Cheese I've ever had in my life. I don't think I can over-sell this one. It's a great use of a quick service credit on your dining plan and I just don't see yourself regretting it unless you hate mac 'n cheese or pot roast.

They also serve BBQ Chicken Mac 'n Cheese and Original with Panko Bread Crumbs. See the full menu here.

The one down side to the Friar's Nook is that seating is pretty limited. It might be best to get it and find seating elsewhere in the park, or be prepared to wait for a table to free up.


Fish and Chips at Yorkshire County Fish Shop

This shop is located just inside the England Pavilion in the World Showcase. The seating area is right by the lake, and when we were there (around 11:30 am) it was a really peaceful and not super crowded.

It was delicious and they serve it HOT and fresh. If you are trying to stretch dining credits, this is a great place to do that at. Each entree has 2 fairly large pieces of fish and "chips" (fries). Everyone in our group loved it, even those not too keen on fish.

Animal Kingdom

Harambe Market

The Harambe Market is located in the Africa section of Animal Kingdom on your way to the Safari. It is street-style African cuisine with 4 different walk-up windows. From people who have been to Africa, I was pretty impressed with the authenticity represented. From the food to the venue, it felt like stepping into Africa.

The seating area is a little bit larger than most and it was not difficult to find a table. Most tables have large umbrellas, so it is also a nice place just to sit and have a break in the shade.

There is a good bit of variety to order from: Sausages, Ribs, Tikka Masala, Chicken Skewers, and Flat Bread Gyros (which is what I had which was very tasty!).

Find the full menu here.

Hollywood Studios

Min and Bill's Dockside Diner

This little cutie is located on Echo Lake across from Animation Courtyard. I had the Mac 'n Cheese with Pulled Pork (see? I just love it so much!) while Kyle had the Chili Cheese Hot Dog. Like the Friar's Nook, seating is limited (though not quite as bad).

See the full menu here.

For more Disney tips and travel help, visit our Travel Facebook Page: 

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{Lately Recap}: Busy Babies!

The past few weeks have felt like a whirlwind and I havn't done the best job of blogging lately! So I thought I'd do a big "Lately Recap" instead of the typical "Weekend Recap".

A couple weekends ago, Beth Moore and Living Proof Live Conference was in town. I had wanted to go, but didn't have the money in the budget for a ticket. My mom called me a few days before and told me that the friend she was going with couldn't go to the Saturday portion and said I could go in her place! I was so excited! The event actually started on Friday night, and all day on Friday I just felt prompted to ask God to give me a ticket to go on Friday. So I did. I just prayed that if God wanted me there, that he would provide the ticket for me to go. At 6:15, I was sitting on my couch watching movies and eating pizza with my family. I was wearing my PJs, no makeup, and my hair was 3 days old. I was checking FB on my phone and saw that a friend posted that she had an extra ticket and the first person to comment could have the ticket. EEK! The event started in 45 minutes, but I commented and called and I made it just in time!!! It was such a good conference. The worship was refreshing and there were a couple points that Beth made that really hit home and encouraged me well. Also, it was nice to have time with my sweet Mama!

Ha! I also ran into Courtney and a couple other church friends. This friend always brings a SMILE to my face!!

Everyone was super eager to help clean out Tonks' crate. They still love to play with her. We are having to work on being more diligent with giving her attention lately because we've been so busy and also the puppy takes a lot of our attention these days! But we still love Tonks and she is still the sweetest little hedgie! Archer really wants to touch and hold her, but he is still just so little and we don't want him to get poked, but he gets VERY SAD when we tell him "no touch!". 

Jess and Stephen came over for dinner one night and we introduced them to Settlers of Catan. And guess what?? I ACTUALLY WON FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER. I am normally not good at strategy games, but I tried something different than I normally do when we play and it WORKED!

Look how much Gilly has grown! Can you see how long she is?? I am amazed she has grown as quickly as she has! Kyle took her to the vet last week for her shots and she predicted she will be 80 POUNDS (!!) when she is full grown. 

These two. This is Caroline. And Shepherd says she is his best friend. She is the cutest thing, she is in a different Kinder class at our school and her sweet family is in our small group. They are the cutest friends!

Archer is obsessed with clothes, and his favorite are the big boys' undies. He likes to steal them from the laundry piles and put them on his head like a hat. Then he runs away really fast so we don't take them off. This particular day, I let him wear them to lunch! haha! 

The mornings here are FINALLY starting to be a little bit more bearable so we've had some good time playing outside. Archer loves to run his trucks around play in the playhouse. 

I just finished a new book series and I really liked it! It's a YA series that is like Harry Potter and Twilight had a baby. It did take me a good bit of the first book before I decided I liked the characters. And you know me, I have to connect with the characters to like the book. BUT, I did in fact, fall in love with them and I think it's a great series to read! If YA fantasy/distpian is your thing, you'll love it! 

Guys. I got a LITTLE behind on my laundry. Just a little bit! eek! I am happy to say that as of this moment, I am caught up. We all know come tomorrow at Breakfast that will no longer be true, but it feels pretty great tonight!

We had an open house night at the kids school. It's a night to check in on their work and hear from the teachers a little bit about how our kids are doing and see some of their work. I have a confession. Open House nights make me SO ANXIOUS. I feel like I have to talk about my kids in a sound bite, there are other parents listening in and I don't want to come across as the crazy lady in the class. So typically I come home feeling like I babbled randomly and WAS the crazy lady. *sigh*. I know it gets better as time passes and we all get to know each other better. (By the way, both of our kids teachers are so great this year and we are all excited to see all that they will learn this year!). 

September 1st finally came around and I busted out my Fall decor, started Gilmore Season1 and have been drinking chai tea and dreaming of cooler weather. I'm so ready for it I could cry. I feel like we still have a few weeks to go for it though. 

Read some of my past Fall posts here:

Oh this tiny baby! Anyone remember her??? I've been extra sad lately about missing my tiny babies and then this picture popped up on my FB memories. Ah I miss those cheeks and those curls!

Speaking of this sweet girl, she and I are both pretty excited that our Red Raiders are back in play. It's just our favorite time of year.

Continuing on with this girl, she got to spend the night with Grammy one night. I copied a post from my mom's FB page because I don't think I could choke the words out myself to type them. I can't even with her. She tries so hard to be sweet in everything she says even if it isn't nice to say! YIKES. 

These babies of mine. Fill my heart with so much joy! We've had a lot of good play time lately and I have thoroughly enjoyed them. 

You know how I said I've been missing my tiny babies lately? Meeting and snuggling this sweet baby did help. While I was holding him, I had to close my eyes and ask Kyle across the room to remind me that God told us we were through and how we knew for sure. 

While I was holding Archer on the couch one day, I remembered how when Fischer was this age we used to take silly face pictures all the time. Archer didn't think it would be near as fun as Fischer did. He was not amused. 

On Thursday I guest-posted on the Let's Be Brave blog for Babywise Friendly Blog Day. I wrote about why we chose and love Babywise. You should check it out here.  

Archer got ahold of my phone and somehow managed to make all of the icons shift to the bottom of the screen. It took some googling, but I figured out how to switch it back to normal. For the record, you just tap the home button twice. Don't actually press the button, just tap it. It will move and up and down that way. 

The Squish has been having a hard time lately. He has really started battling fears and they are triggered at sleep times. Some days, it takes him longer to fall asleep for naps but I still have to wake him up to go get LK and Shep. Bless his little heart, he fell back asleep on the way to the school, so I know he was so tired! 

There aren't a lot of things that are a genuine challenge for LK in school. We have to look for them, but we do because we want her to learn how to work hard. Last year, timed assignments were one of those things. Even for the practice homework, she would have complete meltdowns about the timer. We worked so hard with her to overcome that fear and for her first timed assignment at school, not only did she make a 100, but she did it in under time and without any meltdown or anxiety. She was BEAMING when she told me all about it and showed me her 100. I love to celebrate overcoming fear in any way and was so happy to do that for my girl this weekend! 

It's been a crazy few weeks, but we are finally catching our breath a little bit and rolling along! Bring on more FALL. It's my happiest happy place!
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No More Dino Nuggets - Putting an End to Picky Eating Habits

I am so so excited to have my new friend Cole guest posting for Babywise blog day today. Cole is the newest member of our group and her blog is awesome. Everything I read of hers I am nodding my head "yes" at the computer screen halfway through the post. Today she is writing on something near and not so dear to my heart, PICKING EATING. (You can find me talking about Why We Chose Babywise For Our Family over at Natasha's Blog: Let's Be Brave.)
I love to cook, and I love to eat even more. I want to share the joy of cooking and eating good food with my kids. It's important to me that they grow up with positive memories of time spent around the dinner table, eating together. I want them to remember Mom's pulled pork and chocolate cream pie. I want them to taste all kinds of foods prepared all kinds of ways.


In my opinion, creating a well rounded eater is largely within the parent's control. It's true that some kids have the natural tendency to be pickier than others, but I think in most cases, extreme pickiness is a result of the parent overindulging their child's persnickety eating habits. All kids go through phases of pickiness. How you respond is what dictates whether or not it becomes a permanent trait.
With that in mind,  here are my strategies for putting an end to the pickiness:


Why do you think children from different cultures and geographical areas typically eat (and presumably like) such different foods from children in other areas? It has to do with exposure. Kids learn to like the foods they are served. In order for your kids to like a variety of foods, they have to be exposed to a variety of foods. If you always serve chicken, they'll probably scoff when you put pork on the plate. If you always serve fried vegetables, they'll probably turn their nose up at something steamed. The more used to trying new foods they are, the more readily they will taste a food they've never had before.
This method can start early, too. Regardless of whether you decide to offer purees follow a Baby Led Weaning approach, a baby is capable of eating what everyone else in the family is eating long before their first birthday. You don't have to stick to what's available in baby food jars, nor do you have to follow any recipes in a baby food cookbook. If you're doing purees, just put whatever you've cooked for the family into a food processor and give it a whirl. If you're doing BLW, cut size appropriate chunks of your food and put it on their tray. Do as you mean to go on; if you want your three year old to be accustomed to eating the family dinner, start serving him the family dinner before age 1.


For the most part, I do not offer my kids snacks in between meals. If I sense that one of them is going through a growth spurt or if dinner is going to be late that night, I may offer a piece of fruit between lunch and dinner, but those situations are rare. It's tempting to try to fix boredom or obedience issues by shoving a cup of goldfish in their hands when they're irritating you at Target, but in that case what they need is probably a nap, not a snack. Not serving snacks ensures that come mealtime, my kids are hungry. Hungry kids are less picky. Hungry kids eat more at mealtime, ensuring that they are properly fueled to make it to the next meal snackless.


While I do frequently offer choices at breakfast and lunch (would you like a turkey sandwich or peanut butter and jelly?), I never offer alternatives once I decide what to serve. They have the choice to eat the meatloaf or not eat the meatloaf, but you won't find me whipping up quesadillas for them instead. I have a kitchen, not a restaurant.


I start out with a serving of each meal component. Let's say, for example, they're having chicken, potatoes, and brussel sprouts. Inevitably they will eat all the potatoes, half the chicken, and one brussel sprout and then ask for more potatoes. This is a no-go. They must eat everything on their plate before they are offered seconds of any one item. If they eat everything on their plate, I'll serve them more of whichever item they want (seconds, even thirds), but they have to eat that first serving of brussel sprouts before that's an option.


In my experience, if you put a plate of food in front of a hungry kid, they eat it. They don't flip the plate over, toss beans in their water, or stick rice up their nose. They're too busy eating. If those or other mealtime shenanigans start happening, I take it as a sign that they aren't really hungry and end the meal.


I know the better mom is either anti-dessert or serves something like apricots (which is the same thing as being anti-dessert), but I've found it to be a highly effective incentive for eating the meal. I have no shame in telling my kids they can have a slice of pie or a ding dong if they finish their vegetables. In my mind, broccoli and a brownie is healthier than no broccoli at all.


This probably goes without saying, but if you don't like cold, plain, unseasoned green beans, don't try to make your kids eat it. The idea isn't to get your children so hungry you can get by feeding them dog food; it's to get them to actually LIKE eating a wide variety of foods. Serve well balanced, well seasoned meals.


Typically the preceding 7 suggestions are enough to keep my kids eating well. Sure, they skip meals from time to time because they aren't hungry enough to eat whatever it is they don't like on the plate, but for the most part they eat a variety of foods. Every so often though, one of them will get into a bad habit of consistently refusing meals they don't like. They may go days eating only 1 bite of food for dinner and then gorging on breakfast (which usually consists of foods they like better). When I notice this happening, I do a little "pickniess bootcamp" where I offer the same exact food over and over until they eat it.
Here's how it works: let's say I serve a casserole for dinner and they choose not to eat it. Normally they would just go to bed without eating and that's the end of it, but during pickiness bootcamp I saran wrap their plate of casserole, stick it in the fridge, then reheat and serve at breakfast time. They don't eat it for breakfast? I saran wrap, reheat and serve at lunch time, and so on until they finally eat it. I continue doing this for a day or two until I can see that the pickiness has been broken and they go back to eating a variety of foods.
My approach to handling pickiness is firm and straight forward. By staying consistent, meal time rarely becomes a battle ground. Set your kids up for success by making sure they're hungry come dinner time, serve something tasty, and don't pull any punches when it comes to enforcing the standards you've set forth. You'll have your kids eating a variety of foods in no time.

Cole is wife to Eddie, mother to Vera, Abel, Mercedes, and Samuel, and lover of baby schedules and happy hour. She blogs at http://babywisetwins.wordpress.com.

Today is Babywise Friendly Blog Network Day. Be sure and check out the rest of the posts today!

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3 Things I Cannot Live Without {Show and Tell Tuesday}

When it comes to things I cannot live without, let's just already assume the givens: God and His Word and my people.

Three things I cannot live without (or for sure don't want to try to live without them....)

1. Bubble Baths

(The view from my bath last night. She really doesn't understand why she can't jump in the tub with me!)

I love a good bubble bath. It's the #1 for me to relax and rest. It's my quiet time and my reading time and my me time. Often, it's my "talk to Jesus" time. I really don't think I could survive without baths. When we were looking at houses when we moved, we came across a few houses that didn't have a bathtub in the Master bath. I walked straight out and said NOPE not for us! I am constantly flabbergasted watching Chip and Joanna fix up gorgeous bathrooms but no bathtub. In my dream world, Chip and Joanna would not sacrifice the bathtub for a bigger shower, they would just knock out another wall and build on for the bigger shower.

A while back, I wrote a post about the Perfect Bubble Bath.

2. My phone

I really didn't want to be one of these people. You know the ones. You probably are one as well. The ones who cannot live without their phones. It's so true, yall. I just can't. It connects me to everything. And I'm not just talking social media. I almost put "books" instead of my phone but the truth is that we can put books on our phones, so there! ugh. It's the ugly truth, but it's the truth.

3. Cokes

I love Coca-Cola! I am Tom Cruise standing on Oprah's couch shouting "I LOVE THIS.... COKE". I really wish Coke counted as water. But unfortunately for my jelly belly, it does not. Even in times where I'm trying to watch the Carbs (like now, waaahhh!), I drink Coke Zero. Not the same but better than diet. *sigh*.

Today is Show and Tuesday and I'm linking up with the Momfessionals Blog.  In case you missed any of my past Show and Tell Posts, you can read them here:

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