As time marches on, I learn more and more about the preferences of my darling daughter (who is now 5 months old!). My newest discovery is that she will sleep longer and more restfully if I put her on her tummy. Every day when I pick her up from nursery school I ask how she was that day. They almost always tell me about some long nap she took, so long in fact that she missed her bottle. I don't mind since her eating on a schedule isn't my preference. I'd rather they wait for hunger cues, but understand with 7 other babies in the room, they need some sort of schedule to get everyone fed, changed, and played with. Besides, it is only 2-3 bottles a day and she doesn't seem to be the worse for it.
But I digress, back to naps... she is usually put down to nap on her tummy at nursery school so I decided to do it at home too. And it works. I don't have to swaddle her when she is half asleep in my arms and risk waking her up. Putting her on her tummy has an effect similar to swaddling.
For example, last night on our way home from the grocery store, she fell asleep in the car. When we got home, she woke a little, so I carried her inside and laid her down in her crib. She stayed there for about 2 hours. That might not sound like a lot to some of you, but a 2-hour nap is a big deal for her when she is at home. Usually we get 45-60 minutes tops. When she woke, I took her to bed with me and nursed her for about 45 minutes. Once she was done, I laid her down in her side-car bassinet, again on her tummy, and she slept until 1:45 am! That was almost 4 hours. It is so rare that I get more than 2 1/2 hours of sleep at night before she is up again wanting to nurse.
I hope this pattern continues. She's taking a morning nap right now... on her tummy. I heard her stir and talk about 30 minutes ago, but she fell back asleep with no crying from her or attention from me.
**For all of the people who might want to call DCF because I put my daughter on her tummy, don't worry. The risk of SIDS is pretty much past now that she can do a mini-push up on her arms.