Every day, in approximately two hours, I get the equivalent of 10 hours of work done. That’s right, I cram about 10 hours of work into two hours of my day? Don’t believe me?
In those two small hours I can accomplish the following: laundry, dishes, and other random housecleaning, emails, blogging, designing, studying, vacuuming, food prep for lunch and for dinner(s), drinking copious amounts of coffee, working on our company site, work emails, and while I’m doing these things I’m usually on the phone on some “Very Important Phone Call” that cannot have a child squealing in the background, nor the music of Dora the Explorer playing.
These two small hours make up what is known as Naptime in my household. And I think it’s on its way out.
my first baby
Chanel, to this day, is a very scheduled person. If something is out of the normal spectrum of activities planned, it throws her off. If she stays up too late, she is so super cranky because she doesn’t sleep in. She needs to go to bed at the same time every day, and then she wakes up at the same time every day.
As an infant, she granted me with two naptimes per day – two hours in the morning, another hour or two in the afternoon – and it was glorious. Of course as a newbie parent, I didn’t fully recognize these golden hours for what they were, I think I must have taken them for granted. Sometimes we had to wake her up because she slept too much.
Every evening she would fall asleep between 7:00 and 7:30 pm, and every morning she awoke around 7:15 am. It was perfect.
Somewhere between 18 months and 2 years old we dropped the morning nap, and by 2.5 years she was rarely napping.
my second baby
Holland hates to sleep. As a small infant he would have random naptimes throughout the day, as I struggled to put him on some sort of schedule, I realised he would not be coerced into falling asleep at the same time everyday. He fought it.
At 18 months old he was still waking up at night, sometimes three times in one night, usually to nurse, but more for comfort. Once I stopped breastfeeding him he finally began sleeping through the night – most nights.
Bed times have always been an issue. Some nights he would go down around 7:00 pm without a fight, most nights he wouldn’t be out until 8:00 pm, even 9:00 pm. Any little sound would wake him up and he does not like to be cuddled when he awakes from his slumber – he is an angry, screaming baby – mad that something woke him up.
Now, at 21 months old, he still sucks at napping. For almost 5 months I’ve been forcing him to have one nap, and by force I mean put him in his crib between 10 am and 11 am (if we’re home at that time), listen to him jabber on for 30 minutes (up to 90 minutes) until he naps for about two hours.
If he doesn’t nap at all, which sometimes happens because we’re out and about and he won’t sleep unless he’s in his crib or his stroller, by 6 pm he’s super cranky. He’s clingy and grouchy and cannot wait until he can finally get to sleep.
But on days where he does nap, I can’t get him to sleep at night.
With my first baby we had a bedtime routine, which consisted of the norm: bathtime, storytime, cuddletime, bottle or nursing time, a quick lullabye, and shut eye. This routine would start somewhere between 6:45 and 7:00 pm, and by 7:45 pm she would be fast asleep. With our second, I attempted the same schedule. I know children thrive on schedules and routine and that it helps them relax and know what’s happening next.
Everything that worked with my first did not work with my second. It’s like the big joke of parenthood. You think you have it down pact, you’re ready for more kids, and then you feel like you’re back at square one again.
(I should mention that I do have friends whose children are very similar as well, who were both good sleepers and eaters and what-have-you, and the whole thing just pisses me off. HA.)
Holland has his bedtime routine, he knows what’s happening, he lies down with his bottle as I pat his head gently and sing him his lullabye. Sometimes he wants some extra kisses or hugs, but afterwards he lies down and shuts his eyes and I say good night. For the next 30 minutes Jay and I try to be silent spies. No loud noises. No music. TV is almost on mute. Anything to get this kid to sleep.
We might check on him a little while later, and he’s wide awake, building forts with his pillow and blankets, playing with toys that he’s managed to fish from outside his crib – and the kicker is that we walk in, he hears us, and he’ll cover his eyes with his hands, drop to the mattress and ‘play dead’ – as if we’ll think he’s asleep!
It’s very hard to discipline this boy, and be strict when he’s ‘faking sleep‘. It’s so cute and hilarious, but the other night he was up until 10 pm! He doesn’t cry and he doesn’t whine, he just plays in his crib or jumps on his mattress, but it’s still frustrating since he shows all signs of being tired and wanting to sleep, and then simply doesn’t.
Bedtime is always worse on days that he naps.
So, does this mean that it’s the end of naptimes in my home? Am I to say goodbye to these glorious hours during the day that allow me to get work done, uninterrupted?
I am not going down without a fight.
I am hoping that this is just a phase.
I will continue to put him down for naps, walk outside with the stroller for as long as it takes, and rub his back and sing to him so he will go to sleep at night.
Because if he doesn’t nap – when will I get anything done??
Does or did your kid nap well?
What about at bedtime?
Is there anything to help a kid that has a hard time falling asleep?