Monday, March 23, 2015

Naptime--I love to loathe you

I have a love-hate relationship with Max's naptimes.

I think the reason for loving them is obvious: he's sleeping, which means I can do other things from start to finish in one shot.
Things like:
take the dog out
bring the groceries in from the car
spend some quality time with my breast pump
prepare meals (both baby and adult)
work out
enjoy an entire hot cup of coffee in one sitting
watch Parenthood, Law & Order: SVU, or some other amazing show

Of course, many of the items toward the bottom of the list (specifically the last 6), have been placed on the backburner since moving into our new house.  There is still LOTS of unpacking and organizing to do.

Once Max is asleep, it's all good.  He's been taking pretty decent-sized naps lately (at least 1.5 hours per nap).  But getting him to actually go down for a nap is another story.

Hence, the "hate" portion of the relationship.

I used to nurse Max to sleep for naptime and bedtime.  And I will NOT do that with future babes.  It became such a sleep-crutch for him that when he would wake up in the middle of the night for whatever reason (some nights as many as 7 times), he had no other strategies to put himself back to sleep other than latching on, which always required my involvement (duh).  So back in January, after we got back from the cruise, we put an end to that.  It wasn't too bad, just required lots of consistency and patience on my part.  Now he's able to put himself back to sleep most of the time when he wakes up throughout the night.

When it comes to him falling asleep at the beginning of naptime/bedtime, we have good days and bad days.  Right now, we're in the middle of a stretch of bad days, and naptimes are worse than bedtime, hence this post.

Today we tried crying it out for his morning nap.  First I let him cry for 5 minutes, then went in to help him lie down.  Then I let him cry for 10 minutes whilst I took a shower.  I went back in, gave him a hug and a kiss, had him lie down, then left for another 10 minutes.  The picture below shows you what was going on for that entire 10 minute stretch.

 See that colorful bar at the top of the monitor?  That shows his noise level.  He was screaming.  I checked the time after I was sure he had been screaming for 10 minutes, and only 3 minutes had passed.  I muted that darn monitor for the next 7 minutes and proceeded to organize our linen closet.  Then when it was time, I went back in and tried to lie him down again.  But he wasn't having it.  He reached for me and wouldn't calm down until I picked him up.  And then he immediately fell asleep on my shoulder.

Bested by a 10-month-old.  I gave him what he wanted, which was to have me help him fall asleep.

I will admit, though, that I enjoyed the quiet cuddle time without him trying to bite me (this is a new thing this week, where I rock him to start the wind-down routine and he proceeds to try to nibble at my shirt/chest.  And when I tell him "no!" and pull him away, he laughs.)

Better luck with the afternoon nap, mommy.

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