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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The No-Drama Nap

Mira used to nurse to sleep at nap time. But then in February, we cut that nursing out of her schedule (that decision is explained in this post). Ever since then, the only way I've found to get her to nap during the day is to put her in the car, drive for a few minutes aimlessly, drive back home once she's asleep, pop the carseat out of the base, carry the carseat with her still in it up the stairs to her room, put the entire thing down on the floor in her bedroom and close the door to let her finish her nap in her carseat in her room. It's quite a big series of hoops to jump through and we've done it every day for the last 2-3 months.

I've been getting concerned about this naptime routine, though. It works right now because she's still in her infant carseat, which has a base that buckles into the car and then the actual carseat clicks into and out of the base very easily to be carried around as needed. But soon she's going to outgrow her infant seat and need to switch to a convertible carseat, and I haven't seen any models of convertible seats that have a easy removal option like infant seats do.

So I was expressing this concern to a mommy friend at a playgroup yesterday, and she suggested that I might try taking a few elements from her bedtime routine and duplicating them into a shorter naptime routine. It was a bit of a "duh" moment for me, as I realized that what she was saying seemed so obvious. I think that, in general with Mira, I just find something that works and get to a point where I'm afraid to change it or try something else for fear of messing things up, even if doing something else would ultimately be much easier.

Well, anyway, today I decided I'd try a new approach at naptime. So to warm Mira up to the idea, I told her several times over the course of the morning, "Mira, at naptime today we're not going to get in the car like we normally do. Instead we're going to go up to your room and sit in the chair and rock and sing and then you'll fall asleep and take a nap." I know she understood at least part of what I was saying because today after lunch when I said, "Mira, it's time for nappies" she went for the stairs instead of going to the front door like she normally does. And when we got up to her room, she went and stood by the rocking chair waiting for me. At that point, I was thinking, "That's so great that she understood me, but I still doubt this is going to work. In about 15 minutes we're going to be in the car." But then we got in the chair and rocked and I sang. And she fell asleep right on my chest. Which hasn't happened since she was tiny, not even at bedtime. Admittedly, I really loved feeling her completely relaxed on me, her little breaths coming and going. It had been a long time since that had happened. And with the recent weaning, the mixed feelings of watching my baby become a little girl, the reluctance to let her mature and grow, knowing that she was one step closer to never needing me again, with all that so fresh in my mind, it was so wonderful to just sit there and hold her the way I used to when she was a baby.

I eventually found my resolve and put her into her crib. And she woke back up. I tried patting her back, but she just sat up and looked at me. So I picked her up and said we'd try again because the first time almost worked. So we rocked again, she fell asleep on me again, and this time when I put her in her crib, she stirred but did not wake.

So now she's napping. And I feel like a total champ. I tried something new with her routine and IT WORKED. And it saved me time and gasoline. And I got a few minutes of heaven, to boot. Who's DA MOM? I'm DA MOM!

1 comment:

Anjea said...

Aw!

You are DA MOM! :D