It’s funny how much a child’s napping habits change within the course of one short year. Being that Holden is my first and only child, the drastic changes over such a short period of time have come as a huge surprise to me. Once I think i’ve got his schedule down pat, he ups and decides to do something completely different- forcing me to re-arrange everything around a nap. Not only his meals and things, but the way my day plays out as well.
From the time we brought Holden home from the hospital until he was a few months old- practically all he wanted to do was sleep. He’d sometimes wake up long enough to finish a bottle… although most of the time he’d fall asleep a few minutes into it. I longed for the days where he’d be awake for more than 15 minutes at a time so that I could play with him (as much as you CAN play with a newborn anyways). There was marathon nights of him screaming for 7 hours straight, but that was due to reflux that wasn’t being properly medicated(I blame our first evil pediatrician), so I would hope no one else had/has to deal with that as often as we did. Those nights don’t count.
The older he got- the longer his stretches of awake time became. It went from 15 minutes, to an hour, to two hours. Still napping after every bottle though. It was sort of refreshing to have him nap so often in the day- it gave me a mental break from the reflux cries. Trust me, when your kid has horrible reflux you NEED those breaks.
We finally got to a point where I thought we’d stay for longer than a month or two- three naps a day. One in the morning, one at noon, and one at around 5pm. Each nap varied from 30 minutes to an hour and a half. It was impossible to know how long he’d nap, or how easy he’d be to get DOWN for those naps. Holden and I ‘fought’ a lot over his naps- I always wanted him to be sleeping, and he never wanted to miss anything so he never wanted to sleep. I was so used to our schedule that I never wanted to change anything up.. not to mention the fact that he became a crotchety old man who hasn’t gotten his Metamucil when he didn’t get his 3 naps in. The last thing Thomas wanted to come home from work to was cranky mommy and cranky baby. Unfortunately for him- there were WAY too many days like that. Too many to count.
One morning I guess about a month ago, Holden woke up and decided he was no longer going to take a morning nap. I was too tired to fight him on it, but was SO happy when his afternoon nap rolled around and he was so exhausted that he passed out without a fight. He slept so long that I started worrying about lunch time and schedules.. and just couldn’t remove the stick from my ass enough to let him sleep, so I woke him up. Much to my dismay- when his 5pm nap rolled around, he wanted nothing to do with that one either. No matter how much I tried to force him into submission, it just wasn’t happening.
After a few days of fighting and lose the ‘battle of the naps’- I gave in and let him sleep for as long as he wanted to at his afternoon nap.. and no longer tried to force his 5pm nap on him. This made him much happier (even if it did push his lunch to around 3pm). Happy baby = happy mommy. The world can continue turning! Thomas doesn’t come home and have a child thrown at him (not not literally, duh)!
Holden and I do still have wars some days about how long his one nap is going to be. If he wakes up in under two hours- you better believe i’m going to pick his chubby butt up and work my Mommy magic to get him back to sleep. Those few hours he’s down might be long and boring and quiet- but they are MY long boring quiet hours and I want them, damnit. I get to do important things like… watch my soap… surf the internet.. doze off with my head back and mouth wide open. REALLY important stuff.
The only hoop to jump through now is getting Holden to nap while Thomas is home on the weekends (or holidays like right now). It just doesn’t happen, and I don’t know why. he just loves Daddy OH SO MUCH that Holden wants to be awake constantly when he’s home. As much as i’d like a break from nap-duty (Holden is not a child that just goes to sleep in the middle of playing, he also doesn’t nap in his crib but we won’t go into that), if I am not the one to put Holden down for a nap- it doesn’t happen. Thomas can’t even be in the ROOM. Psychic-Baby.. maybe?
Funny how you go from wishing your baby would wake up to play with you- to wishing your toddler would ‘JUST TAKE A NAP ALREADY!’
If you’re curious as to when Holden went to sleep last night? The answer is 1am. It was not a good night.
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