Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Thumbs Up for Family Nap

Way in which I'm probably screwing up my child #554: napping. But I'm OK with it. I'll explain. HR has a spotty history when it comes to napping. There was one really good stretch when he moved down to one nap and would stay out cold for 1 1/2 to 2 hours every afternoon. It was awesome, and so nice to have a consistent pattern on which to rely. Of course this has been a thing of the past for months now. He'll occasionally nap like his napping salad days, but that's not the norm. Instead he'll wake up after 40 minutes and that is not a long enough nap for a child his age, nor his parents. Enter: family nap. We found that if one of us (on those rare days when we're both home, then both of us) takes him to lie down in our bed vs. trying to wrestle him back into the crib, he'll easily go back to sleep for at least an hour. I have a bittersweet relationship with family nap, but frankly sweet has the edge. Because though it's nice to have a chunk of time to be productive or just have some quiet adult time while the little one rests, it's hard to pass up an hour of guaranteed cuddling. Usually I'll make sure I have a book so I can read while he's snuggled up to me, but often I drift off too and that's OK because everyone in our house can use all the sleep we can get. So yeah, it's always a bonus when I'm on baby duty and he keeps his end of the bargain by getting a full nap, but I never get upset when I hear him squawking before the approved time because family nap is kind of the bomb.

I acknowledge he'll probably never nap normally because of this. But in the long run, I'm not sure how much that matters. Realistically he's got maybe two more years of napping left anyway (with this kid probably less) so as long as he can still nail the nighttime sleeping gig (knock wood), I don't see a good reason to change up the nap method.

Ah acceptance, that great mitigator of parenting stress. It's impossible to be a saint at mama-hood, just as it's hard to be a saint in the city. This guy knows what I'm talking about.

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