N-A-P spells…

A has never been the world’s greatest napper. She’s pretty terrible at it. Over the past 11 months, we have struggled to maintain an effective nap schedule. At daycare, she’s the worst. She takes one, sometimes two, very short naps a day. And by short I mean less than 30 minutes each. As a result, by the time I pick her up, she is cranky and irritable and ready for an early bedtime.

Even on weekends, I have to fight for her to take naps. Take right now, for instance. A started exhibiting the signs of being tired around nine. This is about normal, as I usually go get her from her room around seven (she may be awake before that, but that’s when she usually starts making noise). Our nap routine is pretty simple: Put her in her crib, hand her her lovie, she sucks her thumb and plops down. Lights out. I don’t make a big deal out of it because I don’t want her to have to do certain things to get to sleep during the day, since I know it’s going to be pretty cut and dry in the toddler room at daycare.

Some days, she goes right to sleep and stays that way for a while. Today, it’s been a challenge. I listened to her babble to herself for about 20 minutes before the babbling turned into crying. The crying eventually turned into screaming before I finally went and got her. I’d like to say she just wasn’t ready for a nap, but I know she was. Even when I let her play, she kept laying down on the living room floor, sucking her thumb and rubbing her eyes: Three tell-tale signs she is sleepy. I just put her back down, hopefully she’ll go to sleep this time.

Naps are important because A needs that reset a couple times a day. Her weekdays are pretty long, though not as long as they were when we were in Baton Rouge (a big perk of my new job is she is not at daycare as long). On weekends, her naps are equally important for me. John is gone most weekends, and if I want to get anything done, it needs to be done when she naps. And I feel really bad about this, especially since I work all week, but, honestly? Mama needs some down time, too. When she doesn’t nap, we’re both cranky.

From here on, I’m thinking we’re just going to refer to nap time as “quiet time” in this house, and she can do with it what she wants. If she sleeps, great. If she cries, okay. If she talks to herself for an hour, well, that’s fine too. But I think it’s important we both have time to recharge during our day. After all, happy mama = happy baby. And vice versa.

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