At Christmas, our approach to napping quickly become too difficult to be sustainable. While bedtime has never been a problem, our baby boy would only nap in my arms.
While I tried to appreciate every cuddle, as Harry got older and started to fight sleep, it became hard going. Getting work done while he was awake was impossible, and the slightest noise would wake him. I lived in fear of the doorbell ringing, or heaven forbid, that I should sneeze.
Staying with my parents over Christmas, the house was too busy and unpredictable for Harry to sleep on me. I also didn’t want to miss out on all the fun, and to spend the entire holiday stuck on the sofa.
The time felt right, and we decided it was time to break the habit. My husband was on hand to help, and we were somewhere different, and away from the comfort of our snuggly corner sofa.
In the month or so before hand, I’d tried to transfer our little one to the cot for a nap. I think it was a case of too much too soon for him, and as soon as he was out of my arms his eyes would fly open and he’d start to cry. With that in mind, we decided to transition him to napping in the pram first.
From arms to pram
As mentioned we left our old routine behind when we drove home for Christmas, so we created an entirely new one. The hardest part being, removing myself out of the equation.
For a week, my husband took responsibility for settling Harry for his naps, avoiding the expectation that he’d be in my arms.
After his bottle, he’d be settled into his pram, and rocked to sleep. Sometimes taking seconds, more often minutes, half an hour at the most. On one occasion Harry refused to sleep, and rather than cuddle up with him, we skipped the nap altogether.
By the time we were back from our Christmas break, our habit was broken, and Harry would let me settle him in the pram.
While it was such a relief, and I can get so much done during nap time now, there is still a big part of me that misses the cuddles.
From pram to cot
Over the last few months, there have been a few times when Harry has napped in my arms, mainly when he’s been under the weather or teething. Every other time has been in the pram, which for a while, felt like progress.
However, with Spring approaching, again our routine is causing problems.
With the pram downstairs, our poor pups are being kept cooped up. Not an issue with the weather we’ve been having, but as soon as the sun starts shining they are going to want to play in the garden. The slightest bark has the potential to wake Harry up, and I’ve had enough of spending nap time tip-toeing around.
The time has come to transition from pram to cot, and I’m hoping for more success than my previous attempts.
It’s a new week, and time for a new routine. Over the last few weeks I’ve started making Harry’s naps more regular, at ten and three, regardless of when he’s woken up. I’m sticking with this schedule, as we seem to have got to a good place, with our baby boy settling quickly.
At ten we head upstairs for the first time. Still in his sleepsuit I change his nappy, pop him in his sleeping bag, read him a story, and then he has his bottle. He seems shattered and settles to sleep in seconds…. success!
Too soon to do a victory dance, I head downstairs, checking the baby monitor every few minutes to see if he really is asleep.
He wakes up forty minutes later, when he’d normally have at least an hour or two in the morning. He’s clearly not drifting back off any time soon, so it’s time to get up.
Lunchtime and early afternoon fly by, and Harry’s next nap time comes around quickly. To be quite honest, I’m dreading it a little, as I’m sure he’ll be hard to settle. I follow the same routine we set in place this morning, and hope for the best.
I needn’t have worried, as although he doesn’t doze off straight away, he just sings and shouts to himself for ten minutes, and then drops off.
This time he naps for an hour and ten minutes, an improvement on this morning, but in total he hasn’t slept for as long as he normally would.
All in all, today hasn’t been the difficult day I was anticipating. No tears (From either of us) and Harry has had enough sleep to prevent him from being in a permanent grump.
I have everything crossed that today wasn’t a one off, and that tomorrow sees more of the same….
I’ll be publishing part two at the weekend, letting you know how the rest of the week goes!