That there is a happy baby. A happy baby after a happy nap.
You have to understand, nap times here have been the bane of our existence. Worse than getting Wes to sleep at night, daytime sleep has not come easy. And to keep my son from becoming the monster he becomes when awake for far too long, we have at different times cajoled him into napping in the swing, in our arms, in a car seat, you name it. And many of these naps have not been good, have not been long, have not been restful.
For some time now though we have tried to stick to some routine when it came to bedtime. We aren’t always perfect with it, but we bathe (every other day or so), diaper, dress, huggle, crib, sleepsack, paci, sometimes read book, sometimes aquarium, sometimes just shush. (We broke the swaddle habit weeks ago when I could no longer stand the pitiful look on my son’s face. He wanted access to his hands bad). But then the fussing would begin, we’d walk back into that room, replace paci, restart shush. Rinse and repeat.
And then a couple of days ago I just decided that at nap times, I would do a mini-version of the routine, too. Diaper, huggle, crib, sleepsack, paci. And something miraculous happened. I set my boy down in his crib, he placed his hand over his face, turned that face to one side and just fell asleep. No cries, no fuss. He slept one solid hour. And an hour after being awake, because really, that’s all he can still give ya, he fell asleep like this again. And again. All.day.long.
Yesterday, running errands, taking a walk, we fell out of the routine. Wes stayed awake for give or take three hours, and he completely broke down. The child could not be pacified until I took him with me to bed and blackmailed him with an ounce of formula.
How we need consistency! I’ve learned that if I find myself questioning if he’s ready for a nap, the answer is bound to be “yes!” Of course, teething or some other developmental milestone is bound to come and make a mess of things. But until then I’m holding on to that smiling face come time to wake.