It’s been about a week and a half now since we’ve dropped a nap. Let me start by saying that Emma is a wakeful baby and always has been. And as a first time mom who likes to wing it in most situations, it was tough and I didn’t know how to handle it. You can read more about that in my previous blog post.
Fast forward, my perspective has changed to be more patient with this little ball of energy. From the age of eight months up until now she was taking two naps a day that averaged an hour and was sleeping great throughout the night uninterrupted.
During the month before (13 months), the new nap routine wasn’t complete without Emma resisting it for a long minute. Naps were averaging around 45 minutes a nap, sometimes 20 minutes and I’d have to pull off some magic to help her lengthen it. The most challenging part was having to put her down for the night. You’re mentally and physically done for the day and it’s not done until you check off an hour of the energizer bunny rolling around the bed, climbing over me like it’s her first discovery, and babbling her little head off. This can’t be the new normal, it’s just not sustainable. On top of that she started to wake around 4:30-5:30 am to nurse.
* Side note: When she hit a year she started waking up anytime between 4-530am to nurse. I suspect it’s due to all the bio-physiological changes her body is going through that she is feeling like she needs to nurse at this time when she didn’t need to before. I currently before bedtime and early in the morning.
We are still somewhat in the adjustment period of these one naps a day thing as she sometimes gets fussy around 10:30 (her old nap time) but she clearly isn’t ready to actually nap. Taking a step back, there are wins:
- naps almost instantly (gives the best feeling of satisfaction when her eyelids fall heavy and close with out much effort)
- better at letting me know when she's ready for a nap whether it's having a snotty meltdown or signing "sleep"
- naps are back to averaging 1-1.5 hrs long
- takes about 30 min to go to sleep for bedtime (even while still rolling around a bit)
I like to look at other parent’s schedules and how they get creative on when to bring in naps and feeding. It reminds me that flexibility is a must when it comes the little one because the day to day varies. The other day she wanted to nap earlier than usual and I offered her to take a cat nap before dinner to hold her over until bedtime, but she was totally fine and ended up staying up for 7 hours! Having a loose schedule structure has kept my sanity. Here is what our current schedule routine looks like: