Monday, June 30, 2014

Operation Bumpus Naps

So on a whim today I decided to forge new territory - the Afternoon Nap at Home. The conditions seemed just right - we'd been out all morning, we'd had lunch, I'd been feeding the baby on the bed and he fell asleep (the poor kid has not once slept anywhere during the day except in the carrier or car seat - after screaming himself to sleep), so as with most of my parenting decisions, I thought - why not? Now is as good a time as any to institute an afternoon nap.

So, I tried to get him to settle down and read a book with me. I tried to get him to lie down with me on the bed. I told him it was time to take a nap. He wasn't having any of it. Finally I tiptoed out and shut the door. The result? Total hysterical meltdown for twenty minutes. But...then sleep. 

Can I pull this off every day? My argument against naps before was always that I keep him in his room so much during the morning and evening that I just don't have the heart to shut him in there in the middle of the day, too. But...with naps only able to happen in the car, it just means tons and tons of driving. It's exhausting, and expensive, and not good for any of us. The fact is I just haven't had the balls to try to make him nap when he doesn't want to. But as I've mentioned, with preschool putting him down from 12:45-2:45, I feel like I should help out by trying this at home, too.

After all, it can be just like at night, where I (gently) put him in his room and if he just wants to play, that's fine. The only thing that's hard is consistency - I don't want to be one of these people that's hemmed in by nap times; but the reality is most other kids this age are unavailable to play in afternoons because of naps, so I find after lunch we rarely have anything to do outside the house anyway.

Wouldn't it be nice to spend the morning out playing or running errands, come home for lunch and diaper changes, and then *gasp* sleep? Or get work done? Or anything but drive around?

I get the feeling this is going to be yet another thing that I can't believe I let go so long - much like B's horrible sleep as a baby, or running around while eating, or tearing apart the kitchen. I guess like everything in parenting, his not napping (or only napping in the car) really wasn't a problem...until one day, it was. 

So he's at school tomorrow, then I'll try another mid-afternoon nap on Wednesday and see how it goes. I'm sure there will be screaming. But that's ok. Scream all you want, we're miles from where anyone can hear you!


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