Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The ridiculous dance of nap time

 Babies change all the time, it's a known fact. We have gone through a couple of phases where Y. has modified her behaviour,  with us trying to adapt fast to her new ways and needs. We thought we had it all figured out in such a way that there was some sort of a flexible routine to our days together. 

There was a time when making her sleep was as easy as rocking her to a couple of Natalia Lafourcade songs while dancing with her and that was that.  There was the very beginning when she would eat and sleep, then wake up, eat and sleep. There were those two glorious months when she slept through the night (only to stop after we came back from Mexico and decide that waking up to feed is fun! Aren't parents supposed to survive on very little sleep?)

A couple of months ago we started using a baby sleeping bag, and we invented a routine that consisted in darkening her room, putting her in the bag, getting her lovey, her pacifier and a musical light-show and she would "understand" that it was sleepy time, calm down, and fall asleep (many times with the help of us rocking her at the very end)  At night, after nursing, she gets a nappy change, a bath and her pijama. Then she goes on the rocking chair with dad. All of this was working.

There was a time when I would put her in the stroller and we would enjoy long walks around the city, to the center, to parks, to the beach, to meet friends... The movement would make her sleep and she would nap beautifully.

Lately, it's a fight between her and me. I want to ensure there is some kind of (flexible, open) routine to her day, some cycles that get repeated: sleep, nappy, food, play... But, she refuses to sleep with all her might and nothing that used to work seems to work anymore. Our city hikes have turned into a crazy act where I walk really fast while swinging the stroller to the sides while she spits the pacifier away and complains that she wants to see the world. It got to a ridiculous point last Sunday, when we all went for a walk to get groceries. She wouldn't sleep and I wouldn't calm down until she would. I was almost running, seeing how she was tired and almost reaching the point where she sleeps, but wouldn't get there. Mark is a more go-with-the-flow and let-her-be kind of guy, so he was annoyed at my trying to force her to sleep when she clearly didn't want to. Also, because he knows it is driving me crazy, making the half an hour before she does fall asleep a period where I am very close to losing my mind. His philosophy is, if she wants to be awake, just let her.

I am sad that this is happening because I used to enjoy our long walks so, so much.

For the last couple of days the only way she'll sleep is if I put her in the kangaroo and walk around. But she is already almost 7.5 kg and that is just not doable if I want to also carry other stuff besides her. The idea of carrying her and a backpack makes me sweat just from thinking of it .

I found this article the other day and couldn't help but laugh:

"Think of it this way, babies are constantly changing, so anything you do today can all go out the window tomorrow.  Some people think of this as a negative: “You better be careful when he starts teething because you’ll lose all of that sleep training progress.” Whereas, I think we should think of it as a positive: “Who gives a crap if she sleeps in the swing all night? Next week she may have it totally figured out because she isn’t going to be 22 at college sleeping in her Rock n’ Sway.”

Do what works now and pat yourself on the back for knowing what that is. Mine was strapping him to my chest and bouncing on an exercise ball while humming during the day and co-sleeping at night. My friend’s baby would only go to sleep if the Gypsy Kings were playing while she drove her around the block. My other friend’s baby would only sleep in his rocker in the downstairs shower stall because the echo seemed to soothe him. Sure, you always want to move in the direction of the goal – whether it be a Pampers ad* or just sleeping without a soother – but don’t sweat it in the meantime and if you don’t push the peanut today, well tomorrow’s a new day, another night and possibly a totally different kid."

When do babies stop needing to nap? When can we play all day without having to play this game that's driving both of us crazy? (Not dad, no, he is such a patient guy that this does not affect him).

*Speaking of Pampers ads, have you seen this Japanese one? I really don't consider myself emotional and it got me all teary eyed.


  1. My husband is the same way! I wish I were more relaxed like him... we have a party coming up and he wants me to bring the baby and forget about her bedtime routine for the day. He says if she gets tired she can sleep in the carseat. But I just can't do it! I want to be a relaxed Mom but I worry about her too much.

    I'm sure this is just a phase Yu is going through. Hopefully she gets back in her routine soon!

    1. Yeah, I understand the routine. I don't know about your girl, but lately Y. hates the carseat so much, and skipping her bedtime is tricky. Still we have done it a few times.

      I hope we are able to learn from the husbands and let go at least a tiny bit but it is hard.

      We had an appointment with the physiotherapist and she confirmed what I thought, that she needs a lot less sleep now (around 3 hours a day, divided into 2-3 naps). This helped me a lot...

  2. Si te sirve de consuelo no olvido a mi mamá cuando cuenta su historia de que mi hermano desde que tenía menos de un año no dormía siestas. La pobre cuenta que le preguntaba al pediatra, porque "este niño no duerme". Así que casi todo puede ser normal o anormal según se vea. Abrazos a Yu y a su mamá y saludos a Mark. Suerte con los siguientes cambios, tal vez ahora disfrute de dormir mucho. ;)

    1. Por aqui seguimos sin dormir de noche, pero definitivamente cada niño es diferente, siento que ya vienen con sus patrones de sueño, temperamento y facilidad para dejarse caer en los brazos de Morfeo (o no).

      Pobre de tu mamá--- ya me la imagino, ¿Porqué este niño no duerme, dígame doctor porqué?

  3. First of all, I've seen that Pampers ad like 20 times and I cry every time. Every goddamn time. Ha.

    About sleep. Oh dear. I am the wrong person to ask. Owen is almost one year and we just entered a NEW PHASE. Wait what? I thought we had it down?? But no...he threw us a curveball. The best advice I can give you is....when things start feeling out of control, make a plan. Doesn't matter if its a stupid plan or a silly plan or a plan that fails, just make a plan. It feels better to have some kind of plan.

    And then, as everyone will say, know that it's a phase, it will change. I promise. Even if you (like we did) LIKE the phase you're in and feel like you've got it down...that will change too. Damn!

    1. That ad is so well made.

      You are right about the plan. And also, I have noticed, letting it go and going with the flow. The moment I told myself, well, if she does not want to sleep, then let her, I felt better.

      And yes, it is all a phase (Lauren @betterinrealife wrote a post about that a while ago, so, so good).

  4. a mi tambien me hizo llorar este video!!! jaja creo que estoy muy sentimental............tan preciosa tu chiquitina durmiendo es muy tierna.
    Un abracito

    1. Muchos saludos , cuidate mucho, y ese video hace llorar a todas...

  5. Reading your story has helped me a lot.. My baby is not sleeping much during the day, she is just 3 months and just a few weeks ago she sleeps just like 30 minutes in 4 or 5 hours. So it was driving me crazy. The thing I noticed is that when we go out for a walk she can sleep up to 3 hours in the stroller, so then I am doing it. She sleeps I walk.. win win situation right?
    I guess those days where she slept 2 hours straight for a nap is not happening anymore so now I need just to adapt. Talking of adaptation with the baby I have been changing a lot because in the past I was so up to schedules and now.. here I am.. no schedule and just flow day by day

    1. It can be difficult, but it all became easier as soon as I accepted to "follow" her cues and go with the flow, rather than obsess about trying her to do what she clearly does not want to.
      I hope it is going better! Enjoy the walks, hopefully the weather is getting better!


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