For the past month or two, we’ve been a good groove with naps. Predicable, consistent, long. Pretty much every mom’s dream, right? But we all know how it goes – as soon as you get used to something, it all changes, and right now we’re on the cusp of something new.
Cullen has started taking a really long time to go to sleep. I used to pop him in his crib, he’d sit down, and by the time I left and turned on the monitor he’d be snuggling his blanky and closing his eyes. Recently, he’s started playing in his crib before naps – and that’s fine, I’m glad he’s so comfortable with playing on his own and having some down time.
But last week the playtime never turned into nap time. He play for an hour – sometimes two. If I left him in there long enough (which also felt weird – should I leave him in there that long if he’s happy?), he’d eventually conk out and take a nap. But then our whole day would be off – the afternoon nap would be later and too close to bedtime, and he’d still seem sort of grumpy.
So last week, I pulled the plug on the morning nap.
Now I’m putting him in his crib around 9:15am, and if he’s not alseep by 9:45 I go back and get him. I hate for him to spend hours playing alone in his crib (even if he’s perfectly content), and then have half our day held hostage by his unpredictable schedule. The first day we did it, I was amazed. He was his most giggly between 9 and 11am – hours I had been previously forcing him to sleep! He was smiley, happy, laughing, and running around – thrilled to be up and enjoying the world.
In the afternoon, I try to get him down between 1 and 2pm. He’s still playing for a while in the crib, but eventually he settles into a good nap. We’ll see how it goes. If he started to seem too drowsy or cranky mid-day, I might have to reconsider. I feel like 11 months is pretty early to be dropping a nap.
Some days have been better than others, but I feel like that’s kind of how it goes with everything baby, right? Here’s hoping for a good nap this afternoon!
Read more from Emily on her personal blog Daily Garnish, where she creates healthy vegetarian recipes, recaps her latest running adventures, and chronicles life as a new mom to her son and two crazy dogs. You can follow along on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest too!