The Trials and Tribulations of Nap TimeLauren Hartmann
After all of the sleep problems we had a month ago, we’ve finally fallen into a good routine. Fern now sleeps through the night (usually 10-12 hours with one 10-minute feeding in the middle of the night). But naps? Naps are still a struggle and I’ve tried everything.
Because we sometimes let Fern fuss and cry a bit at bed time I don’t really feel comfortable letting her cry herself to sleep during nap times. Maybe that sounds silly, but for some reason I just can’t bring myself to do it. At night it seems reasonable to let her cry a bit, because I know she’s genuinely tired and I really want her to be able to get at least one good chunk of sleep, but letting her cry at nap time too seems like too many tears in one day for my liking.
But the thing is…I can tell that Fern really is tired at nap time.
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I talked to my doctor about it, but she didn’t seem overly concerned, since Fern was getting a good amount of sleep during the night. She said that at her age, Fern should be getting around 14 hours of sleep a day and she’s getting about 12. It’s pretty close, but I can tell that she still needs more. My doctor said that I should just continue to offer a nap time to her every day, but not to stress about it, so that’s what I’ve been doing. But, then the night time sleep started to suffer again. I could tell that Fern was getting overtired and that was making it hard for her to fall asleep, so I decided to push the napping a little harder.
I was going through a nap time routine over and over again every afternoon trying to get her to fall asleep, but none of my night time tricks seemed to work during the day. I thought maybe it was because it was so light out during the day, but she doesn’t seem to have trouble with it being light out when she goes to bed at night. Finally I decided that a nap needed to happen and I didn’t really care how it happened which is how it came about that I now take naps with her.
It seems that the only way I can get her to nap is to hold her or to lay down with her and nurse her to sleep. Occasionally I manage to sneak off and go get things done, but usually any little stirring wakes her up and then I have to lay back down with her. This has been really hard for me, because I’m not really a napper so it’s hard for me to fall asleep and besides that, I have tons of things I’d like to get done during the day when she sleeps.
For now, I’m trying to think of these mommy/daughter nap times as a small sacrifice that I’m making for her well-being, because she really does need to nap, but I sincerely hope that this doesn’t last forever.
Have any of you had this issue? How did you get your child to take naps?