Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Nap Time, I Thought We Were Cool

I think that Mike and I are dealing with a little Post-Traumatic Stress when it comes to Anna's sleeping habits. I mean, the kid has been slumbering twelve to thirteen hours a night in her own crib for more than a year, and I swear to you the one night she happens to wake up we both get all twitchy and angry and totally revert to our sleep-deprived maniacal selves. That's the way we functioned the entire first year of her life, because girlfriend was not what is known as the kind of baby who, well, sleeps like a baby. Or, rather, maybe she was, and the person who came up with that expression is a huge jackass.

I've been noticing lately lots of pictures of kids popping up on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram sleeping in totally random places - sacked out in front of their blocks, curled up with the family dog, sawing logs in their high chair - and I find myself chuckling and feeling just the tiniest bit jealous. Because there is no chance in hell that Anna would EVER fall asleep anywhere but in a moving vehicle, someone's arms, or her crib. And while we've come leaps and bounds since her first year, (despite her lack of spontaneous nodding off) there have been some changes 'round here in her sleeping patterns, and they've got me quaking in my boots.

The rarest of all Anna sightings - spontaneous sleeping!

I am starting to fear that Anna is coming to the end of napping days. It hurts almost to type it. Nap time - those treasured two or three hours every day when I can pop open a bottle of pinot and catch up on reality TV (ha)- seems to be disappearing. I put Anna in her crib, and no joke, two hours later she will still be in there laughing and singing and talking to her toys. She's not crying or complaining - she's genuinely having fun. As I type this I can hear her calling to Super Grover to bring her a sandwich. Some days she finally seems to give up and go to sleep, but by then it's pretty much the time she's supposed to be waking up, and her whole schedule gets out of whack. Other days, she fights it and I relent and go get her. At first, on the days she would miss her nap, come six o'clock she would be a walking little terror. But lately I've noticed that missing her nap doesn't seem to throw her off as much as it used to, and she goes to sleep at night much faster and easier. Is this how it all ends? Please say it ain't so!

Two smaller things have been happening, but none so life-altering as the loss of the nap. First, Anna has rediscovered sleeping with her mama and dada. It started one of those twitchy nights when she woke up for some reason or another, and instead of putting in the work to rock her or sing to her or rub her back while she went back to sleep, I simply scooped her up and brought her into our bed. As I was doing I thought to myself, "Oh, this could be trouble!" But then we all snuggled up and slept wonderfully and that was that. Until two nights later, when she was up again. This time, I was more determined (less lazy?), but Anna had other plans. Immediately she was asking, "Sleep in dada's bed?" Well played, kid. So far, it hasn't been too much of a problem - she's probably been joining us about once a week, and both Mike and I sort of like having her around. She did sleep with us the entire first year of her life, after all. The girl knows how to get what she wants, though, and we have created a (snuggle) monster. I submit the following photo as evidence:

She somehow convinced my sister to share a twin bed with her...

The last thing is much less dramatic, although it definitely has the possibility to be, well, messier. Several mornings a week I open Anna's door to find a small pile on the floor consisting of pajamas and a diaper. And a naked, bouncy toddler grinning up at me. So far, no accidents, but who knows how long that luck will last. The girl wants to be naked, I guess.

Who can blame her, really?

All is quiet in her room now, which means that she'll probably be asleep until dinner. So I best be gettin' my drink on. Or, you  know, folding some laundry.

Parents - when did your kids drop their naps? Am I fooling myself in thinking this might just be a phase? And any tips for keeping my baby clothed (and her crib free of poop)?? 


  1. I think Ana and Nora could be soul sisters! Nora isn’t a fan of sleeping…in fact; one of her nicknames is ‘no nap Nora’! She is also a super light sleeper. Someone (without children) told me to run the vacuum and talk loudly when Nora was sleeping as an infant. Well, that is all fine and dandy – she can sleep while I clean and talk on the phone, but if I whisper or barely shut the door – WIDE AWAKE.

    We also get the night-time snuggler… and we don’t mind one bit!!! Even though I don’t mind, I know we need to begin (sometime before she is 18, because that would be creepy) to transition her to her own room. Any painless tips on that topic would be appreciated! She has been sleeping with us since she was 7 months old!

    1. Ha ha - I totally get it! Someone once told me that sleeping problems can be a sign of intelligence, so let's just go with that to make ourselves feel better, ok? I'm afraid to report that Anna has been coming into bed with us even more than ever, so I've got no tips. I try to remember that soon she will be too cool to want anything to do with me, so I'll take the snuggles while I can...even if she does spend half the night stealing my covers and kicking me!

  2. When our kids wake up in the middle of the night I have a great way to keep them out of my bed: my husband gets up and sleeps with them in the guest room! Happy kids, happy me :)

    1. Oooh, I like your plan! Are you kids in big beds? Anna is still in her crib, but I like the idea of Mike trying to climb in there with her and getting her to fall back asleep!