Thursday, June 16, 2011

Wicked awesome nap training

Like any sane parent, I really love nap time.  And after fighting for nearly two years to have a baby that naps for longer than thirty minutes at a clip, things have finally been going well.  Nate's been napping in his crib daily, sometimes as long as two or three hours - LIKE A "NORMAL" KID! It's been heaven...with one exception. I put him into the crib when he's already asleep. And I can't continue to do that for the rest of his napping life. So I decided that once again we would try to do sleep training for nap time.

The thing about sleep training for naps is that, unlike nighttime, Nate doesn't eventually get so tired he finally goes to sleep. He'll just push through and get his second, third, fourth wind until he's completely melting down at five o'clock. Yesterday was day 2 of nap training and it did not go well.

Now that Nate is older he understands nap time and looks forward to it (usually). I can talk to him about the change in his routine - it's just like nighttime...I put you into your crib while you're awake and you go to sleep by yourself like a big boy! I thought he would go willingly yesterday, but not so much. Day 1 reaffirmed that staying in the room with him won't work, so I decided I would be all cold-hearted and tough and have him cry it out yesterday. I let him cry for thirty minutes. Do you know what that's like? Listening to your baby call out for you for a half an hour? It's heart wrenching and I hate it.

After I got him out and held him, I decided to try to stroll him to sleep. At least we'd be breaking the sleep association he's used to, but he'd still be getting his all important nap. The day before he fell asleep in the car at 3:30 for an hour. At that time, we start interfering with bed time and he was still cranky, so I wanted to try to avoid that situation. And my plan worked spectacularly...for about five minutes. Then he wanted to get out and push the stroller himself. Fantastic.

Strolling didn't work, so I tried driving. That didn't work either, so I decided we'd go to the library and try a driving nap on the way home. We returned our books and I encouraged Nate to run on the big grass fields. He was a having a blast running and running, with his elbows pumping and his legs turned slightly outward. Until he ran over a concrete pathway. And fell on his face.

Nate falls a lot and his poor little legs are covered with scrapes and bruises. He has a couple of head bumps from indoor accidents too (bookshelf climbing and falling face first onto a wipe container top). But this time there was more blood coming from my baby then I had ever seen before. Pouring from his knee and mouth. I managed to not faint and carried him crying to the car.

I cleaned him up as best I could with a clean blanket and water. I keep a first aid kit in the diaper bag, but he screamed when I tried to use the wipe to clean his knee. I couldn't tell the difference between old scabs and fresh dirt. His little lip had shreds hanging from it and it started to swell into a big bubble. After I cleared the blood away, I realized he didn't actually have that much broken skin. Why do they have to bleed so much?!

The whole car ride home he cried, "DONE BOO-BOO. DONE BOO-BOO. MATTER. MATTER." I think he was saying his boo-boo was the matter, as if I had asked him, "what's the matter?" I felt so badly for him. I got him home and gave him an ice cube in one of those Sassy Teething Feeders to suck on while I bathed him. After he was cleaned up and the ice brought the swelling down a bit, all of his injuries didn't look so bad.

This wasn't taken yesterday (he was 19 months here).
We went to cuddle on the couch and the worst part of the day happened. He made me watch Barney. Two episodes in a row. The horror.

To cap off the awesome day, his total lack of napping interfered with his nighttime sleeping and he woke up many times throughout the night. Yay! Today is day 3. Wish me luck.

Did you sleep train for naps? How'd it go?

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