PERFECT PARENTING: NAP TIME.
Since finding out that we were pregnant, I have been trying to learn as much as possible. Yes, of course-- I stop random women and men on the street to ask them questions-- mostly about their strollers. So I thought why not ask some new moms what their tricks and tips are! I've loved hearing everyone's responses and just had to share my friend Veronica's experience with nap time. We're friends from high school and I'm so grateful she shared her helpful tips!
Fear of Missing Out – Baby Edition
Our little lady has always been a great nighttime sleeper. She starting sleeping through the night early on and never looked back. No kid is perfect, but we’ve been pretty lucky to get a full night’s sleep most of the time. That said, nap time is no picnic.
You can see it all start to unfold… first she starts to get a little clumsier than normal, that’s when the eye rubbing starts, then comes the occasional yawn and finally the whining. She’s not a big crier but you’ll get a whole lot of unhappy moans and groans.
Cue mom swooping up baby into her arms, giving her a soft kiss on the forehead and gently placing baby in her crib for nap time, “Sleep tight little one.” Now obviously this never works, but it was worth a try.
So after giving our little angel a chance to fall asleep on her own not only is she tired, she’s pissed that I stuck her in that cage we call a bed while the rest of us continued to enjoy the outside world. How can I expect her to sleep while the sun is up, people are out and things are happening?! She’s now worked herself up and those “unhappy moans and groans” are a thing of the past. Did I say she wasn’t much of a crier? I take that back.
Picking her up I get her to calm down then assume the cradle hold and commence one of the sleep inducing tactics all moms instantly master upon birthing their first child.
1. The Rock – a classic motion that swings or sways baby side to side. Extreme cases of sleeplessness may require the more advanced figure eight technique.
2. The Pat – a rhythmic tap using an open hand on the baby’s bottom. The cadence and pressure of the tap can vary by baby’s preference and mom’s level of patience.
3. The Bounce – a short and quick up and down motion that can be achieved by using just the arms or by a bending of the knees
After cycling through each of these tactics and then permuting through several combinations of them I supplement with an audio attack, aka my rendition of Hush, Little Baby. I know all the books and experts say that babies find their mother’s voices soothing and comforting, but my singing voice is probably the last thing that would put anyone to sleep, still I try. I’ve found that whispering it to her in a soft voice works better than actually singing. Finally her eyes are getting heavy, they begin to close and I can see her drifting off to a calm slumber when I start to panic – there’s a sneeze coming and there’s no stopping it. Well… at least there was no one here to see what I look like trying to unsuccessfully hold in a sneeze.
So we start the cycle once more, luckily this time we have success! A sleeping baby is a beautiful thing. But now is the most critical piece – the transition. There has been many times were the risk was too great so I just held that little miracle and watched her delicate eyelashes flutter as she slept. But being a working mom, time is precious and eventually I run out of clean clothes to wear so I take the chance.
Slowly, I pull that baby away from my body while maintaining the rhythm of whatever motion got her to fall asleep. Gently I lift her over the crib rail and begin to lower her in. Quietly I lay baby down and slide my arm out from underneath her immediately halting progression at ANY sign of waking from baby.
Let’s assume best case scenario that transition was successful and there is no need to start the cycle yet again. Finally asleep in her crib, she is the most peaceful little thing I’ve ever laid eyes on. I’ve got to get a picture of this!
My nieces love the sleep sheep! It's a must-have on our registry!