Saturday, April 4, 2009

The Evolution of Nap Time

When Roo was younger, she napped all the time. Every two hours, she would snooze... in my arms.

I would nurse her to sleep and spend the next hour or so, however long she deemed. I would hold her until my arms went numb because if I made the slightest move to place her in her crib (on the floor, on the bed, anywhere) she would wake up and squeal.

To afford myself some well-deserved quiet time, I dealt with it.

I rearranged my whole life around her nap time and I came prepared. I would gather all the essentials, i.e. Boppy, a book to read, some pillows to prop myself with, a water bottle and a spit cloth.

She slept, I read.

I read a lot of books those first few months.

As she grew older, she continued to nurse herself to sleep. Eventually, she let me place her on the bed after falling asleep, but it was down with precision.

I would creep slowly forward, inch by inch, and ever-so-softly place her down before inching my arms out from under her little body.

Of course, after all of that, I would leap from the bed (ever-so-quietly) and do a quick happy dance before rushing from the room.

When we hit the one year mark she grew more comfortable and after nursing would roll off of me and go to sleep.

Occasionally, I would hold her while she slept needing nothing more than to hold by baby girl in my arms. Sometimes a Mommy just needs to hold her daughter and the rest of the day she was running and exploring, so nap time was the optimal time for me to snuggle.

Now that she's two, she doesn't need me. She doesn't nurse, she doesn't need me to hold her. Now nap time is turning off the light, handing her the binky and taggie and she's out like a light.

Sometimes I'll watch her while she sleeps and I can't believe how far we've come. From squalling newborn that needs her Mommy to an independent toddler that needs nothing more than her comfort item.

I used to be that comfort item and I admit it, sometimes it's hard to take.

But I know she'll need me for more important items down the line, but nap time was ours and I miss it. Maybe if I bribe her with candy she'll let me snuggle her to sleep, but she'd probably just take the candy and tell me to get lost.

She is my daughter after all.


Jinxy said...

My girl is 3 months old and will pretty much only nap when I hold her. I try all the time to super carefully put her down but 99% of the time it doesn't work.
I'm glad I'm not the only one and that eventually she will grow out of it. Which makes me a little sad.

Meg said...

My son use to be the same way. Except now he just refuses to nap at all.

Rachel said...

oh how i remember the days of the slow creep to the crib. i miss him falling asleep in my arms, but i DON'T miss when he'd sense he was going into the crib and scream. i am thankful he can sleep on his own now, but I do know what you mean about the cuddle time. maybe its time to have another? :D