I guess it had to happen sooner or later. For the past month, Maddie has been taking all of her daytime naps snuggled tightly in my arms. Today we made the parenting decision that this practice was no longer viable and the baby was to begin napping on her own.
This is a radical shift for all parties involved, but apparently babies are supposed to sleep in the same place as much as possible. Maddie looked at me like I was crazy when I put her in the crib for the morning nap. I would like to tell you she took it well, but that was definitely not the case. No matter what we tried, she was more than happy to share her displeasure with all of those within earshot.
I also would be remiss to downplay the fact that this new sleep policy is just as tough on me. It was very hard to put Maddie down in the crib and have her wonder why the heck I wasn’t picking her right back up. I suppose there will be some sort of adjustment period and everything will go back to butterscotch and ponies soon enough. But for now, let’s just say we are not quite there yet.
As for Maddie, her early morning nap was basically cancelled due to lack of interest. No matter how tired she was, the baby flatly refused to go to sleep at all. However, time must heal all wounds, because her next sleep endeavor fared much better. This time her mom put her down and Maddie slept for more than two hours. For the most part, this was Maddie’s only true nap of the day, but it was certainly better than nothing.
Once Maddie woke up from her nap, we headed outside for a little fresh air to clear our heads. Despite the fact that it was significantly colder than it was yesterday, it took Maddie less than 20 minutes to pass out and go limp in the Bjorn. Upon discovering that the baby was asleep, it was time to hustle home to see if we could stretch it out. Of course the second we walked in the door, Maddie was awake again and ready to combat any further attempts at sleep.
Obviously today could have been much worse, but we will have to wait and see how she fares this weekend with her newly revised sleep guidelines.
When there’s one thing you can count on with your baby, it’s very easy to get used to. For months now, our morning naps have been a non-negotiable fact of life. Sure there’s some hemming and hawing going on from time to time, but it’s never more than a five-minute process. That is until today.
This morning nap time ritual was shattered by a series of high profile temper tantrums that came straight out of left field. Maddie had a calm and restful full night of sleep, so there was no reason to suspect that anything was out of the ordinary.
Like every morning, the baby was beginning to wind down. She was in her favorite jumper, but the jumping had stopped. Maddie signaled me by rubbing her eyes and voicing a few gentle complaints that play time was over and she was ready for sleep. However, what Maddie really meant is that she was ready for her title shot!
I scooped her up and headed to the bedroom for some serious snoozing. Maddie snuggled up and closed her eyes for about five seconds before she lost it. She was really angry about something and ready to throw down. As far as I could tell, there was no gas, hunger or diaper issues so I tried again. She relaxed for another five seconds and then plummeted off the deep end again.
If she didn’t want to nap, there was no rush, but she didn’t want to do anything else either. So what do you do with a cranky little girl who doesn’t want to do anything? No matter what I tried, it was the wrong thing to do. This is when I decided to turn her over to our visiting housekeeper.
She speaks almost no English, but is more than happy to converse with the baby in Spanish. This occupied my little brawler for about 30 minutes before she was once again swinging for the fences and tilting at windmills. By the time 10am hit, Maddie and I were like two punch drunk fighters willing the other one to fall.
Finally at 10:15, my angry little Klitschko called a truce and slipped into unconsciousness. She was out cold while I was left to ponder what had happened to our mutual morning nap détente.
Maddie, my precocious 6-month-old daughter, decided that tonight was the night where she would exert her will over her father and the entire household. Her strategy was sound, stand your ground, stay awake and defy those parental bedtime guidelines.
Bedtime is rarely a problem in our household as long as Maddie gets a decent nap during the day. Sadly, that did not happen. Maddie’s DOC Headband is giving her some skin issues so we had to go back to the headband technician at 1:30 this afternoon. The timing could not have been worse. We missed out on Maddie’s primetime naptime and that set the stage for a nighttime battle of epic proportions.
At 7pm, Maddie and her father began our established nighttime rituals. Take a bath, put on the jammas, say goodnight to the house, kill the lights and drink one last bottle. Everything went off like clockwork, the baby was nearly sleeping in my lap as I gently laid her in the crib.
You would have thought I lowered her into a pit of alligators. She went wild, flailing and screaming and giving her dad a little bit of “HELLO DOLLY!” Fair enough, I lifted her out of that “Crib of Horrors,” and snuggled her into my arms where she was quickly falling asleep yet again. I lowered her back into the crib and again the invisible Gremlins shocked her awake.
Now my little angle is inconsolable and I know what she wants. Her every cry and whimper speaks loud and clear, “PaPa, why don’t you just snuggle me all night long and we’ll call it even.” Now don’t get me wrong, I normally let that sweet little girl nap on me when she wants to – but at night, she stays in the DANG crib!
So now father and daughter are stuck – locked in a battle of wills where only one person will get their way. I know, without question, that Maddie will sleep better in her crib, so I really have no choice. For her sake, I must prevail.
After two more failed attempts, I took my disgruntled bundle of love back out into the living room. She smiled longingly at her grandmother, begging to be released from her father’s evil grasp. I handed Maddie over to her grandma and the baby smiled at me triumphantly! But when MiMi tried to put Maddie down to sleep, once again all Hades broke loose!
I recovered Sweet Madeleine from MiMi and restarted the arduous process of putting my baby to bed. After 90 short little minutes and six failed attempts, the princess was finally sleeping in her crib. Free at last, Free at last!
For the most part, being pinned is rarely recognized as an enjoyable state of being. However, it’s quite possible that young Madeleine might single-handedly overcome that negative stereotype.
Sure there are some negative connotations out there. Being pinned as sometimes happens to high school or college wrestlers appears to have several drawbacks. This includes having a “stanked up” sweaty human being driving your face into an unwashed mat as a ravenous mob cheers him on.
This negative idea of the pin is now changing thanks to the Amazing Madeleine. If you find yourself pinned under the weight of your sleeping baby daughter, you are really in very good shape. You can’t go anywhere or do anything, so your only task is to enjoy the euphoric company of that slumbering princess.
It never gets old and it’s a most delightful experience. The only problem is that it always seems to end far too quickly. This is true even when it wreaks havoc with your schedule, makes you miss a phone call or leaves you longing for the bathroom. Just one look at her tells you all you need to know – you’re in the right place.
Maddie’s nap time is also a great time to catch up on some of your own sleep. Sleep that is desperately needed due to Maddie’s erratic nighttime antics. The worst part of this process is the knowledge that is only a limited short-term engagement. Maddie is growing very quickly, so now is the time to soak it all in before she becomes too big, too bored or both!