Mommy lesson #48: Dropping the morning nap

I’ve found that transitioning Baby Girl from two naps to one is very much like climbing a fourteener (very tall mountain for those of you who didn’t grow up in Colorado) without a trail or a map and without being able to see the summit. Add teething to the mix, and you’ve got yourself a blizzard to traverse through as well. Le sigh. It feels like C has been trying to drop her morning nap for months, without and rhyme or reason, or visible progress. I think back to those halcyon days of old when Sweetness took a nap precisely at ten each morning, slept for one to one and a half hours, then went down again at three for another one to two hour snooze. It was as predictable as the sun rising in the east and setting in the west. Now we find ourselves wandering around in a fog, searching for some semblance of a napping pattern.

Case in point: When my parents were here for a visit about a month ago C went for five days without taking a morning nap. Not for lack of trying. I’d lay her down between ten and ten-thirty as usual, and she would talk and squeal and babble for an hour, until I didn’t have the heart to exclude her from our company anymore. So I figured, this is it, she’s ready to drop the first nap. Two days later she came up to me at 10:00am, carrying her blankie and rubbing her eyes, whining. I put her in her crib and she slept for two hours. Oy.
 A few days ago the pattern repeated itself, and she went for several days without sleeping in the morning, even when I put her down for a nap. The problem was that when I put her down for an afternoon nap she only slept for an hour, if that. Everyone that I’d talked to and all the books I read said she should be sleeping from two to three hours once she transitioned to just the afternoon nap. So I worried. And tried not to. And prayed. And worried some more. Two days of that and she crashed, taking a two hour morning nap and sleeping for almost three hours that afternoon. It was worse than yo-yo dieting. I couldn’t make any plans, for fear she’d be sleeping or needing to sleep during the activity. I didn’t think it could get any worse, but I was wrong.
Remember this incident of high fever and mama panic? Well, I guess history is truly doomed to repeat itself, because it happened again. The night before C slept for thirteen and a half hours. I was thrilled, though my enthusiasm dimmed when I picked her up and saw um, felt that she had leaked through her diaper, saturated her pjs and made a substantial puddle on her blankies and crib sheet. That was a load of laundry I hadn’t planned on. Anywho, it was Friday, and I’d decided to make it a low-key day after a week of splash pad fun and play dates.

My dear friend Mysti brought her son over. He and Baby Girl are less than three weeks apart…I hope they won’t mind that they are betrothed a la Sleeping Beauty and Prince Phillip.

Seriously, how cute are they together?

We splashed around for a bit in our 10 ft x 2 ft “family pool” in the backyard. Shortly after we got in C lay across my chest and started falling asleep. Well that had certainly never happened before. We got out and I dried us off and I put her down (thankfully Mysti is a wonderfully understanding friend who didn’t mind that our play date ended so abruptly). C slept for over three hours. I got so worried that I started checking on her every five minutes. After she finally woke up, groggy and cranky, I gave her a bottle then took her temp. 102.2. I took it in three places (forehead, underarm, “internally”) but the number refused to go down. I can now say that it was a gift from God that this had happened before, at a time when I wasn’t all alone, because I was able to hold it together and not panic. I stripped her down, dosed her with Infant Advil, and rinsed her off in a cool bath (which she absolutely hated) and was able to bring her temp down to less terrifying heights. By the time my hubby got home she was practically back to her old perky self. Of course she woke up at three am that next morning, screaming (I assume from tooth pain) but thankfully slept in until ten (!!).
Ok, I’ll stop rambling on about my child’s sleep habits now (or lack thereof) but you know what they say, that misery loves company (any of you have some nap transition stories to share?) and hindsight is twenty-twenty, and that our Heavenly Father is gracious and faithful to lead us through the most trying of times. Do you think it would be heretical if I recited Psalm 23 a little differently for a while?

Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of molars
 I will fear no lack of naps,
 for You are with me,
your blankie and paci they comfort me…


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