Published on October 13, 2020

The new mommy diaries

Learning the tricks of baby naptime

By Stephanie Johnson / The Bulletin

Naptime - you either hate it or love it as a parent.

I love it when the baby actually goes down for a nap, but dislike the part of getting him down for a nap. I struggle with him daily. He fights sleep harder than any baby I have ever seen.

He used to take naps during the day, and then everything changed. He would only nap if he was being held, so that is what I did. I held him until I couldn’t feel my arms anymore. He was sound asleep. Then one day, this also stopped working, and I was again helpless and desperate to get him to take a nap.

I decided to take out the stroller and go for a nice walk. As soon as I did, he fell asleep - within five minutes. A walk did the trick; it was the new magical sleep stroller.

I started walking for every single nap, but I was getting exhausted. I racked up about five miles a day or so, which was quite a bit compared to what I was doing before, which was zero.

Then it rained. He wanted his nap and wasn’t going to take it unless he was in his stroller. I got creative and put him in the car. We drove in endless circles around town. He ell asleep; now we had the magic sleep car.

All naps now happen in the stroller or the car. He refuses to fall asleep during the day anywhere else. I’ve tried to get him to sleep in his swing, his bassinet, his pack n’ play, but if it’s naptime, you can throw these options out the window, because they won’t work.

Sometimes I get tired of walking, so I just bring his stroller inside the house and work while he stays asleep. I’d rather have him sleeping in the stroller than risk him waking up while moving him into the crib - and who knows if that would work, anyway?

I get really tired of driving around. I do almost the same drive everyday, circle and loop, and it’s getting pretty boring.

Sometimes it starts to put me to sleep, and I know that is when it’s time to go home, even if he’s only been asleep for a little while.

We started a new bedtime routine where we play, give him a bath, feed him and then rock him to sleep. It has worked wonders, and he stopped taking his evening nap and goes straight to sleep after this.

Also, babies can get too tired, and as soon as that happens, all that hard work I put in for the night to get him sound asleep goes right down the drain.

It’s a huge deal. All hopes of sleeping through the night are gone, at least for this baby.

We pay attention to his sleep cues, like when he rubs his eyes, or when his eyebrows turn red. These signs have been a big help in putting him to bed or down for a nap.

When we do successfully put him down for bed in his bassinet, he lets out the biggest chuckle!

We weren’t sure what to think of it at first, but it turns out, if we hear that chuckle, it’s almost certain that he will sleep through the night. It was a little strange in the beginning, but now it’s the cutest thing.

I’ve always paid attention to detail, but this is on another level. One small miss, and our nights are not so silent. Anytime he goes down for a nap, or we have a successful night, it feels like I’ve won the lottery.

Not much can compare to that!

(You can reach Stephanie at stephanie.bulletin@gmail.com. Or by writing to: The Bulletin, P.O. Box 2426, Angleton, TX. 77516)