Since bringing the baby home, the most frequent piece of (unsolicited) advice I’ve received is, “sleep when they sleep.” This is crap advice.
My kid hates naps. I don’t know if this is a holdover from the NICU because every time he would finally fall asleep someone would want something from him or if he’s a superhuman who doesn’t need sleep. Either way, he might take a 45 minute nap after breakfast and another 45 minute nap after lunch. If I’m forcing it, I can get the after lunch nap to last about an hour, but that means I’m wearing him in his carrier and thus not napping myself.
Now, don’t get me wrong… we’re blessed in that he goes to bed around 6 PM every night and only wakes up once or twice for diaper changes. He hardly stirs when I do his nighttime feedings other than to suck down the bottle. (It probably helps that I sneak in like a ninja and feed him in the dark. He hardly knows what’s going on.) So the lack of day napping has it’s benefits, but I’d rather he go to bed a little later and have a more relaxed day, but I digress.
If you add it up, we’re looking at 90 minutes of napping a day. IF. I’M. LUCKY. More often than not, it’s more like an hour broken up into tiny chunks. I usually end up tidying up the house, replying to emails, returning calls from one of his many doctor’s offices, folding laundry, etc… during the first nap. It’s typically too early in the day for me to nap and, let’s be real, I have shit to do. I’ve tried to do all of this stuff with him, but it’s a nonstarter for lots of reasons. The same goes for the second nap. Although, now I am tired and wishing that I can nap too, but he’s got a sixth sense that tells him when mommy is about to fall asleep and that’s his cue to pop his sweet brown eyes open and demand my full attention.
I’ve heard stories of kids his age who sleep the majority of the day. Kids who follow the “eat, sleep, play” routine of things. I’m pretty sure these kids exist, but not for me. My kid eats, sleeps for 10 minutes, and then wants to party or scream because he’s overtired and won’t listen to reason. Thankfully, Justin usually takes him for an hour in the afternoon so I can go take a nap without worrying about him needing me.
At any rate, just a quick post about why I’m so quiet here lately. I’m doing my best to keep writing, but eking out time for the blog has been rough. Tell me it gets better and send coffee…
3 thoughts on “sleep when they sleep is crap”
My first was a terrible sleeper, but all three kids did the same thing – somewhere around a year or a year and a half (? maybe? It’s all very fuzzy), they settled into one long nap a day. That’s when the getting gets good, because those naps go for two hours, and you can write a dissertation in two hours if you really try. The newborn stuff is, to my mind, all a crap shoot – as soon as you get into a routine, they grow up three days and the routine changes. But I think most kids do the long nap when they get a bit older.
So there’s hope?! That’s what I’m taking away. He’s a pretty high maintenance kiddo, so two hours of napping would be glorious!
Definitely definitely hope! My worst sleeper (at almost 10 years old) still has trouble falling asleep at night, it’s an on-going issue, but – she can sleep until 10 a.m. on the weekends. Eventually most things even out.