"Unfortunately, most parents are not terribly considerate of their children’s napping needs when they are planning their days. Now, I fully understand that most of you have things that need to get done during the day, and that bringing your child with you is a necessary fact of life. (Not too many people can afford a full-time nanny, after all!) However, it is very important that your child nap at about the same times every day, and that he nap in the same place where he sleeps at night. For most families, this means that your little one should be napping at home in his crib."
Then she goes on to give an example from one of her clients:
"When Barb and I sat down to discuss Lauren’s sleeping, Barb commented on how busy their days were. They had a “Mommy and Me” group on Wednesday afternoons, swimming lessons on Saturday mornings, Gymboree classes on Fridays, and usually a couple of casual drop-in visits with other moms during the week. Barb also told me that she ran a number of errands on any given day, and just took Lauren along for the ride."
That was so me during months 3-6. Mom and baby yoga on Tuesdays, Mom and Baby Pilates and Playgroup on Wednesdays and Infant Massage on Thursdays. We were always on the go. So I was essentially teaching Hannah to sleep en route to our activities, in the car or in the stroller, and no specific time of the day. These days I can't even breastfeed her to sleep for a nap. (I know, I know, I worked hard to break that nighttime association so at least I can be grateful for that!)
Yes, I am blaming myself. Don't get me wrong, we had a great time those first few months meeting new moms, getting back into shape and relaxing together, but I wish I had read this book earlier. Maybe I would have cut back on the outings and instead begun to pave the way for healthier sleeping habits for Hannah.
Well, at least I read it when I did and can now go ahead and make some changes. Granted we are signed up for a story time and music class, I think we can work them into a nap schedule. Sleep Sense says it can take up to 3 weeks to break habits but I am in for the long haul. With mere minutes to myself throughout the day, a rough 3 weeks is definitely worth 2-3 hours to myself a day.
So tomorrow is day 1. With no activities on our plate (yes, I am sadly skipping Love Happens at Movies for Mommies) I am making a point of getting up with Hannah for her first rising (and not settling her into my bed) and then setting 3 times throughout the day to try to get her to nap in her crib. I am assuming the outcome will be a cranky child.
With 2 months of teething and cold crankiness under my belt, what's a few more days, right?
Nap time here we come....