Sunday, February 27, 2011

Nap time. What is that?

Nothing puts me in a bad mood quicker than Asher refusing to nap.

I need his nap times to get work done, clear my mind, take a shower, fold some clothes. And for my sanity. You get the point.

And he needs his nap times to stay healthy, grow, rest his little mind. Well, he forgot to read that memo. For the last month nap times are a battle. A constant, miserable-for-everyone battle.

We are now sleep training because I'm at my wits end. At this moment, he's been fighting a nap for 48 minutes. And I'm banging out this post with lots of frustration.

I used to nurse him to sleep. That doesn't work anymore (and I want to get away from this due to weaning). Rocking him doesn't work. Strolling him no longer works. Even car rides don't work every time. And I don't want to get in the habit of going through such extreme measures to get my child to take a freaking nap. He can be in a deep sleep on my shoulder and as soon as I go to move him to the crib - he's up and screaming. And I mean screaming at the top of his lungs, can't catch his breath. I used to repeat the process over and over. Now, I just let him cry. At night, we don't seem to have this issue. It's just naptime. I don't think he's ready for just one nap a day. He needs his rest darnit.

I need my child to understand that when we lay him down, it's time to rest and we'll be back to get him and he'll feel good and we'll carry on with our day together. But he ruins that. He ruins the happy vibe. He makes himself annd me miserable with his antics.

I've read the books and the research. Rusty and I have talked about what we feel comfortable with. So, we have started what some refer to as sleep training. I call it tough love. We put him down for a nap when he's good and tired. He can fuss if he feels like it, but we will not coddle him. He can fuss for up to an hour, at which point we scoop him back up and move forward with the day napless. It's not pretty, but it's our current attempt to teach him to sooth himself to sleep.

And he's still screaming, in case you were wondering. He'll get quiet, lay down and then realize "oh crap, I'm about to nap" and get back up and start screaming. I've even watched him fall asleep sitting up in between rants (thank you modern technology).  In about 9 minutes I'm going to pick him up and he's going to be a pain in the butt for the next few hours because he hasn't slept a wink. Holler. This day will be fun.

Anyone have any advice? I'd love to hear tips and sleep training success stories. If you think we're cruel or disagree with this approach, please be kind and refrain from cursing at us. We've tried other routes, and this is what we feel is best for us during this phase.

He's slowing down. Maybe he'll go to sleep after all. He has 6 minutes left in his 'nap' hour. Sigh.

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