Thursday, July 22, 2010

Just Call Me Mommy: The Naptime Slayer

After writing two posts about how naptime is my nemesis, I am happy to report that for now (fingers crossed, knock on wood) I have defeated naptime. How did I do it you ask? Well, a few ways.
The first and most important thing in my opinion was patience. Anyone who knows me personally will report that I am not the most patient person in the world. I generally want what I want when I want it. Add to it the fact that I am a big, huge, cranky pregnant lady and you get someone who has no scrap of patience left in them. But at my wits end I vowed to take a breath and give my Peanut the patience she deserved. So every day at naptime I take the time to read her three books of her choosing, the same as at bedtime. I also had to realize that even though I may be ready for naptime to begin at noon, Peanut does not feel the same way.
Another thing I did was to distinguish naptime from bedtime. The first thing I did was call it our "quiet time" instead of "night, night" or "bed time." I tell Peanut that it is time for her quiet time and that Mommy needs her quiet time too. I turn out the lights, read her stories, and turn her music on. Then, instead of at bedtime, I put a gate in front of her door. That way she can see me and knows that she is not locked in her room for the rest of the day. This has eliminated the head banging on the floor or the door.
Finally, I have tried to keep the time for naps consistent. Generally we are taking naps at about 2pm. I try to be home around this time every day so that she can get a good nap in and doesn't lose her routine. While this does put some limitations on our schedule, I think it is important for now.
Peanut still cries sometimes, but not the hour long tantrum that used to accompany our old naptime routines. She doesn't bang her head or the door. Sometimes she falls asleep on the floor in front of the door which really touches my heart because I know she just wants to hang out with me. She generally wakes up about a half an hour later when I tell her to go lay in her bed and she does. I am totally amazed by this because this is a complete 180 from previous naptime experiences.
Maybe before was a phase that she was growing out of. Maybe she was in pain from getting her last few teeth. Maybe some of the things I am doing are actually working. I don't really care if is any or all of these things. For now, naptime is no longer my nemesis.

No comments:

Post a Comment