Friday, December 3, 2010

Broken Baby

Yeah, I broke her.

Willow has been the best baby all this week.  Maybe it's just in comparison with sickly, unhappy Willow of last week, but every day this week has been an absolute joy and I have just spent all my time marveling about what a great kid I have and how lucky I am to be here with her every day.  She has been such a love--laughing, crawling, climbing, playing, but never, ever crying.

Except when it was time to go to sleep.  She has been emphatically Not Tired, Mama.  We have had to go through a half-hour of nursing for each sleep session, and honestly, that's just not how I want to spend my time.  Also it feels like narcotized sleep, and she falls asleep even though she's not sleepy.

So, having done some research, I determined that one-year-olds (!) don't need two naps, and that it was time to start transitioning the baby girl to one nice, long, afternoon nap.  I had to do this to get her from three naps to two naps, and that was a bit of a challenge, but definitely what she needed.  So yesterday, after her thirty-minute nurse and "no, no, no, not sleepy, mommy!" I said, okeedokee.  No morning nap for you, then!

So far so good.  She was still a joy and a love, and took her afternoon nap without trouble and went to bed without trouble and I went to bed feeling good about my mothering skills.

But then she woke up at 3am.  And stayed awake.  And cried and cried.  And cried.  She is currently taking her third nap of the day, because when your day is eleventy million hours long, you need lots of naps.

I broke her.  She will never sleep well again.


Okay.  On the 3rd, she slept through the night.  On the 4th, she didn't take a morning nap (again, didn't seem to need one, so I didn't force her to take one) she did great, but woke up screaming at midnight, and I not only had to nurse her to sleep, but I had to bring her in our bed to do it, and somehow that meant that I "slept" in the lower left quarter of the mattress, all curled up with my feet hanging off the end.   How someone so small takes up so much space I will never understand.  Co-sleeping?  Still not for me. 

Obviously that was a dumbass move on my part, but she'd been standing in her crib screaming for 45 minutes, and all I wanted was for the three of us to get some sleep.  But egads, people, what on earth is going on here?


Lauren said...

Oh NO!!!!! I am sorry. Listen, she will tell you what she needs. Take her cue best thing. In the end that is what will tell you what you have to do. In my didn't "break" her, but let her drive you to what she needs. If you want some support message me via my blog ( I have a toddler and know what you are going through. In the end we will get through it and laugh in the end.
My best to you and your cutie pie.
Health, Happiness, Hamstrings

Izzy said...

I agree with Lauren, listen to her cues. I'm actually worried about mine loosing his 2 naps. Settling him into creche, they only put them down for 1 nap, even though the little Bamsegutt still wants 2 naps. But of course, because creche is new and full of strangers, he won't go down for naps when I say he usually does! As soon has he's home with me, he reverts to 2 naps again. I think I read in Elizabeth Pantley's No Cry Nap Method (it might have been somewhere else), it seems that naps are important developmentally, as they need good concentration to learn. Also, talking to friends that have older babies, most of their babies didn't loose their 2 naps until around 15-18 months. One friend with twins didn't loose the 2 naps until they were almost 2 years old.

Sorry gone off on one there, because, as usual, the same topic has been on my mind recently!!

Willow seems like she's developing perfectly though, and is super cute, so I don't think you've got anything to worry about in that respect!

Kitty said...

I think you're right in your guess that she only needs one nap. My son dropped his second nap around 11 months; "too early," I kept thinking, but he honestly did not seem tired for his first nap, and it became harder and harder to get him to go to sleep. I had a week off of my part-time job and spent that week transitioning him to one nap. He used to sleep at 9 and 1, so then I had him sleep at 9:30 and 1:00, 10:00 and 1:00 (waking him up early from the first nap each time, too), 10:30 and 1, and finally I moved his lunchtime up and started putting him down for his one nap at 11:30, then 12:00, and finally at 1:00. That is a long way of saying: don't drop the first nap all at once. Doing it gradually allows them to adjust. Even so, it was difficult, and he was tired and cranky at odd hours of the day, but by the end of the week he was finished. Try not to go backwards and sometimes have Willow sleep twice and sometimes once. Trust your instincts; if she seems ready for just one nap, she probably is.