Sleep has been the bain of my life since I had children – their refusal, and my consequent lack of. Because I breastfeed, it’s on me – apart from during the hell of colic thanks to CMPA, I’ve never expected my husband to get up in the night. But I have found a trick that helps me retain my sanity, and I’m going to share my tip for how to get a baby to nap.
I’ve always been adamant about co-sleeping being a no-no for us; not that I judge – I just value my marriage. Not that I’m saying you don’t if you co-sleep – but my hubby wouldn’t tolerate it very well. Not that I’m saying – I’m just going to move on now…
Anyway, we had a lot of trouble with Pixie’s sleep for what felt like a very long time. (I don’t want to admit the nightly wakings are creeping back in, but, well…they kind of are. I’m currently choosing to ignore the fact and hope it goes away.)
It was a tough period in the Tunstall household, and resulted in our daughter’s blog-nickname: the Devil Pixie. Throughout that phase we brought her into our bed as infrequently as we could get away with, the intention being that we absolutely wanted to avoid it becoming the norm for her. From experience, once a routine has been established for a little person, it’s very hard to break…
But we’ve finally nailed it – more or less – and ‘Devil’ has accordingly been dropped (unless she’s being particularly cheeky, in which case it tends to pop back up in my writing!).
However, despite my (arguably impressive) perseverance and refusal to take the easy option of allowing Pixie to sleep beside me every night – it’s not all rosy. Her naps have been an altogether different matter.
Controlled Crying is not for us. I have my reasons for choosing not to follow this approach under our roof, and I don’t wish to alienate anybody so I’m not going to harp on about them – we all have to find a way to survive those first months, so each to their own. Suffice to say, as I write Pixie is approaching her second birthday and still – still – I cannot get her to lay in her bed and sleep during the day.
How to Get Your Baby to Nap Every Day
My solution (confession)? Since she’s been, ooh, six months old probably – she naps in her pushchair.
Every. Single. Day.
But, the purpose of this post is not an invitation for people to gasp in shock at my lackadaisical attitude, or whatever you want to label this situation I’ve created out of desperation. Incidentally, my regret at failing to get my young daughter into a bed for her naps is offset by my proud determination to march until she reaches the land of nod. Sometimes I pound the pavements for close to an hour before she quits fighting it.
Anyway, my motivation for sharing is to help others in my situation.
You may be reading and wondering what on earth happens if she falls asleep in the car? And that‘s the purpose of this post. Allow me to introduce to you the notion of…
The Magic Window
If you’ve never heard of it, I’m about to change your life.
Basically, there’s a ten to fifteen minute period after your child succumbs to sleep during which you can do pretty much whatever you wish with them – and they will continue to slumber peacefully. I’m not endorsing drawing stupid eyebrows on them, but whatever floats your boat.
The point is, if your infant passes out in the car, so long as you attempt the transfer manoeuvre within The Magic Window – you’re home and dry. Essentially, what you’re aiming for is that precious window during which limbs become heavy and do not respond to your touch. If you lift an arm and the wrist is limp – THIS is your opportunity.
How to Get A Baby to Nap – My Failsafe Tip!
In my experience, if you miss those golden first ten minutes, but catch twelve to fifteen – you’re veering into extremely dangerous territory: I’d place myself at approximately 50/50 success within this period.
But three to ten minutes? I can confidently say I have a very respectable 96% success rate, which is not to be sniffed at.
It makes having a life that little bit easier to fit in around naps. It means:
- We’re not confined to the house;
- I can take a walk;
- I’m able to work from a café;
…Or, whatever. In other words – BLISS! (Until the next dilemma we encounter, natch…)
I look upon the brief reprieve of naptime with ardent reverence, and I’m already preemptively mourning its end. I dread the inevitable conclusion of my daily respite during which I
put my feet up/catch up with the telebox/paint my nails flit around cleaning and tidying like Monica on speed.
So, judge me if you will – but until that day comes to pass, I shall continue to encourage Pixie’s pushchair zzz’s.
Were you already aware of The Magic Window? Give it a try and let me know how you fare!