Friday, August 22, 2008

The Gift of Naps

I love River. Very much. But I love him even more since he started to take naps a few weeks ago.

River’s energy could allow him to get through 10 hours of wakefulness with a 20 minute snooze. This worked great for traveling. But it didn’t allow his caregivers much rest.

With the swing, the fantastic wonderful swing, he got some sleep and we got a break. But it was located in the middle of our living space. If we didn’t want to wake him up, we couldn’t move around much. This also meant that at home, he took good naps. But it was a different story while traveling. No swing or willing lap – no nap.

A few weeks ago he started to get tired at 10 a.m. and slept a good two hours. Then another nap in the afternoon. Heaven.

Last week, as he neared the weight limit on the swing and a new babysitter was about to start, we decided we had to teach him to nap in the crib. I expected the lack of motion would mean short naps. I mourned my lack of quiet time. But to my surprise, he slept two hours, three, even more.

Now life feels easy. After morning time together and a walk, he sleeps, I have time, I can move around. He wakes up, babysitter arrives. In the past, he would always go to sleep just when the babysitter arrived, making us pay someone to watch him sleep and making my mornings with him very long.

The secret is: a couple of toys in the crib and a bottle. I breastfeed him until he is asleep, sleepy, or I’m out of milk. Should I put him down, he wakes up and throws a fit. But I give him a bottle and he drinks enough to knock himself out. We are both happy.

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