Monday, April 14, 2008

Naps, Beautiful, Lovely Naps

For the first two weeks of my youngest daughter's life, sleep was not an issue. We thought we had struck the jackpot. Around the 2-week-old mark, though, everything changed. Colic in the evenings (thank you, God, that it wasn't all day) and reflux issues reared their ugly heads in our newest angel. At this point, I made the executive decision to sleep with baby propped upon my chest while I lay propped on pillows on our couch in the living room. Dania and I slept this way for a couple of months while the doctors tried to regulate her reflux with medications. Eventually, her body fixed itself, and we were back to bed, but the damage was done. The child wanted to sleep touching her mother.


Now, if you know anything about my parenting of the first two children, you will know that sleeping with Mommy was not much of a problem for me… I desired it. However, wanting to co-sleep and creating a Mommy-sweater were two different issues! Anyway, I endeavored to "wear the baby" (attachment parenting phrase for holding baby in sling or in arms), even at night. Which leads us to our more recent weeks….


Dania is a strong-willed child who is incredibly smart. She keeps us laughing in this house, and we are pretty sure she is going to be a spoiled brat because it is difficult to get too angry with her when she is being so smart and adorable! So, moving on to sleep, Dania is still not sleeping all night long. I know, she is 18-months old. So, I started working on this a few weeks ago, gently teaching her to put herself to sleep (while Mommy hums, sings, rubs her tummy, and lays beside her… I know, doesn't seem so independent, does it?). We made great strides with very little fuss (the 2 times I let her fuss too much ended badly – bloody nose and throwing up – so I don't do that to her anymore). Now, we have moved on: we are now working on not waking so many times in the night. That is also going well.


Which brings me to my point: When your toddler has had sleeping issues almost since birth and you haven't slept a full night in almost two years, naps are wonderful, beautiful, NECESSARY things. Today, we didn't get one. Can you tell???? This entry is scattered and disconnected, and I am struggling with completing a thought! Yes, today, Dania fell asleep on the way to pick Quin (my son) up from preschool, so she wasn't sleepy enough on the way home to take a nap at her normal time. Then, she didn't take a nap at our recovery time (this has happened before, but she will usually let me put her down for a nap around 4, which saves us the headache of a crabby toddler all evening long), so we just suffered through. And of course the weather didn't cooperate, so I couldn't take her outside. So I didn't get that quiet time that I desperately need each day....


Okay, this is really a mess, but it would take too many dead brain cells to fix it, so I am going to cut if off and post it as is. Naps…. Lovely things.

Good night,

Angie

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