The other day, Shelby took her first "real nap." Sure, it was only 30 minutes, but it was in her crib.
As much as I loved sitting down with her and watching her sleep ... I know that the time for that was coming to a close. After she took a 2 hour nap in a crib at a friend's house, I knew she was capable.
So I bought "Redi Shade" paper blackout shades, because we live in a rental. There are six windows and a windowed exterior door in her room. I love the natural light ... but not at nap time. It took some finagling (and 3M command strips - love those things) but I got the room reasonably dark.
Part of the problem with her naps is we are often away from the house. I'm sorry - but I'm not tying this little socialite to the house just because of nap time. Even with her poor naps (in my lap or in the carseat) she is a very happy girl so we just go with it.
Our first attempt just resulted in her playing in her crib for nearly an hour. Doh!
This nap happened at her "later afternoon" sleepy time, which isn't normally a long nap to start with. She started signing "milk" and saying "Bop!" (for Boppy) which meant she wanted to nurse. I took her to her room, let down what shades were up, turned on the sound machine AND fan, made sure her diaper was dry, and sat down to nurse her.
She nursed alright. Eyes wide open. Humming to herself. When she was done, instead of turning away and drooling in satiated slumber ... she slid off my lap and proceeded to play.
Fine, play in the dark! I pulled out the trundle bed, grabbed her Sulley monster, and laid down. I needed some rest even if she didn't, and her room is very baby proof.
She played for about an hour, coming by from time to time to climb up and see me. Finally she came and earnestly repeated "Bop! Bop!" right in my ear. So I nursed her again, and wallah - she was groggy. I laid her down in her crib and she slept for about half an hour. Then the wind picked up ahead of a thunder shower, and the shade AND curtains were blowing and banging. I imagine that's part of what woke her.
But it was progress!
Today! Today! At her normal "long nap" start time of around 11am ... she nursed, and got sleepy, and now she's been asleep, IN HER CRIB, for almost three hours!
I cleaned the top of the fridge for the first time since we moved in!
I wrapped her birthday presents! With creative homemade bows!
I did ALL THE DISHES.
I made and ate my lunch!
I made her lunch, ready to be gobbled up when she wakes!
I wrote this blog!
I gave myself a week of trying before I would give up and go back to lap naps. Its a bittersweet feeling knowing this could be the start of a new era.