Posted in Baby sleep, Blog, Mother, Shawna

Transition can be bliss-really!

I was really dreading Quinn’s move from two naps to one. So many moms of toddlers seemed to look back on the two-nap phase with rose-colored-glasses, and it was also hard for me to picture myself functioning as well without my two mini-breaks a day (not that Q was ever completely reliable in her timing or even in actually taking both naps on any given day).

Suddenly, about a month ago, the transition was upon me. I thought it might stretch itself out over a month or so, but it was actually pretty abrupt (though there had been hiccups in the two months preceding). Within a week or so, the second nap was pretty much gone, and I had a baby who still got pretty cranky around 9:30 a.m., but who wasn’t actually ready to nap until noonish. (It’s hard to explain to non-parents or even parents of older kids how a mom can know her tired baby isn’t really ready for a nap, but I will trust that you, dear reader, know exactly where I’m coming from.)

Now, a few weeks in, Quinn usually powers through her crankiness, and then, after about five hours awake, takes a 1.5-hour nap and is good for the day. She often goes through a brief cranky period a few hours after the nap, but powers through for another five hours or so before bedtime. Pretty impressive for a kid who didn’t seem to do well on more than 3.5-hours of waking time in the pre-transition days. Did I mention that each of her naps used to be 1-1.5 hours long? So she’s also getting like half the napping hours, too.

But the good part, the part that makes the transition so, so worth it is how easy it is to get her down now. She is tiiiired, and for once, she is willing to admit it. This is true at naptime, and usually at bedtime, too. And my kid used to fight sleep like crazy. It took at least 45 minutes to get her down for naps and for bedtime, and these were not the 45 minutes I most enjoyed spending with my baby.

Now, she usually seems relieved when we cuddle up to nurse, and amazingly, she sometimes nurses herself right to sleep, rolling over contentedly, occasionally even snoring before I complete the transfer to her crib. Quinn used to nurse herself down, in the very earliest months of her life, and though I hadn’t made effort to change her, she gave it up before she could even hold her head up. I’m so glad she can do it again! (I’m also glad she doesn’t do it every time, so it’s not like she needs it.) She also seems content to crawl up on my shoulder and then lie in her bed, five minutes of butt-patting sending her straight to dreamland.

H0nestly, I didn’t realize how much our fights over sleep were draining me. Now that they’re gone, I’m enjoying all of our time together even more. I’m spending a lot more time chasing after my toddler, but so much less time in battle. And it’s fun being able to get out of the house in the morning to do something, even if it’s just a walk to the park or a trip to the grocery store.

I am dreading the move to no naps, though! But hopefully that won’t happen for a long, long time. Hopefully not until at least middle school.

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