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Notes From A Power Napper

My daughter seems to be on some sort of daytime sleep strike, and has been since she was about three months old.
Somehow, we went from the round-the-clock sleep-and-eat thing to the sleep-at-night, stay-up-all-day thing.  I managed to coax a few naps into her schedule, but they rarely last longer than half an hour.  There was one day I remember like it was yesterday; she was almost five months and somehow magically fell into a three-hour nap (see previous blog!); the next day she was ninety minutes into another good nap when I had to leave the house, so I woke her up figuring it was no big deal.
I haven’t seen a three-hour nap since.

And as if that’s not bad enough, when she hit seven months she decided three half-hour naps a day was too much, and cut back to two mini-snoozes per day.  Honestly, I don’t know how she does it; if I try to lie down when she does, I’m just starting to unwind enough to fall asleep by the time she wakes up.  And believe me, I’ve tried leaving her in her crib for quite some time afterwards, figuring she’ll fall back asleep if left alone long enough.  Half an hour, forty-five minutes later, I concede defeat and go in to pick her up.  The car doesn’t even make a difference: on our road trip recently, she went to sleep easily but woke right up 31 minutes later.
And when she wakes up, she’s up!  She lies in bed, contentedly talking to herself for a few minutes, happily chewing the edge of her blanket and fingering her pink stuffed bear.  When I come in to get her, a grin dawns across her face and she begins kicking excitedly:  “Oh boy!  I haven’t seen you in ages!  What are we going to do now???”  It makes for very short “mommy time” – those bursts of super-productivity when you get done all the things you can’t do with a baby on your hip: laundry, dicing vegetables with a sharp knife, going to the bathroom . . .  I have a yoga video I occasionally try to do during her first nap, and I have yet to find out how it ends.  The suspense is killing me.
I really can’t complain, though.  All in all, she’s a pretty great sleeper at night, and that seems a fair trade.  And to be fair, she’s recently started lengthening out her first nap of the day, going for forty-five minutes or even (gasp!) an hour.  I just can’t help but remember those glory days when she was three or four months old and we’d all fall into the big bed and take a two-hour nap together.
My family jokes about having a built-in nap gene; we all seem to love them.  Here’s hoping Maddie’s kicks in soon.


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