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I Don't Want To Jinx It, But . . .

I’ve been so hesitant to say anything, but it looks as if my daughter’s settling into a good, predictable nap every day.

The hesitancy is two-pronged: one, you hate to rub a consistent nap into another mommy’s face.

And two, Maddie might hear me and decide to punish me for being complacent – say, by taking the naptime away from me. 

Throughout her first year of life, Maddie was a pretty terrible napper. She’d settle into a routine of naps, but they were always a frustrating half hour at best. No matter what I did, when they fell, or how often they occurred during the day, it was thirty minutes and up again. I had the occasional stroke of good luck  but those were maybe three times (no kidding) her whole first year.

As we went from three naps a day to two to one, I despaired of the nap time ever lengthening. But around her first birthday the one-nap-a-day began to lengthen out by 15-minute increments. Her current nap length is generally 1 hour 45 minutes to 2 hours.



Seriously, I do snatch the occasional nap, but I’m still too untrusting of the nap length to relax since I’m certain she’ll wake right after I fall into a deep REM sleep. Instead I cook, pay bills, even (gasp) exercise occasionally. Last week I got all the way through my one-hour yoga video for the first time since Maddie was born. I was stunned when the guy sat down on the mat to meditate and the camera panned back, serene music playing while credits rolled by. Wow. The actual end.

I can’t claim much credit for Madeleine’s extended naps; I think it’s just a natural aging thing. I can say, though, that we’ve got a few tricks up our sleeve that seem to make her content to spend more time in her crib.

First, she’s got some trusty friends in there, and she loves chatting with them after she wakes up in the morning or after her nap. Her beloved panda sits by her head, her snuggle bear’s tucked on the other side, and ‘Raffe’s at her feet where she can crawl down and talk to him about giraffe stuff. We didn’t add stuffed friends to her crib until she was at least six or seven months old because of SIDS concerns, but they are fast friends now and have to travel wherever she sleeps.

Second, she is, as you know, a girl who loves her pampering, and we recently were sent a blanket that’s sent her over the moon. So forgive me as I go a bit off-topic here –

This gift was made by The Blankee Company  and if you’re looking for a luxurious blanket that’ll last forever, stop looking now. It’s a great size for a baby and toddler, has the wide satin trim they love so much, and has a yummy plush on one side while the other side’s a faux suede that feels awesome. The best part about it, of course, is that it’s totally machine washable. If she’d had this as a newborn it would’ve been where she spent all her tummy time, and that’s pointless unless you can throw the spit-up – covered blanket in the wash. Great colors,great quality, and great service, so if a family member’s looking to get you that “keepsake” item, send them to this website. Pronto.

So Madeleine’s been napping beneath her faux-suede blanket – the kid has a better-dressed bed than I do! – and I see her sigh contentedly and grab an edge when she snuggles at the beginning of a nap. She usually ends up on top of it, which is fine with her since she loves making a snow angel on the soft fabric. Add to this her faithful silky  and she’s in sensory hog heaven.

Another thing that I believe has helped her nap length is the window treatment. My girlfriend Renee and her mom recently sewed blackout material into baby girl’s curtains for her (aren’t my girlfriends the best?), and the room is now a cool dark cave without any of that hot, pesky sun coming in.

And lastly for the Items That Encourage A Long Sleep, we’ve got the gift of summer and its required use of the air conditioner.

God bless white noise.

I’m hoping that by the time the a/c gets turned off she’ll be settled into her nap and not need the extra noise. But if not, don’t judge me if I end up cranking the heat in the house so I can turn on the a/c in her room every nap period.

Trust me, she’s much more fun to be around if she’s had that long nap.

And come to think of it, so am I.


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