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Portable Napping

I have to admit that I have not been as
good with guarding Cora’s routine as I was with
Maddie’s when she was this age; when you’ve got more
than one kid, you simply don’t have the luxury of planning
your entire day around their circadian rhythms. But I do try to
give Cora her thrice-daily naps in some form, especially since we
all suffer if she doesn’t get them. Thankfully, I’ve
got a few options.

I try to keep Cora’s afternoon nap
in her own bed if at all possible: first, this is the one with the
best chance of turning into a “real” nap of one or two
hours rather than Cora’s usual power nap of 20 minutes. Once
or twice a week Cora will conk out and I’ll be blissfully
accomplishing fifty things in that short, child-less span of the
afternoon while both she and Maddie snore on. Second, I hold to
that afternoon nap at home base for Cora because I know this will
eventually be her only nap, and I want it to feel like a real
retreat, a true stop in the day.

The other naps, though, are touch-and-go. Her morning nap was spent
most days in Texas in the car; in New York on Sundays she naps in
the Bjorn during the sermon (no offence, Milind.) But Cora is
finding it harder and harder to go to sleep in the Bjorn-
there’s too much to see, too many distractions to keep her
awake and interested. Enter my secret weapon – my sling.

I love my sling – it’s a href="http://www.kangarookorner.com/c-9-adjustable-fleece-pouch.aspx">
Kangaroo pouch
by Kangaroo Korner, and is sized just for me
and made of a stretchy, soft fleece. I don’t often use it if
I’m going to the park or needing to hold Cora while running
after Maddie; its asymmetrical design and lack of back support
leaves me fatigued after half an hour or so, especially if
I’m active. But that sling is the perfect spot for Cora to
have a little nap-on-the-go. Simply pop her into it so she’s
lying as if she’s nursing, and Cora’s completely hidden
from view from head on down – only her little feet hang out
the top sometimes. When I drop Cora into this position, she’s
shielded from sights and sounds, cuddled in warmth, and quickly
drops off for a good half-hour.

The other benefit of the sling is that it’s a great retreat
when people and noises overwhelm Cora. Cocooned in her little
hammock, she can’t see anything and has her own private
retreat from the noisy, in-your-face world. I spent much of our
vacation leaving the sling in our car, so I could simply run and
get it when Cora showed signs of needing a little catnap. No
monitors, no pack-n-play, nothing but the sling and my kiddo.

I didn’t keep the sling close by on our outgoing flight and
ended up wrestling Cora unhappily into a nap, then holding her
there without pillow support as my arms fell asleep. On our return
flight I thought ahead and was able to read comfortably while Cora
snoozed in her snug shell.

So if you’ve got one and don’t use it on a daily basis,
you might want to dust your sling off before vacation. Have
hammock, will nap.


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