Oh, the challenging of parenting a baby. Every day, a new chance to put those problem-solving skills to use!
Over the past weeks since we’ve been back in China, I’ve been frustrated with Tigger’s apparent lack of naps. “Oh no,” I moaned, “we’ve traveled so much so only knows how to nap in a moving vehicle. Now we’re home in our town where we walk everywhere, and she simply can’t nap!” She’s been cranky every day, rubbing her eyes, yawning, but not napping. I even bought Elizabeth Pantley’s No Cry Nap Solution and read it in one day! Three days into its plan for helping your baby nap (today), I decided to stop recording her nap durations and frequency, and to just watch her instead. Which is actually one of the book’s recommendations, after giving tips for recognizing your baby’s cues.
I quickly realized that Tigger is still on a newborn sleep cycle… whether temporary (because of all the transitions, perhaps?) or not, she cannot stay awake more than an hour without taking at least a 30 minute nap! I’d been putting her down to nap every 2 hours or so, hoping for a 1.5+ hour nap, but by that time she was overtired and too wired to fall asleep. When she did, she’d quickly startle awake at any noise. Which is hard to avoid when you live in a courtyard with at least 7 dogs and 2 roosters, and on a road to a village frequented by tractors.
The ambiguous “they” say a 3-month old should take three 2-hour naps every day. Tigger took three 45 minute naps and one 3 hour nap. And you know what? That’s okay! It may not align with “the books,” but following her tired cues and responding by moving quickly into nap mode solved the problem. So problem-solver-types who’ve become parents, rejoice. It make take awhile (days, weeks, months… whatever), but the solutions are there. Mostly, our babes have the solutions, we just have to figure out their language. And when you DO find the solutions to the problems? The reward, a grinning, well-rested babe, is well worth it.