Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Very Best Place for a Nap

Macie is an amazing sleeper during the night. She goes to bed around 7:30p, and doesn't generally wake up until at least 6:30a. And it's not at all odd for us to have to wake her up to get her ready for school at 7:00a. From what I gather through conversation and online articles, 11 hours is pretty good for a 5-month old. I'll certainly take it.

Naps, however, are not Macie's cup of tea. But they are very predictable. She falls asleep easily, but wakes up irritated 30 or 40 minutes later. At most. The only exception to this is at school, where Miss Linda, Miss Joan, and Miss Marie can sometimes get her to nap in the crib for upwards of an hour and a half. I think it's because they're more willing to practice tough love and let her cry herself back to sleep!

Dale and I have found only one place that we KNOW will lead to a long nap - the swing. So any time Macie needs a long nap, particularly on the weekends, we know exactly where to put her. This works great when we're at home. But not so great when we're visiting Grandma (as we are this weekend), because it's not feasible to put the swing in the car and take it along (though I must say I've given it some thought).

So Macie's naps at Grandma's take place in her Pack-N-Play. And they usually only last 30 minutes. Thirty minute naps and a sick baby are not a good combination, as Dale, Grandma, Ivie, and Grandma's friends (Jewal and Ann Haynes) witnessed first-hand this afternoon.

When I left the house on a Shell's lunch run (a local BBQ joint that we frequent often in Hickory), Macie was happily sitting on Ann's lap. But when I returned 20 minutes later, Dale exclaimed that they were so glad to see me, as Macie had started screaming soon after I left and hadn't stopped. Grandma had her in the living room trying to calm her, but, from the sound emanating through the closed door, nothing seemed to be working.

Her two previous naps had only been 30 minutes each, and her eyes still showed that she wasn't feeling up-to-par. By the time I got back, she had reached the point in her screaming that she couldn't get herself to stop. The bottle didn't work. Bouncing around the house on my shoulder didn't work. Going outside didn't work.

Finally, I sat down on the couch and hoped that watching Ivie play would calm her down. It did (she sure loves her big sister!). After she had stopped wailing for several minutes, her eyes started to gloss over. Minutes later, she was asleep, sitting straight up on my lap, head resting in my palm.

The rest of the clan headed off to the recycling center at 1:30p, leaving the two of us alone on the couch in a quiet house. I rearranged myself to settle in for Macie's nap, which I hoped would last longer than 30 minutes. The recyclers returned at 2:30p, Ivie headed to her room for a nap, and Macie slept on, not at all fazed by the return of activity...

It wasn't until 5:15p (no joke) that Macie awoke from her winter slumber. During her nap, I had snoozed for about 15 minutes myself, finished off the latest Grisham book that I've been trying to read since Macie was born, and watched nearly all of the Tar Heels basketball game versus Maryland. There were several times during the marathon nap (appropriately described, since I, in my running heyday, could have almost RUN a marathon during it!) that I considered waking Macie up, worried that she wouldn't be ready to go to bed again for the night at 7:30p. Not to mention that I desperately needed to go to the bathroom, pump, and move my left arm.

So why didn't I just wake her up and save myself from the "misery" of not moving for 3 hours and 45 minutes straight? I claimed out loud that it was because she needed the sleep to fight off her cold. Which is certainly an accurate statement.

But you parents out there know the real reason... The truth is that there's not much better than staring at the sleeping face of an infant. And the very best place for a nap is on Mommy's chest. For both baby AND Mommy.

I loved every minute of it. All 225 of them, actually.


Trish said...

Carson's favorite napping spot is the swing, too! He sleeps so well at night (at least 10 hours) that I don't want to deal with Ferber-izing his naps and risk creating a negative association for him with his crib. Sounds like Macie and Carson have us wrapped around their little fingers! :)

Stacy W. said...

That longer than some of my naps! hope everyone is feeling better soon.
much love,