The good-natured baby you see above is hiding something.
If you look more closely, you’ll see that he’s wearing his Freddy Kruger tee-shirt — suitable attire for someone who turned last night into a pretty repetitious production of Nightmare on Sweetgum Ave. In fact, as I write this with a pounding headache, both Finn and Daddy are currently convalescing in dreamland, Dad in the comfy temperpedic, baby on my lap… which points to the problem: it’s becoming increasingly apparent that everything revolves around Finn’s naptime. When naps don’t go well, he gets hyper, resistant to sleep, more likely to wake at night. For parents accustomed to a child who usually sleeps from 8-6, wake-ups at 9, 10, 11, 12, and 4 are indeed a nightmare. I’m willing to do almost anything to keep this from happening.
Obviously, the problem is ours, not Finn’s. Yesterday we disrupted his schedule for our social visits: a visit to see some friends and their adorable new baby in the hospital usurped a portion of his afternoon nap, and then dinner plans with special out-of town visitors ultimately ended in a later bedtime for the little guy. But the problem is bigger than that. As I mentioned in a February post, he generally sleeps well in his crib at night, but during the day wakes up as soon as his head touches the bed. This translates into a lot of baby-in-arms napping, a practice that’s been a drain on everyone, including my mother-in-law and sister, who care for him on weekdays while I’m at work. If Finn hasn’t slept well while I’m gone, I ultimately resort to rocking with him for almost two hours when I get home just to get that sleep in; if I don’t, he won’t stay down at night and we all suffer. This past week, however, we started trying something new: putting him down asleep in the crib on his stomach for supervised naps. My fear of SIDS has always kept me from placing him on his stomach, but since he’s nearly 6 months old and we’re only talking about an hour at a time (or hopefully even two at some point!) with someone close by, I feel like it’s a safe decision. We’ve had some success with the change — but yesterday he woke up each time after 40 minutes. Argh!
I knew I would be a cautious parent, and knew that my life would never be the same again, but never thought that I would become someone who lived each hour with an eye on the clock! I hope that today’s clock-watching brings all three of us a night full of dreams rather than nightmares.