Truth be told, we are having a really hard time over here. Emily has been struggling with napping and separation anxiety. I'm not sure if she's having separation anxiety during naps or if we just can't get a routine that works with her natural sleep needs. Regardless, she's miserable (and its possible our babysitter may not return). The days she actually gets two 45 minute naps she's a completely happy and joyful little girl. The days she screams for 2 hours and naps for 10-20 minutes here and there she's a mess. It's been hell, to put it mildly. She's tired so she's more needy. Nolan gets less of our attention so he starts demanding more or acting out and we're frustrated and can't figure out what to do or how to make our house run smoothly so we're angry at each other.
|A really tired girl|
And we keep tweaking her world. We have tried giving her a bottle instead of nursing. We've tried napping at different times, we've tried napping 'on-the-go' with no schedule (that just doesn't work for her because she wakes up at the transitions). We've tried giving her back the pacifier (she just cries with it in her mouth). We've tried so many different things I can't see straight. I am not enjoying this time, I feel so helpless. It's really awful to see your baby so so tired and not be able to do anything about it. She just cries or whines, no matter what we do. And everyone offers advice and I can't sort through what people suggest and what we've tried and what is right and what we think might work. I refuse to believe she 'just won't nap' which is what a lot of people have said. I have the ability to create the ideal sleeping environment. I have the ability to put her in that ideal sleeping environment when she needs to be there. I just can't quite figure out when or what that is and it's heartbreaking.
|A well rested girl|
So I decided to hire a sleep consultant. They can put us on a schedule and give us tips to help find her sweet sleep spot. But the past two days have been pretty good (two 45-minute naps) so I cancelled the appointment thinking I might be onto something. Sadly this morning she is still crying, after 40 minutes (and the morning nap is normally the only consistent one!). It's a long time until our next attempt at a nap. But I am excited to play with her! And I know she can go 9 hours without sleeping. She's really fun right now, she is playing with things and putting them in her mouth and waving them around and pressing buttons. She finds Nolan to be hysterical and tends to grab my cheeks (or earrings) to pull me closer so she can bite my face while making a growling sound. It's funny. She's getting a little personality which is beautiful to see. And having some time, sleep deprived or fully rested, to play with her while Nolan is napping or at school has been really wonderful.