Oct 28, 2009

Where do I Even Begin!? Help!

This is a long one....but please read and advise!!!

Ella missed her morning nap because we were at women's Bible study. Usually she's so tired she falls asleep on the ride home. Not today. It was later, she was hungry, we ate and then I laid her down at about 1:30.

After quite a long time of a happy sounding, but still awake baby I trapsed upstairs to see what the deal was. When I entered Ella's room I saw her SITTING UP in her crib smiling the biggest, proudest smile I've ever seen her smile. My heart overflowed. Pride welled up inside of me. This was the first time she had ever gone from laying down to sitting up all on her own! What a milestone! And then as I stood there in the doorway, I watched my beaming daughter nose dive right into the side of her crib. Fabulous!

It was kind of a slow-mo nose dive and she half caught herself with her hands so after just a few seconds of soothing she was giggling in my arms. I told her it was nap time and laid her back down.

After another extended period of time litening to the joyful baby giggles coming through the monitor I went up to peek in again. This time I found her on all fours, rocking back and forth squeeling with delight. Again...joy, happiness, and pride ran through me watching my daughter's new development. But slowly...the cold hard truth that naptime would never again be the same began to seep in.

I resettled her again and went downstairs, heard the happy baby sounds again but then heard a THUD and crying. I rushed up to find her toppled over against the side of the crib. She was fine and much cuddling and soothing ensued.

I was at a loss. I am a big proponent of letting babies cry and sooth themselves and not running in every two seconds. And that has worked beautifully for us up to this point. But I cannot employ that method if my child's physical safety is at risk with her new found talent!

I decided to resettle her, and sit silently next to her crib, not making eye contact or interacting with her. Just monitor her safety and lay her back down if she was sitting up and in danger of falling forward or backward and hitting her head. (As I watched her I saw that she rolls to her stomach and then walks herself up to sitting using her hands in front of her. She very capably lays back down by hurling herself forward onto the mattress...I think the only problem occurs when she doesn't understand depth and hurling herself forward results in head hitting side of crib before hitting mattress.) Well people, tried that for a little over 1/2 hour. No dice. She just tried to interact with me the whole time. No sleep.

Seeing how ridiculously tired she was I thought if I resettled her and left the room per our normal routine she might just sleep this time. Not so much. Through the monitor I heard her playing, then getting fussy, then crying. But alas...finally....silence. And now...two hours from when I first put her down... it is 3:23 and dare I even utter the words for fear her little eyes will pop back open with the stroke of the keys....she's alseep.

WOW! Talk about battle of all battles. I found myself asking for the filling of the Holy Spirit throughout the whole ordeal...praying for patience, and wisdom in this uncharted territory. God was faithful. And I thank Him for giving me the ability to keep it together while not giving up on the nap. Consistency and boundaries are key. Sleep is too important and I know better than she when she needs sleep. But holy hannah, I'm used to a child that every time you lay her down, she's asleep within a matter of minutes. If this is the battle in store for me each nap time, I'm in for some tough times ahead!

Any advice and suggestions are greatly appreciated!!!!????


Lovelightlaugh27 said...

Just from my own experienc; sounds like she is going through a new phase. Growth spurts can disrupt sleep patterns too. (Nightmares are always fun...)

If you keep giving her quiet time she will most likely expect it and eventually get off to sleep. She may change to only one nap per day and you might have to make a new routine before she goes down. (Books or puppets or something she can be engaged in) Learning the fist two years is so physical, kids are constantly getting hurt and she will be ok with a few bruises. Make sure her crib is down to the lowest point so the sides are above her head. If you are consistent she will be happy. If you are with her all day chances are she will get over-stimulated and impossible.
Congrats on her progress! Sounds like she will be standing (holding furniture) and crawling before you know it!
Good luck.

Ryan and Steph said...

Oh man, that's a tough one. Ranger still gos down for his nap about every five to ten minutes or so, he can sleep just about anywhere!

Ok, I guess I don't have real Mom advice but I'm praying for you!