I've been dubbed a "Napzi" by fellow mom and blogger Harriet, thanks to my strict rules and scheduling around Lilah's nap times. Was I shocked and appalled at this moniker? Hardly. I embrace the title, and in fact, I'm the tiniest bit smug about it. It took what felt like months of consistency and hard work to convince Lilah to nap for longer than one sleep cycle (which, for her, tends to be about forty minutes), but once she started consolidating her naps and taking them at fairly consistent times of day around the age of six months, I became a much happier mommy. And no way am I going to risk screwing that up now!
Occasionally, out of necessity, we do switch things up and allow her to have one of her naps in the car or on the go, but for the most part, Lilah takes her naps in her crib at approximately the same time each day (give or take 45 minutes or so). This is where some of my innate personality flaws really pay off! My total lack of flexibility? Wasn't such a great thing when the Hubs and I were doing the obligatory summer backpacking around Europe in our early twenties. But it sure has worked for Lilah's sleep habits! What can I say? I am a slave to my left brain. I like rules. And routine. And knowing exactly when I'm going to be able to get a break, take some time for myself, or indulge in a nap of my own.
When we went on vacation in January, the Hubs and I received plenty of compliments on how well Lilah was coping with the plane ride, time change, new surroundings, etc. We graciously accepted these compliments in public and then gloated over them in private. After all, it was our commitment to the naps and routine that got us all through that vacation feeling well-rested and relaxed; feeling like we'd actually had a vacation. Sure, we didn't venture too far afield or do the types of touristy things we used to do when it was just the two of us, but that weren't expecting to be able to do those things while vacationing with a six-month-old baby anyway.
In Lilah's case, letting the daytime naps slide also affects her night sleeps. And yes, we've worked on those, too. So, in fact, I'm not just a Napzi but a... Sleepzi... Sleezi? That sounds dirty. But that's another post for another day. Suffice it to say that a little training has made an all-around great sleeper out of our li'l Lilahbility, and happier, more well-rested parents out of me and the Hubs. (And before you call the parenting police, no, we did not leave our baby in her room to cry it out for hours on end.) I'm not going to get all Judgy McJudgerson about how other people deal with their baby's sleep. I'm just sayin'... this is what worked for us. And I have no regrets.
I have spent countless hours discussing baby sleep with other parents, and it seems as though you are either a Napzi or a Zombie. And if you think you're neither, you're either totally delusional, or you won the baby lottery. We all know which side I'm on. Time to head on over to Juju Be Baby and hear a Zombie's side of the story.