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Baby nap schedules – consistent but confining?

Today I write to you from Joe’s parents house, where I escaped to for a few days in his absence. Baby G is down for her nap right now, so I’m enjoying a writing by the fireplace, coffee in hand. 

Writing by a fireplace is one of life's greatest pleasures.

Writing by a fireplace is one of life’s greatest pleasures.

Joe leaves on a spontaneous trip out of the county? I spontaneously buy a decorating magazine. TAKE THAT.

Joe leaves on a spontaneous trip out of the county? I spontaneously buy a decorating magazine. TAKE THAT.

Joe’s mom and I are waiting for Baby G to wake up so we can take a trip to the mall. I honestly can’t remember the last time I’ve been to a mall, but I know it was before the baby was born. So I’m pretty excited for our expedition today. But as we’re strategically planning our outing around Baby G’s morning and afternoon nap, I’m remembering the days when she hardly napped at all, and I could venture out whenever I pleased with her. 

I’ve had this schedule vs. flexible debate with a few of my mom friends, and it seems like we all agree that there are drawbacks to both. I remember when Baby G was smaller and she’d refuse naps all day, and I would do desperate things like put her in the car and drive around until she fell asleep, or take her shopping and cross my fingers that she’d sleep in her stroller. The constant challenge in my life was how the heck was I going to get my baby to take a nap. 

After I quit my job to stay home with her (two months ago now!), I was able to focus on getting her on a schedule. Now our days are very predictable. We’ve fallen into an easy routine of eating, playing and sleeping. She goes down for two naps a day without a fight. I love knowing that my baby is rested and I am thankful for the time to get chores or blogging done during the day. 

I guess the drawback is that the two-naps-per-day locks us in to a schedule. It’s not a clock-oriented rigid schedule, but it’s still a bit confining for me. I have a couple hour window between Baby G’s two naps to venture out into the world for an errand or a playdate. If she wakes up from her morning nap and I’m not all set to walk out the door, I’ll sometimes miss my window and we’ll be stuck at home the rest of the day. Which isn’t a horrible thing, but it can get isolating. 

Overall though, I enjoy the consistency and reliability of her schedule, and I think she does too. We’ve fallen in to a nice routine and both baby and mama know what to expect each day. My friends with older babies tell me that soon she’ll drop to just one nap per day, and then our day will be wide open for possibilities. 

Do you enjoy the consistency of a schedule or do you find it confining? How set-in-stone is your daily routine? 

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4 Comments

  1. Rachel on November 21, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    I know the exact feeling. I just tell myself it is for their good now and only lasts a while!

    • creatingmom on November 21, 2013 at 10:08 pm

      I’m glad I’m not the only one!

  2. Nancy on November 21, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    I totally could have written this post myself! I can relate to this completely…I’ve struggled with the same schedule vs. flexibility dilemma too – I know that babies thrive on routine, but I also want to teach my daughter to be flexible enough that we can move naptime around a bit if needed without causing a major meltdown! I’ve often felt confined by my daughter’s napping schedule – we’re in the same situation with 2 naps a day with a few hours in between where we can actually leave the house – and that of course gets filled with appointments and other essential errands and doesn’t leave any time for “fun” stuff like playdates. It’s tough, but I know that, for now, the routine & predictability is best for her and that this phase won’t last forever. It’s not perfect, but it’s working for us. I guess for now, we have to make some small sacrifices for the good of our little ones – including spontaneity and freedom! 🙂

    • creatingmom on November 21, 2013 at 10:07 pm

      Totally with you. I think all babies take to the schedule, but not all mamas. Some of us more spontaneous type mamas struggle with it a bit more. But yes, it is just a season. But a little flexibility is good because life happens and we can’t always be home for naps at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

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