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.
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?