Thursday, December 7, 2006


So my friend Hack Mommy (aka Melissa) posted a comment after I wrote about napping. She said if I was unhappy with my daytime sleep situation, we could talk.
Melissa, did you read my post? Unhappy barely covers it!
No, we've got to not tease Melissa, because she was good to her word and we talked (while her adorable children talked about their trip to Disneyland where they met Jazz Man, the princess).
Boy, did we talk.
Melissa gave me some BTDT wisdom about sleep. How you can gently change a child's sleep patterns if you're willing to endure major unpleasantness for a week, and minor unpleasantness for another week.
(While I was walking over to her house, I had been telling myself I'd do anything that would make things better. I was steeling myself for three weeks of major unpleasantness. So her offer sounded awfully good to me).
But the best part about our talk was that when I thanked her for her sage advice, she said, "Oh, it's not advice. I really don't know what you should do."
Thanks Melissa. Advice is really so toxic for new moms. Even when you are longing for it, it makes you feel incompetent when you get it.
So it wasn't advice: it was brainstorming.
And it bore fruit this very afternoon.

At three pm, Lucy's one regular nap time, I did the usual ritual to get her ready (pillows, phone off, pee/poop her, swaddle) and got into bed with her.
I took a clock into bed with me.
3:05--I let her start eating.
3:15--I took a deep breath and popped her off.
(Remember, I was nursing her for at least an hour before!)
3:16--I picked her up and put her in her hammock bed. This was a big leap of faith for me. Usually, if I'm stressed, I don't move a sleeping baby. But we were resigned to unpleasantness, so what the heck?
3:16:10--Lucy opens her eyes.
3:16:20--Lucy shuts her eyes, turns her head to one side, and falls asleep.

I was flabbergasted. With extra flabber on the side.
She slept for twenty minutes!
This wasn't great, but it was a heck of a lot better than I expected on Day One of the Week of Unpleasantness.
When she woke up, I shrugged, moved my pillows around, and nursed her on the other side.
I casually experimented a bit more. What about nursing her for 8 minutes? (no luck). What about 4 minutes? (again, no luck).
The best part about all this was--I was resting, too. I was finally relaxed, so I just was mellow, nursing with her. It was the best rest I've gotten during her nap this whole week.
Then I tried 10 minutes again.
Moved her to the hammock bed.


Exercised, folded some laundry, mailed a package, did some Christmas shopping, wrote an email. Ate cereal.


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