At the end of February, I gave up. I refused to try to get Evie to take a nap unless I was the only one here. M has had better luck with her in the past, so naps were his job if we were both home. It took me from September to the end of February to reach the end of my rope.
Before quitting, we had tried Ferber for napping, but she when she cried for an hour (or more on a couple occasions), I knew that wasn't working. We had tried to let her sleep on us. This was successful as long as she actually fell asleep at all. We tried getting her to sleep and then putting her down. This worked one rare occasions, but she usually woke up screaming when we put her down, and then it was back to the tries with Ferber... It was a vicious, never-ending cycle of pure frustration.
I was too frustrated, and I decided that it she just wasn't going to take naps anymore, then I would just deal with it. (Sidenote: Our daycare provider always goes on and on about how she's such a wonderful napper. I know it wasn't intentional, but boy, did I feel like a crappy parent.) On days that she didn't nap, she usually went to be earlier, but she was a bear for the last few hours. We couldn't go anywhere or do anything because she was too crabby.
Finally at the beginning of March, it was like something just clicked. One afternoon, I laid her down in her crib awake. She screamed and tried to stand up, but I calmly laid her back down and stayed with her until she stopped fussing. I left the room and she started crying again. M offered to go get her, but I said, "No, let's wait just 5 minutes." Five minutes passed and she was still fussing. I said, "Let's give her 10 more minutes." Ten minutes passed and she calmed down some, but she was still awake. I said, "Let's just wait 5 more minutes." By the end of that 5 minutes, she was asleep.
Cue "Hallelujah" music. I thought for sure that it was a fluke. That was a Saturday. On Sunday, she did the same thing. It took almost 20 minutes of crying, but she fell asleep. The next weekend, same thing. And the weekend after that, and so on. She even took a nap for me every day over my spring break at the beginning of April.
Of course, I never really gave up on her. I would probably still be trying now, even if she were still fighting me. Today, I laid her down awake and without any fuss, she has been quiet in her room for about 30 minutes. I didn't do anything differently to try to fix the problem, it just sort of happened on its own.
|Happy baby = Happy Mama|
Every time I go to put her down for a nap, I still worry that it might not work this time. I know that in a few years I'll wonder why this was ever such a huge problem. All I know now is that we are all happier. I feel like a better parent. Who knows if this is really permanent success...but I'm willing to take it while it lasts!!