Being Daddy – The Battle of the Nap

Who ever thought falling asleep could be so difficult? If my daughter could talk, she’d tell me all about it. I always thought you just lie down and fall asleep. Oh sure, some nights are easier than others, and we all have stretches of difficulty with sleep on occasion. But my little baby’s body seems violently opposed to falling asleep, especially during the day when she needs a nap.

Before you tell me that she might not be tired, or might not need a nap, let me tell you that’s not true. She yawns, rubs her eyes, gets grumpy, and desperately needs some sleep. But when you lay her down she just gets mad. She rubs her eyes so hard she makes herself mad. She pulls her pacifier out of her mouth which makes her mad. Her little hands and feet pound against the mattress like she just fell out of an airplane; and this makes her mad as well. And just when you think she might be asleep, she hiccups drastically because she has been crying so much she has swallowed a bunch of air. And yes, this makes her mad too. And the whole process starts again.

And when she does finally fall asleep, you’d think the exhaustion would keep her down for the count for awhile. At least that’s what you’d think. Alas, this is not the case, as most of her naps last for a maximum of thirty minutes. In fact, you could almost set your watch to the length of her naps. At thirty minutes the big eyes open and it’s time to get to work. Work usually consists of playing for a short while and then yawning and rubbing her eyes again because she’s tired.

I’m not going to lie and say I have no selfish reasons for wanting her to take a nap. I am definitely a fan of peace and quiet, and could use some more in my life. But I truly do feel sorry for her. To be that tired and unable to fall asleep, and get enough sleep, must be pretty lousy.

Hopefully one day this will get easier for her.

And hopefully that day is coming soon.

Here are a couple of books in our collection that talk about the complicated world of baby sleep and offer a variety of potential solutions:

The Baby Sleep Book: The Complete Guide to a Good Night’s Rest For the Whole Family – by William Sears, Martha Sears, Robert Sears, and James Sears

Sleeping Through the Night: How Infants, Toddlers, and Their Parents Can Get a Good Night’s Sleep – by Jodi Mindell

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I'm the Red Carpet Librarian and work to bring lifelong support services to the Topeka and Shawnee County area through outreach and programming. I also am a sports enthusiast, work closely with the library's sports collection, and provide programming to engage the community's sports fans.