sleep.

Ever only naps in a carrier. I was to be upset about this. Annoyed. Frustrated. Clinging to some ‘self soothing’ myth, “she will never sleep” story, sleep training article. I spent a month frustrated that I was never alone. Mad that my baby wouldn’t sleep anywhere but on me. Blaming myself, Charlie, my ‘bad sleepers’, all of it. And then I decided to throw that out. To choose gratitude.

I sing and dance. I crank the music loud. I color and read books. I walk to the park and push Nolie on the swing. I get out! I go to the museum. The frozen yogurt shop. The grocery store. Epic long 3 year old centric playdates. I chat with Nolie and hear her stories with my attention only on her and not focused on keeping her ‘shushed’ or silent. ¬†All this? because I babywear.

Ever sleeps on my back for at least two naps a day, often three. On the weekends Charlie cuddles her up and naps her. When my parents baby-sit she cozy’s up and rests her little ear next to my Mom’s heart and sleeps on. She isn’t an encumbrance, she is a cozy little heater on my back who is used to my voice/beat/cadence of movement. And? when she wakes? she is On.The.Go.

She plays independently. Sits in the the girls room and sorts through all the toys/blocks/trinkets. She and Nolie wrestle and crawl-chase around the house. She sits in her highchair and powers through meals bigger than her sister. She hoots and hollars and cruises around the house with a constant chant of “mama! papa! Nol-ni!!!” and laughter. So much laughter. She is so fast growing and going that I want these cuddle filled naps to never end. Or, maybe not end for a very very long time.

I can be frustrated with her sleep habits or? I can be overjoyed that during the day we aren’t tied to nap time. We aren’t mute and quiet (in our tiny home). We aren’t sedentary in the least (we are dancing! bouncing! movin’!) and we have a rested and happy baby no matter where we travel.

Praise God that he gave me this baby second. That I have shed the need for her to be “normal” (and, that isn’t out there, I promise) and nap in the “right” place, at the “right” time. Praise God for my little back napper.

She was sick yesterday and we hung around home in jammies all day. Here are naps 1-2-3. I feel pretty incredible that at 10mo old she naps three times a day and gets all that touch and cuddle in while I meet my other sweet girls needs, clean the kitchen, write on my blog, have alone time, chat on the phone, and live a little life outside of our four walls too.

Huzzah for baby wearing!

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Comments

  1. Nice!

    Way to go momma for doing what baby needs. Props to you.

    p.s. I can only see a bit of it… but I am pretty sure I have that same sweater for Athena that Ever is wearing for nap #3… and I love it! ;)

  2. It’s actually jammies, some sweet Children’s Place owlie hand me downs :)

  3. Confession time – my son who is almost 3 napped on my until he was like 2.5 years old. And I’m not talking babywearing, I can do other stuff. I’m talking sit on the couch and hold him while he naps. I knew that whole time this is not what I was “supposed” to be doing. I felt like maybe I “should” be making him sleep in a crib. I knew that was 2 hours a day I could be spending doing other things. But I didn’t REALLY want to – I knew he wouldn’t be that way forever and I wanted to take that down time to snuggle and hold my baby while he’s still small and wants me to.
    Rachael recently posted..Week 2: Short & SweetMy Profile

  4. Oh Rachael, the gift of the oldest! I love that. And now? I bet you do miss it!
    Autumn recently posted..sleep.My Profile

  5. I think is a great post, especially for other mamas that might be having troubles with the very same thing! My guy is almost 6 months old, and for the first four months, napped very irregularly, on me. Or in the ring sling. And yes, there were times that I enjoyed it, and times that I didn’t (like when I hadn’t showered in 4 days… Or when I knew I needed to eat something!).

    Even now… I have found a new “solution” to his naps; one that most would say is creating a poor habit. I would always nurse him to sleep, then when i tried to put him in his crib, he’d wake up. Over. And over. And over.

    Now I nurse him laying down, on the floor. He falls asleep, I walk away, and am free to shower, tidy up, eat, whatever. And he gets three (albeit short – 45 minute) naps a day! Nursing to sleep definitely trumps an over-tired baby.

    I am curious, what do you do at bed time?

  6. I love how you adapt your parenting to your kids. So smart. At what point did you move from wearing Ever on the front to your back for naps? Also, do you put her on with the hood of the ergo already snapped on? I have just recently started wearing Isla on my back in the ergo, but have never tried it with the hood on.
    Jessica G. recently posted..A Wonderful SurpriseMy Profile

  7. Amanda; I think that is a brilliant way to do naps! If you look up/google Floor Bed for babies you will find TONS of great information about why floor beds are incredible for kids! At bedtime I nurse her in a dark room and she conks out and I lay her down on our bed (where she sleeps) and she is out from 8-12 (ish) and then I join her and nurse on and off all night (we nurse side-lying so I don’t even wake up, it is a pretty great set up!). So even though she only sleeps on me during the day she for sure likes some space and a big break of sleep alone at night.

    Jessica, I started putting her on my back about … a a month ago? Now we do 90% of our naps like that (unless she is sick, like she is today :( ). I put the hood on right away so that is a cue that it is nap time instead of just a time to be worn. So for her she knows that the hood on means nap time. Sometimes she falls asleep within a couple of minutes and other times I have to crank some music up loud and really bounce around before she is out. But either way the hood is the sleep cue for her :)
    Autumn recently posted..sleep.My Profile

  8. My youngest only napped on me or with me, so I would lie down with him at nap time (my oldest was four so he usually had quiet time in the family bed while we napped). I’m currently pregnant with baby #3 and still wear my two-year old on my back all the time. Both my boys were worn daily for the first six months of their lives!

    I love your perspective, your choice to view this as a gift rather than a burden. That’s how I see it, too. They’re only that little for a time that is so fleeting, it seems shorter than the nap they take if they aren’t on you.

    Just a tip: when you’re wearing baby on your back, you want to make sure she can peek over your shoulder. Most women put the SSC too low on their waist and baby ends up far too low on the back. Put the carrier on between the bottom of your breasts and your natural waistline, in other words, a lot higher than you’d think to put it! That way, it’ll be more comfortable for you and her face won’t be forced to look left or right lest she be smoothed into your back! I’m a certified babywearing instructor so if you ever have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask! I’ve been doing it for almost seven years, too, so I have a little experience, too!
    Tricia recently posted..nursing while pregnantMy Profile

  9. Thank you Tricia! I will wear her higher, I remember it when she is on my front but often don’t put her as high when she’s on my back. I am going to try out a woven soon (I had one for a bit but had to sell it, a didymos, swoon) and see if she will be a happy back rider in that!
    Autumn recently posted..spring is peeking.My Profile

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