When Joanne’s kid was a toddler, she emailed me her take on “how to cope when baby doesn’t nap.” When I was in this phase, I typically felt like I was spending the whole afternoon trying to make the nap happen, stewing in a power struggle. I had not yet discovered my approach of SURRENDER.
Joanne’s take on surrendering to the nap fail is a good one.
There are days when my little person does not want to nap. Sometimes, this will happen a couple days in a row. On the days when I’m feeling stretched, I treat myself. Here’s how it works:
Step 1: Take wide-eyed baby and their favorite travel size toy and get in the car.
step 2: turn on some tunes. My suggestions: Norah Jones, Feist, David Gray…and depending on the album, maybe even Tom Petty. keep it mellow and upbeat. (Omit green Day and other rockers for this trip.)
step 3: let the adventure begin. After everyone is all buckled-up in automobile and the tunes are rolling, pick a starting destination that makes you happy. I like the Starbucks drive-thru on San Pablo Avenue in El Cerrito. other drive-in places work just as well. The drive-in saves you from having to lug baby in and out of the car. buy coffee, tea, diet-decaf soda, or even water. Doesn’t matter, just pick something refreshing that you enjoy.
step 4: wash your automobile in a drive-thru. The windows will be great and shinny and you’ll feel sparkly clean too.
step 5: find a place to take in a view. I like to drive to the top of the hills and marvel at the sweeping view of the bay. Take a few deep breaths and feel your energy return.
More typically than not, my little person nods off to sleep in the midst of our travels. Ikke alltid. even if he isn’t asleep when we get home, I feel recharged and a lot more prepared for whatever challenges lay ahead for the rest of the day.
Don’t worry if your baby doesn’t transfer from the automobile to crib without waking up. Bring some reading material. Roll down the automobile windows, kick back and read while he continues to catch his zzz’s.
Depending on your neighborhood, this little exercise is equally effective with a pair of good walking shoes and a comfy stroller. Take along headphones with upbeat music, get hold of a latte, and stroll around to all that places that make you feel good.
Be kind and gentle to yourself.
Wow – I’d love to collect ideas for people who are taking care of a three-year old who doesn’t nap. how can we be kind and gentle to ourselves when a little elf keeps emerging from his bedroom every 30 seconds asking if “rest time” is over? Tanker?
Related Rookie mommy activities (in the spirit of being kind to yourself even without a nap-skipper):
Activity #94: Drive-through
Activity #212: enjoy the automobile from afar
Activity #238: Pretend you’re in Europe
Thanks to my pal Joanne for sharing her wisdom. The photo is hers.