I feel like I’m playing one of those puzzle games. You know the ones with the plastic squares that you have to move around to make a picture? You get a few pieces lined up in place and then, bam, a key square has been knocked totally out of sync with the rest. Bugger. This is kind of what has happened with our bedtime / daytime routine, or to be more specific – napping. Now that we’ve got bedtime totally nailed and it’s woking really well, I’ve found myself in a new battle with Phoenix to get him to nap in the daytime. He quite simply hates sleeping in the day! You just can’t have it all can you?!

Phoenix now goes to bed about 7ish (nice and timely for the start of X Factor!) He now understands what ‘bedtime’ is, and the days of evening screaming seem like a dark and distant memory (I still haven’t quite forgotten them yet, they remain a threatening reminder to not get into bad habits). Plus with ‘sleepy seahorse’ now on the scene (a glowing musical toy = the best gift ever, thanks Liz!), all our night time associations are well set up, and with those soothing tones he gets off to sleep extra quick these days (that reminds me, the batteries in ‘sleepy seahorse’ are running out and it sounds more like something out of a horror film than a bedtime soother at the moment, must replace!) This excellent bedtime behaviour is all very well *round of applause for Phoenix*, but daytime napping has become an entirely different story *loud boos to Phoenix!*

As I’ve been out and about from very early on after he was born, he’s tended to have really long naps in the pram; 2-3 hours. But as I’ve been ill recently, for the first time in ages I’ve been at home all day and I’ve noticed he’s really not willing to nap in the day unless he’s being pushed around or rocked like a King. Napping in the pram is all well and good but there are going to be times when I’m not out for hours on end, especially with winter drawing closer, plus I really have to do some housework at some point! So this week after spotting the signs of over tiredness and enduring a few sleep-refusing strops, I faced up to a question I had been avoiding for some time – do I dummy? Hmmmmm…there’s something about dummies that I really don’t like and, in an ideal world, would have loved to have gone without. We’ve survived for 8 weeks without even thinking about using one, but with this new daytime nap issue I threw caution to the wind and gave it a go. It’s had mixed results. He’ll only really do it properly when he’s in the mood for sleeping, and when he does give it a go it has instant sleep results – I can see why lots of parents use them! However if he’s resisting the nap he’ll behave like I’m shoving a hot chilli down his throat, and put on a right performance. I think he’s getting more used to it, but it’s a process that is requiring a lot of patience on my part to make work, and I’m not entirely sure it’s worth it. Last week I spent one hour 20 mins putting the dummy in, out, shake it all about, to finally get him down for an afternoon nap when, boom! 15 mins later he wakes up all smiles and is like ‘hey I’ve napped, it’s playtime’! Will someone please explain to my darling boy that 15 mins does not constitute a decent nap!

I really don’t want the dummy to become something that’s stuck to his face 24/7 and I hand on heart refuse to let this happen! (famous last words). He’s only allowed it if he’s lying down in his bed and so far he hasn’t needed it any other time other than sleeping as all in all he’s very chilled out happy chappy. I have explained the dummy rule quite clearly to him, so I hope it went in.

We went to Bournemouth last weekend and had a lovely time catching up with friends and family. As a wannabe mermaid myself, it was a big moment showing Phoenix the sea for the first time! It was a bit of a week of a firsts for Phoenix as it was also his first sleep out of home and he did great; he was a little star and to be honest was being a bit of show off all weekend 😉 So that’s another box ticked, although we’re definitely going to need a bigger car if we keep going away for weekends – so much equipment! Gone are the days are throwing a pair of flip flops and a frisbee in the boot! He’s also just getting over his first cold! I don’t think I’m going to be very good with all the childhood illnesses as just listening to him all bunged up and snotty was making me feel sooooo sad 🙁 I hate not being able to do anything! Ben told me to suck his snot out to clear his airways – has anyone actually ever done this?! I did think about it but was worried I might suffocate him, so I invested in some saline drops instead and they seem to have done the trick!


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  • Kirsty says:

    Emma, I am with you on the day naps. We had family stay with us weeks 3-6 and Eamonn got used to sleeping in pram, sling or arms. I’d just started training him out of it when he got a cold then bronchiolitis. Back to training him and I would endure 2 hours of screaming baby, maybe followed by a nap but often not. I was literally at the end of my tether and ended up every night crying and howling about why I’d had a baby. Which obviously affected his night sleeps, so I coped worse… Continue ad infinitum.

    I got some great advice from a doc at the Childrens hospital: he won’t kill himself from lack of sleep. If he’s happy, leave him alone and let him play.

    E now drops off a couple of times a day, usually as I carry him around doing housework to stop him winging about being tired. He’ll feed, play happily for 1-1.5 hours then whinge so I carry him or hold him and he’ll drop off for half an hour & wake up happy until his next feed. He also now sleeps 12 hours overnight with only one waking for a feed. He’ll still sleep when we’re out.

    I guess what I’m saying is don’t get to where I was. Give yourself a break. Phoenix is smart enough to do what’s right for him.

    • Thanks Kirsty. He sounds quite similar to Phoenix – he’s a really good sleeper at night and to be honest I’d prefer to have an evening and nights sleep. Over the last few days he has got into a good morning nap routine so we’re getting there!
      Hope you and E are well x

  • Great post! You should definitely follow up on this topic!?

  • Jess says:

    Loved your comparison about phoenix spitting out the dummy as if you were trying to put a chilli in his mouth! I felt the same about using one but after a few hours of crying decided that as long as she only has it for 6 months to a year then it would be okay, I did not consider the fact that she would react in such a way! Gagging on it, screaming and the look on her face was of pure disgust! Still try now but my 5 week old little girl is having none of it!

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