If you read this blog regularly, you know that I am often vowing to nap train my son and then chickening out. It's not that he doesn't nap. He does - he just naps for very short periods. As such, he needs to nap often because he gets tired quickly. I've always had a suspicion that the reason for this is that I rock him to sleep at nap time. So when his short sleep cycle is over, he doesn't know how to fall back asleep on his own.
So I've known for a long time is that what he needs is some good old-fashioned cry-it-out sleep training at nap time. Having survived sleep training for his nights, I knew how hard it would be, so I procrastinated. Having to listen to your baby cry while you're home alone, more than once a day, is simply brutal.
But here we are today. He's almost 11 months old, I'm going back to work in a month and we're still no better off than we were.
So yesterday I started the nap training. I'm determined to see it through this time. But let me tell you, it is rough. He may be tired, but he is perfectly capable of standing in his crib and crying for an hour straight if I let him. And he does. Sometimes he'll fall asleep after 45 - 55 minutes of crying or sometimes he won't fall asleep at all.
I've never felt this much tension in my shoulders. I've had a headache since yesterday morning. My nerves are worn completely thin. But I am determined. I will get through this. I have to remind myself that it is worthwhile and that the suffering will pay off the way it has for our nights. Right? Right? I need all the encouragement I can get here.
Even if he doesn't extend his nap length, which is possible, I at least want him to be able to fall asleep on his own. Because I won't be around to rock him to sleep every day very soon...
In the meantime, misery loves company so I'm blogging about it. If you haven't had children yet or your babies are still very young, take my word and don't make the same mistake I did. Let your baby learn to fall asleep on their own and you will be a much happier parent for it!
Have you tried nap training? Any advice for me? Wish me luck...