So, not two weeks ago when I wrote about how Will was five months old, I mentioned that I hoped we would transition away from using the swaddle blanket at naptimes. After all, he looked like this in it:
(I know that is the third time I’ve posted this picture in the last four weeks, but I can’t help it.)
About two days after I wrote that, I had to cut my shower short because I peeked at the monitor to see that Will had rolled over — swaddle and all — in his crib! And that was the end of our swaddling days. Somewhat unceremoniously our much-loved swaddle blankets were tossed in with Will’s too-small clothes to await his future sibling.
That afternoon, Will’s “naps” consisted of two five-minute post-nursing snoozes. It was brutal. Will seemed bewildered as to why he couldn’t sleep, but every time I put him in his crib, he’d kick and wiggle and scoot around in the crib — wide awake. I knew then that, barely a week after we started to glimpse a regular long afternoon nap, our days of peaceful 2+ hour naps were probably over.
It hasn’t been as bad as all that, but we’re definitely back where we were three months ago when I never knew how long a nap was going to last. What used to be a reliable 90 minutes every morning was maybe 25 very short minutes this morning! Yesterday’s treadmill run was cut short when he woke up after 30 minutes, so this morning I took advantage of his 6 a.m. feeding to run early after he went back to bed. But even so, I had my eye on the monitor the whole time! And even right now as I write this, he’s been sleeping for over an hour — and I have no idea when he might wake up.
The thing that has struck me about all this, though, is that it doesn’t bother me like it used to. I found Will’s lack of routines in the early days tiring and frustrating, but at some point — I don’t know when — it just became … life. Will has never had a regular routine of structured naptimes, and his feeding schedule just in the last few weeks has started to settle into predictable times. It’s still a challenge, to be sure, but what was once a stressful struggle is now just another part of our day.
Yeah, it’s hard to make plans with people when I don’t know what next Thursday will look like. No, I don’t love having to get off the treadmill (or jump out of the shower!) ahead of schedule. But it just doesn’t feel like the end of the world anymore. It just feels like life.
I assume Will is going to figure out how to nap without a swaddle blanket at some point. And I imagine that eventually he will be settled into a regular routine. But for right now, I am going to do my best to just enjoy the ride. After all (despite the fact that I’ve devoted 500 words to the subject) there is more to our lives than waking and sleeping!