Thursday, December 22, 2011

How to Nap Baby while Caring for Toddler

Uh, I'm trying to take a nap here...

Isn't that the million dollar question?  Basically, how do you give your baby the attention they need while not ignoring your other children's needs for attention?  My toddler suggested we get four mommies: one for baby, one for him, one for daddy, and one who goes to Yoga.  

I posed the query to my Facebook friends, and got a pretty good array of answers.  There were the technology answers like put the older child in front of the TV/ netflix/ iPad app/ etc.  Then there were a few creative answers, like set the older child up with a snack or an art project, then slip away to put the little one down for a nap.  I liked the inclusive answer, which was to allow the older child to be in the room, as long as they were silent and non-disruptive.  

We have tried a few different options, and none have been ideal.  I feel like the toddler is constantly waiting while I am in the other room with his brother.  Then I let him in the room, and he finds it excruciatingly difficult to be quiet, so then he has to leave again.  I am trying to tell myself that he is learning patience and that he is not the center of the world.  It must be hard on a little fellow, although I do agree that he must learn this at some point.  Our best days are those when daddy is not only home, but more interesting than mommy.  

Another solution we are working on is to time the nap just right, and to have a short nap time routine that is the same every time in order for him to fall asleep more quickly.  This seems to be working, although our current struggle is to get the baby to remain asleep for longer than about 45 minutes (he is now just over 6 months old).  He will go back to sleep if we do the routine all over again at his first awakening, but the toddler is then asked, without warning this time, to remain in his current activity or swap to a solo activity, when mama runs into the other room to do the nap routine again.

Do any of you have any ideas that could help? Preferably without technological assistance.

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