A friend of mine recently posted a link in Facebook about this project:
It is one mother’s attempt to make nap-time into a work of art.
Or, as the mother-artist said here, “Everyday just before Wengenn’s nap, I would imagine him being the main character in one of my favorite episodes, and ‘paint’ a background setting with plain clothes, stuffed animals, and other common household materials, just like how an artist would with her paint brushes.”
I love this idea.
What I love even more, though, is the idea of having a baby who would take so many naps that I could create 100 photos out of them.
Nico is many things. Cute, inquisitive, funny, upside-down beaver-toothed. But she is not much of a napper. Or a sleeper for that matter.
This wasn’t always the case. There was a time not all that long ago when she slept for twelve hours straight at night. We bathed her and put her down around 8 p.m. and she’d wake up with a sweet smile around the same time in the morning.
Marta and I would greet her with a smile in return. Because we had slept soundly and felt well rested and in love with the world.
Now, we still greet her with a smile. But somewhere deep inside of both of us is an exhausted, droopy-faced rag doll of a mother praying with all her might that one day soon her darling darling daughter will learn to sleep again. And then we smile again. Because Nico really is cute in the morning–even if she has kept you up all night long.
It all started about a month ago with Nico waking around 5 a.m. for a feeding. Marta had heard this might happen. She had heard it was related to growth spurts. And Nico is in the 99th percentile when it comes to length (something I am proud of as a very short person who has always felt like I deserved to be tall).
Because we had heard this was normal, we tried to go with the flow. I would wake up with Marta and change Nico’s diaper. Then she would feed her. And then we would all go back to sleep.
But then Nico started waking up around 1 a.m. as well. She was hungry then, too. We went with the flow on that one, too. But then it shifted to around 11 a.m. and then another feeding at 2 or 3 a.m. and then another at 6 or so.
How much growth spurt can one baby have! my tired rag-doll self screamed. Then I smiled at Nico, of course. Because she is cute. So cute. So so cute. And so so so so wide awake.
Recently we took Nico to the pediatrician and we mentioned this sudden change in routine. The woman said it was normal for babies to start waking up in the middle of the night for an extra feeding, especially if they were going through a growth spurt. Then she asked how long it had been going on. We said about a month.
She looked like she was about to laugh. Then she told us we might try to start weening Nico off the feedings. She doesn’t need that many at this age, she said. What she was clearly thinking was “suckers!”
Because as cute as these little rascals may be, something they are also learning to be around this age is manipuladores, as we call Nico behind her back. When we are at our tiredest, of course. Because, in case I haven’t already mentioned this, she is cute. And she makes us smile. When we are awake enough to smile.
So in the past few days we’ve been taking our pediatrician’s advice. We’ve also taken some advice from this blogger. Even though I realize she has no credentials whatsoever. Her post included this chart, which comforted me by making our sleepless nights seem scientific.
Or at least making “awake” seem like something star-worthy.
So far the changes we’ve made based on doctor and blogger recommendations seems to be working. We try to put Nico to bed in the most neutral setting possible. We have stopped giving her a pacifier or turning on music or that magical glow-light mobile Marta bought her.
The thought behind these deprivations is that (according to credible seeming blogger with no credentials), if your baby has these pleasant stimuli when she falls asleep, she will be alarmed when she wakes up in the middle of the night and those stimuli are not there.
So the solution is to give her nothing. Which seems logical enough. If it works.
It is 10 p.m. here, though, and she has just begun to cry as I finish this post. Which means maybe not.