Enjoying the moment.

When Navi was born I had a hard time sharing her. Even from day one, I didn't want anyone holding her but me. Anyone feeding her but me. Anyone changing her but me. In the first few days after her birth when I was still in a lot of pain and not allowed to go up and down the stairs, I remember crying in my room while my husband took her downstairs to meet with family members. I missed her. It had been five minutes, she was thirty feet away and I missed her. I needed her. What if they were holding her wrong? What if she was hungry? What if she wanted a peaceful place to take a nap? I felt like I needed to have every single experience, no matter how big or how small, all to myself in order to be the best mama I could be to her and to have my soul at peace. It is out of this need and this compulsion to spend every second with her that began our journey of the holding lap nap.

Being my first born child, I was/am able to devote all of my waking time (and lots of my non-waking time) to Navi. She is truly my entire focus and when she was a newborn I would spend most of my day carrying her around either in my arms or a baby carrier and rocking her in her room. She ate on demand and would usually doze off while I burped her or while eating. Then I would hold her and rock her while she slept. I loved watching her eyelids flutter when she was dreaming and having her little hand wrapped around my finger. I never wanted to lay her down because there wasn't anything I'd rather be doing than snuggling her warm, soft, tiny body.

Fast forward a year later and little Navi still needs to be rocked to sleep for every nap. She can be laid down in her crib after falling asleep (sometimes), but will only sleep a max of 30 minutes this way and will then wake up grumpy having not finished her nap. When I hold her, on most days, she will nap for around an hour or so (she only takes one nap a day now). Yes, I'm sure with time, persistence and a lot of tears from both of us I could probably retrain her to fall asleep by herself and nap in her crib on her own. I know textbook-wise, that would probably be the "best" way for her to be spending her naptime. Maybe this is selfish of me, but that isn't what I want. I don't want her to nap on her own. Not yet, anyway. Yeah, I said it. The truth is I still love watching her eyelids flutter while she dreams and snuggling her close. Granted she spills completely out of my lap and in all honesty, it doesn't look that comfortable, but it works for us. I cherish our quiet time together and just want to soak in every little nap snuggle I can get because I know that if I'm blessed with another baby, I wont have the luxury of holding him/her snuggled up while they sleep because I'll be too busy chasing after Ms. Navi.

Granted there have been times when Navi would go through "sleep regressions" and naptime would become more of a stressful time than a peaceful time. Around the four month mark I remember Googling "baby only naps while held", "how to get baby to fall asleep on their own" and reading through dozens of forums with women talking about the various sleep training methods they've used with their children. I also remember coming across one mama who urged another that was fretting over her daughter still needing to be held for a nap at six months old to just relax and enjoy her time with her. She said her son napped while being held until he was 18 months (at the time I thought this was insanity) because he would wake the second he was laid down. Then, one day he was just able to be rocked and laid down and slept better and longer than he had in weeks. I remember thinking that eighteen months of this woman's life was spent holding her baby while he slept and then one day, it was all over, he moved on. He grew up. One day, Navi will move on, she will grow up. I realized then that the lap nap wouldn't last forever but for the time being, it was (is) a part of our day so I might as well embrace it and enjoy the moment.

Despite any tough times, times when I would think "It would be so much easier if she could just go to sleep on her own" or "I could be doing ______ if she would just sleep in her crib" or "SoAndSo must have so much extra time to _______ because she has three hours everyday to herself when Baby is napping!", I still wouldn't trade these times of quiet snuggles with my baby girl for anything. Dysfunctional? You betcha!!! But some of the best parenting advice I ever received is: if it works for you and your family, then it works. And when Navi is sleeping peacefully in my arms, that little girl that is moving at the speed of light towards toddlerhood and big girl land, is still the tiny baby that was laid on my chest and held in her mamas arms for the very first time, and it works for us.

I will enjoy the moments with Navi- no matter how big, or how small. Because sooner or later, they will pass. Things that once seemed so big, will be oh so small. I won't remember that a load of laundry sat unfolded for a whole day, or that the sink had dishes in it from sun up to sun down. What I will remember are those times when I got to share all of Navi's experiences with her- the first feel of the grass, the first smell of a flower, and the sweet dreams of far away lands- and have her be little for just a little while longer.

8 comments

  1. Thank you so much for sharing! This makes me feel much better about our lap napping. :-) If anyone out there needs more support, the following link shows pages and pages of mamas who are doing the same thing :-D http://community.babycenter.com/post/a32495831/dirty_lil_secret

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    1. Thanks for the great link Sarah! It makes me so happy to know that you've found a little comfort in this post. I'm glad I was able to help out another mama thats also on this slippery lap-nap slope ;-)

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  2. i really loved this post. Probably because you wrote exactly what I feel about the time I spend with my baby. I am a newer mom and know how I want to raise my son. But I struggle with other people constantly telling me I need to put him down (mostly my husbands family members) and not knowing what to say without it sounding rude. Did you deal with that? I'm glad I found you through IG! Love your blog and your sweet Navi is a doll.

    Lindsay
    deerlindsay.com

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    1. Gahhh Linds I'm just now seeing this comment?! So glad we've been able to connect... you're the best! xoxo

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  3. What a reality check… Just posted on a baby website about how my dear girl won't nap… and I happened to stumble upon this… Only a few weeks ago also stumbled upon your blog about pumping. Jeez it seems like you're answering a lot of questions for me… Thanks :)

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    1. Awww thanks so much for the sweet note Jenbee! Good luck with your sweet girl... the days are long but the years are short :) xoxo

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  4. I have been blog stalking you for like an hour. You're the best. I have to ask... How do you pronounce Navi? Like "Navy"? Or "Nah-vee?"

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    1. ahhh!! thank you so much my dear! <3 and its like "Nah-vee" :)

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