DISCLAIMER: This post may or may not be chock full of gratuitous photos of The Peas snoozing…
Ah nap time you fickle beast. Sometimes you’ll find your little angel is all tuckered out and has fallen asleep on the playmat and other times you’re confronted with a screaming banshee who refuses to sleep anywhere but in mummy’s arms while the washing remains languishing in the basket upstairs and the leftover pizza you planned on having for lunch burns in the oven. I love routine, consistency and predictability… all the things that nap time is not. If there’s one thing having babies has taught me (and I know this isn’t just a twin thing!) is to relax and go with the flow.
Over the 5 months that we’ve been together The Peas and I have tried many a strategy for napping. Most approaches will work well for a short time then, with no warning, will just stop working leaving me with grumpy babies and a frazzled brain. What gives?
It’s only Rock and Roll but I like it…
Hospital cribs are the dogs baws. Seriously. A nice little cosy plastic basin which is on rockers above a trolley with shelves and cupboards to store all manner of baby gubbins that can be merrily wheeled about the place. Amazing. I remember seriously considering stealing one to take home at 4am one night as I was lying in my hospital bed, barely awake rocking The Peas to sleep in their crib with my feet. Damn I miss that crib.
I had decided against buying a moses basket for H & C as I would probably have to buy to and not only is that a rather expensive outlay for such a short time, we also don’t have the space for them. They sleep in their cot in our room at night so they wouldn’t even get the use that they normally would for a singleton. We were lucky enough to be given one as part of a bundle of furniture we bought second hand though so I decided to make use of it while I could. Admittedly they looked terribly cute cuddled up together in it but, in all honesty, it was a bit of a pain in the arse. It took up loads of space in the living room and, as predicted the girls outgrew it pretty quickly. They might be good for a Singleton but I wouldn’t bother if you’re expecting twins.
Looking back, on the track, for a little green… beanbag?
How much do I wish I was small enough to nap on a beanbag and look as serene as this pair? Stroke of genius.
Wrap it up!
Swaddling appears to be like marmite for babies; some love it, some hate it. Mine LOVE it. I think it’s something to do with being squished together for so long. Even now, at 5 months, they still have difficulty settling to sleep without being swaddled (not least of all because of their obsession with yanking their dummies out and waving it around while they wail about it no longer being in their mouth). There are a ton of different methods for swaddling with normal blankets and you can also get special swaddling pods in various shapes and sizes but our favourite are the Summer Infant SwaddleMe pods. Genius. (I’ve got a whole other post planned on the different ways and means of swaddling for anyone who’s interested)
Push me, pull me
The single best thing I ever did with The Peas was have a spare buggy set up in the living room. When they outgrew the beanbag not only was this great for getting them used to having a nap in the buggy but it was great when they were both crying and I didn’t have enough hands to cuddle them both together. It also came in handy when we introduced a bottle as it meant one person could feed them easily at the same time. As our living room has patio doors out onto the deck it also made it easy to take nap time outside when the weather was behaving.
2 words… white. noise. You’ll have heard it before, the hoover, the hairdryer, running water, radio static. Loved by babies everywhere and our house is no exception. I found an iPhone app called Sleepy Sounds (which is free!) and (aside from a couple of bugs and features which could be improved) it’s been our best friend. We’ve relied on it too much at times perhaps, we had a few nights with it blaring loud while we tried to sleep nearby as each time we turned it down H & C frustratingly woke up, but it’s probably the single thing that has consistently worked for a prolonged period of time. We still use it now to settle them to sleep at nap time, especially if we get the timing wrong and they’re on the over side of tired.
They’re called comforters and pacifiers for a reason
Nothing saved my sanity more than dummies. They may spoil the odd photo but that’s nothing compared to how much easier they made life for us. It was a last resort, we had tried everything to settle our very colicky girls and I was at my wits end. We held out as long as we could but when we decided to bite the bullet and use them neither of the girls would accept it, I was devastated. I had, naively, expected it to be a fail safe solution. It wasn’t. It took perseverance but I’m so glad we got there in the end (with a cherry shaped teat, if anyone else is struggling!).
I also underestimated comforters and teddies. I had assumed the girls were too young to be bothered about such things but when I noticed that they liked to smoosh their faces into my jumper when they were tired I decided to give it a bash. They loved them instantly. Actually too cute for words so I’ll stop talking and just show you the proof.
Nothing beats mummy’s arms
Yup, the one thing that never fails is cuddled into mummy (or daddy!) for a cheeky wee afternoon kip. Most times I join in. Anyone who has ever held a sleeping baby will know how hard it is to stay awake… with 2 it’s nigh on impossible!!
What’s your secret for a happy nap time? We’re currently going for a combo of swaddling, a heap of blankets, teddies and sleepy sounds and, for the time being, it’s working a treat!