If there is just one lesson you learn very quickly as a mother of young children, it is that once your children, finally, finally, finally fall asleep, you do not want them waking up. And you will inflict bodily harm and anything or anyone that wakes them up. I have thus far pretty good sleepers, but I am kind of a sleep Nazi and will stick pretty rigidly to a routine so that my children nap well. This could have something to do with my firm belief that naptime equals me time. So I am determined to have good nappers.
Sometimes however your kids foil you plans. What I really hate is when you get stuck driving around naptime. Suddenly you look back and your kid is dead asleep and you know the next few minutes are crucial to your enjoyment of the rest of the day. One false move and the transfer from the car inside results in a child who has woken up after a 20 minute nap somehow under the impression that this will suffice for the daily nap. You try and throw them in the crib, but they aren’t having any of that. They feel their nap is done and it is time to par-ty. For about and hour until you find yourself stuck in meltdown city for the rest of the afternoon. Yippee!!
So here is my trick to keep that kid asleep so you can have your 2 hours of peace and quiet to surf People.com, I mean clean your house and do your bible study. First of all, obviously if they are still little enough to be in an infant carrier, they stay in the infant carrier. If they are in a normal car seat, I have a multiple step process.
- I am a firm believer in the pacifier. If it has fallen out, make sure it goes back in. Otherwise the second you move them they will wake up so quickly it will seem like you have injected caffeine directly into their veins.
- Bribe any older children in the car with toys, food, money…whatever works to keep them absolutely silent and to keep their hands to themselves.
- Remove shoes in the car. Throw them on the floor which will probably come back to haunt you later as you search your house from top to bottom looking for their shoes.
- This is the golden tip: Remove the car seat straps very gently and then take the coat off while they are still snuggled in the seat. Just slip their arms out as gently as possible. The car seat will cradle them better than if you try and wrestle that thing off while they are in your arms or lay them down on the changing table prying it off while shushing your baby and pleading with her to please fall back asleep (obviously we have tried a few methods that weren’t so successful in the past).
- Pray all the way to their room, even more as you lay them in bed and then again as you go tiptoeing out of the room being careful to avoid that one spot on the hardwood floor that always creaks when you step on it.
- Give older child chocolate, toy, money, hours worth of TV to reward her for not disturbing her sibling.
- Plop down on the couch with a glass of lemonade and your laptop to enjoy a few minutes of heaven. Aaah.
That’s what works for me. For more fabulous tips head over to Rocks in my Dryer.