August 23, 2010

Mac's Sleepless Sunday

Warning: The rant below might make no sense if you don't have small children and/or a compulsion to stay on a routine...

Wishful thinking?

Bradley and I are back in the Sunday School saddle! We started teaching a precious group of 4-year-olds at our church earlier this month and are so excited about it. (We taught this age group before Mac was born, too.)

For this reason, Mac's schedule is a little off on Sundays. Between the 9:15 service, our teaching Sunday School at 11:15 and waiting for our class to be picked up by their parents, Mac will be on campus between three and a half and four hours every week.

This means a nap at church, something he's never been good at, is a must. When he was in daycare earlier this year, he would only doze off briefly in a swing during the course of a day - there was too much to look at!

Church is the same way for him. New faces! New voices! New arms to squeeze him and toys to chew! Even though the cribs are in a quiet, dark, separate room, he's only succumbed to sleep once.

Yesterday was his first four-hour day at church. He usually naps between 10:00 and 10:30, so I tried to put him down myself between services, but that didn't work. And it didn't work for either of his teachers in their separate attempts, so I let the nap dream go.

He had just drifted off in his car seat when we pulled into our driveway, but that was the ONLY sleep he got yesterday.

Yes, you read that correctly. Our sweet two-a-day napper, who enjoys both sleep and alone time in his crib, slept not a wink between 7:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.

He's cutting his first tooth, which could contribute to the problem, but I'm staring down the barrel of twelve months of napless Sundays. And today he's still 0 for 1 napwise. (To be fair, last night he slept for nearly 12 hours. But he typically naps twice in addition to a full night.)

I'm a firm believer that sleep breeds sleep; it isn't entirely surprising that we're on day two without naps. But it is frustrating.

What do I do? I don't want to push the nap issue and make his teachers and other babies miserable if he just can't settle down to sleep. But I also don't want every Sunday (and Monday, it seems) to be ruined by an unhappy, overtired baby.

Once our small group meetings pick back up in a week or two, Mac will have just over two hours between getting home from church and leaving for small group. How can I make that (lunch, rest, playtime, etc) work if he hasn't slept at church?

I was concerned about how Sundays would work for us, being at church for two services and then having small group in the afternoons, but didn't want to use Mac as a reason not to serve. Plenty of families with far more children are serving at Grace - and it's been such a blessing to us that we knew we'd find a way to make it work. So now I'm asking for some insight on how y'all make busy Sundays work.

Sorry for the panicked rant, but I'm befuddled. Since he started sleeping through the night consistently (the day I left my full-time job), Mac has been a wonderful sleeper. I put him down awake, hand him his blanky, leave the room and come back when I hear giggling hours later.

Twice a day, that's been his routine. He's not crying in his crib right now, but he's not sleeping, either. Did someone slip him baby Red Bull?

Any advice?


Susanne said...

Starting new routines can be difficult. I wouldn't give up, though. He needs his naps. Just keep at it... he'll eventually get into the swing of things... and even if he's not sleeping, time alone in his crib is a good thing!

Kathy said...

It still seems a little early (if I'm remembering correctly) to switch to one nap a day, but maybe he's already at the state where he would prefer that? 12-2? Just an idea. Wish I could help more!

StratPack said...

Oh, I understand your frustration so well! It's the reason why we only made it to Sunday School a handful of times during those two nap days. Like you, I notice all of the families with multiple kids who handle the schedule fluctuations with grace and wonder how they do it. Although it's difficult, I noticed that when Ford was in child care and missed the morning nap, we put him down as soon as possible for a very long afternoon nap (sometimes he wouldn't even eat lunch, he was so tired). Then we'd try to get him down super early at night. But, above all else, we would not let him sleep in the car! Somehow, two minutes of car seat snoozing equals an entire day of no sleeping. Lastly, prayer works wonders. God is in the details of Mac's life and cares about your little family, especially as you are serving Him. I'll be thinking about y'all and praying on Sundays for a smooth day!

Unknown said...

My little guy gave up two naps a day very early, so it may be his time as well. Walker has always been a HORRIBLE sleeper, so evidently I didn't do something right there, but maybe you could try the one nap thing and see how it goes?

Perfectly Imperfect said...

I wish I could help, but we're battling a sleep problem at our house as well right now. And I'm frustrated because I'm not home during the day and I feel bad trying to force the sitter to enforce nap times. I don't want her screaming and bothering the other kids, but my time with her is being ruined because she is so tired. Good luck sweetie..

Charlotte said...

Our Sundays are hard as well...our church is at 9 which is RIGHT in the middle of her morning luckily she gets up at 6:30-7 and I have worked it to where she can take a catnap of about an hour before we go to church....this doesn't always go quite as planned but we try! and then we are lucky enough that our small grou doesn't start until 530 so she can usually get a good nap that afternoon...good luck! it's tough no matter how you slice it but you are doing an incredible thing!!


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