Ever since we met her in Fuling, Gioia has been taking two naps a day: one in the morning and one in the afternoon. This was the status quo for eight months, and it was working well until lately. She has been going down fine for her first nap, but she fights the second one like a champ. It takes her 45 minutes to an hour to fall asleep, which in turn pushes her wake up time to late in the day. Which interferes with dinner. Also, she has been staying awake in her crib at night longer than usual, sometimes all the way through her music. Not good.
Something had to be done.* Specifically, we need to make the inevitable transition to one nap a day. The key to success (we think) will be keeping her up through the morning without too much crankiness and tears. After all, her body is still used to going back to sleep at around 10 am.
The plan: keep her awake and distracted. Today was the first day. Operation Nap. We got up, went out for breakfast, came home and showered (I know - gross), and then went for a strategic, distracting walk in the park.
By the time we made it out the door for the park (10:45 am), Gioia was a little woozy. She demanded that we take bunny along, teetering on the edge of tears. We quickly caved in, even though we generally do not like for bunny to leave the house. God forbid he go AWOL. That would be a disaster akin to a nuclear war. Thankfully, no bunny was left behind on this mission.
It was a gorgeous day for the park - the sun was bright, but the wind was gentle and cool. When it got too hot, we ducked beneath the shade where students were practicing drumming exercises and old ladies were doing tai chi. We saw fish and birds, and Gioia danced around with bunny, tap tap taping in her new shoes.
At 12:20, we headed back home for lunch. She ate well and was yawning by the end. She went down at 1:30 with no fuss at all. And then, she slept for two hours and ten minutes. Enough time for me to take a deliciously long nap as well. You know - sleep when the baby sleeps and all that. Ha.
It was a success, this first day of Operation Nap. Let's see how tomorrow goes. And tomorrow. More pictures of today's outing are available here.
*She also is going to be attending Montessori school every morning (9 to 12) starting in January, so she needs to learn to be active in the morning and save the sleeping for later in the day. Truth be told, though, this decision was not 100% driven by Gioia's needs. We have a beach trip coming up next week and a larger family vacation to Turkey in December. Two naps a day is not so convenient for traipsing around Istanbul. Like I said, something had to be done.