Look at this face.
It’s the face of an angel, right?
Wrong! That, my friends, is the face of a baby who WON’T NAP!!!
OK, I may be slightly exaggerating. Matthew does nap … sometimes. For instance, he has a strong tendency to fall asleep in the car about three minutes before we arrive at our destination. When I take the boys for a walk, he will doze off as soon as I turn the corner onto our block to return home (whereas Nate will snooze for the entire hour).
At home, Matt will nap for more than an hour—if and when we can finally get him to go down. And, trust me—that is no easy feat. For the past week or so, Matt has been fighting naps as if they are the plague. We’ve had a longtime morning routine in which the boys wake up and play on their tummies for half an hour, drink bottles, hang out in their bouncy seats in the kitchen while we eat breakfast, get dressed, play for another half an hour, eat oatmeal, and then NAP! Nate still sticks nicely to this routine. But Matt seems to have forgotten the last part of it. And it’s not pleasant.
When Matt skips his nap, he becomes overtired. When he’s overtired, he screams—LOUDLY. Then he’ll begin rolling from side to side on the floor, rubbing his eyes and gnawing on his sleeve. So we’ll take him into his room and rock him. He’ll respond by screaming even louder. He’ll flail, he’ll kick, he’ll try to jump out of our arms. We’ll put him in his crib, where he’ll begin to roll around and babble loudly. We’ll leave the room, but after listening to him whine for what seems like eons, we’ll surrender and go back in to get him. And this is what we’ll find:
We’ll take Matt out to the living room and he’ll resume playing, but every 30 seconds or so his head will plunk down out of fatigue. He’ll struggle to pick it back up again, swipe halfheartedly at a toy, then fall again. And the whole process begins again and again, until he finally surrenders to slumber.
It’s exhausting. It’s also difficult logistically because the twins share a room. So, if Nate is napping, we have to decide whether it’s worth the risk to try to put Matt down—if he screams, he could wake Nate up. But we really like when the boys nap at the same time so we can get other things done. We’ve tried putting Matt down for naps in a Pack and Play in our bedroom when Nate is asleep in the nursery, but that doesn’t work, either—the novelty of his surroundings is just too stimulating for him, and he’ll look around and laugh rather than go to sleep.
We are hoping this is just a phase, as other parents have told us their kids went through this at some point. And generally, the boys are still good sleepers at night—just not as good as they used to be. They used to sleep all night from about 7:30 PM until 6:15 AM. Now, they each wake up at least once at night, and they seem to have decided that 5 AM is a good wake-up time. They are both teething, though—Nate just cut his very first tooth, and Matt is working on his third—so maybe this tough period will pass once they are in less pain. Until then, I guess Keith and I will just have to walk around with a few extra bags under our eyes!