I spent two frustrating hours this afternoon trying to convince Sophie that it was nap-time, not jump-on-the-bed-time, not run-out-of-your-bed-time, and definitely not hit-Momma-in-the-face-time. Nap time. Each time I thought I had her calmed down enough to fall asleep, right when she cuddled close to me on her bed and asked me to put my arm around her, right then, she would haul off and slap me in the face. Taking time-outs really does interfere with soothing a baby to sleep, but I really don’t have any other response to her biting me.
When she started this hitting phase, two weeks ago, Ben set up a little-used chair in the living room as a time-out chair. The problem is, she decided she loves that chair. This morning, she hit herself in her own face just so she could sit in that chair. I’ve been having trouble convincing her that she’s welcome to sit there anytime, she doesn’t have to hit anyone to get in that chair, really she doesn’t.
I’ve reverted to the time-out spot that Sophie’s daycare uses: the bathtub. It’s boringly effective. But it does keep her from getting soothed to sleep, when she keeps hitting me.
In San Diego, on days like this, I could put her in the car, and she would fall asleep. Or I’d put her in the stroller, and she would fall asleep. Or I could just leave her in her crib, and sometimes that alone would be enough to calm her down.
Here in Britain, we have no car. We have no stroller. We have no crib. We do have a sling, and I’m planning on using that for tomorrow’s naptime, but, generally, Sophie sleeps on a mattress on the floor. Usually, I actually like this arrangement, because it’s easier to curl up next to her to get her to sleep, and it’s easier for her to get us when she needs us. She doesn’t need to cry for us to come to her crib; she just walks on over to us and gives us a hug. It’s usually nice. But not when she doesn’t want to sleep.
We’ve been struggling with naptimes since Sunday.
I’m almost tempted to give up. Maybe she’s already old enough to have no nap?
But she spent the whole rest of this afternoon whining, yawning, rubbing her eyes, and whining some more. I had to teach her yogic breathing. I had to do a lot of yogic breathing myself.