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Several times per day, I find myself trapped in the rocker-glider in my baby's bedroom because my 9-month-old has finally succumbed to a nap. And I don't dare move a muscle.
Anyone who has a high-needs baby like mine (or just a crappy napper) has probably found themselves in this same situation. If I try setting her in the crib too soon, I risk waking her. But I have things to do. But she's so cute and snuggly. But there's no way I can hold her for the entire nap, right?
Here are 7 thoughts every parent has while trapped under a sleeping baby:
1) "Low battery? Nooooooo!" The only thing worse than a dying phone when you're struck holding a sleeping baby is being able to see your decently-charged phone, but it's just out of reach.
2) "I think my bladder might explode." So often, I don't realize I have a full bladder until I'm trapped in a chair with a snoozing baby on my chest. There's something about the weight and warmth of a sleeping baby – and that back-and-forth motion of our glider – that makes me hyper aware of my bursting bladder.
3) "I really should be doing X right now." Working, cleaning, eating, peeing. You name it. Nap time is the one time of day for me to be productive without little ones running/crawling everywhere. If I can't knock out some writing, or keep the housework mildly afloat, then I'll be stuck playing catch-up until midnight.
4) "Ack! My arm is falling asleep!" If my 9-month-old nods off while breastfeeding, the arm supporting her weight starts to get tingly after a while. Or, if my legs are crossed and/or propped up, my feet start falling asleep. Re-positioning myself could cause a domino effect of cranky baby hell for the remainder of the day.
5) "Maybe I can set her down now? Dare I try?" If I set her down in the crib too soon, she'll immediately roll over, sit up, look at me like I just punched her, and start crying. If I wait too long, though, she could wake up and be "too rested" to properly fall back asleep. Except, 15-minute power naps typically result in more crankiness than skipping a nap altogether. So I have to time crib transfer just right, or we're both screwed.
6) "I give up. I'll just hold her for the entire nap." Lately, this is what happens: I've been stuck holding my snoozing baby for too long, fail at transferring her to the crib, then she falls back asleep on me. I look at the clock and say, "Screw it." Surrender.
7) "Someday, I won't be able to do this anymore." When the bulk of nap time is happening on my chest or in my lap, it's easy to feel defeated and frustrated. Will I ever be free of this imprisonment? At times like these, I take a deep breath and remind myself this phase won't last forever. Before I know it, this trying time in our lives will pass – and maybe I'll even miss it a little. So for now, I cherish the sweet baby snuggles, pat her back and soak in the moment.
With that said, I really do have to pee ...
Photos: Michelle Stein
This post was originally published in January 2017.
Opinions expressed by parent contributors are their own.