In Action: Flexibility and Mistakes

Mom holding baby

This post outlines a major blunder I did yesterday and the measures I took to correct it.

Yesterday I had one of those moments when you just wonder how you could, frankly, be so dumb. I put Kaitlyn down for her afternoon nap and she took her time falling asleep. I was preoccupied and worried because I found out a girl she was near the day before had just broken out in Chickenpox. Kaitlyn is not quite one, so hasn’t been vaccinated for that yet. My husband and I will soon be taking a trip without the kids, so she could likely get it during the time we are gone. I was (and am) just worried about my little girl.

So as I worried, Kaitlyn remained awake. She stayed awake for her entire nap! This is something that is one hundred percent out of character for her. Sometimes she takes a while to fall asleep, and sometimes she wakes up early, but never does she stay awake the whole time.

Here is where I was dumb. I should have gone in to check on her after 30 minutes because it is so uncharacteristic for her. She was perfectly happy and obviously having a fun time doing whatever she was doing. I didn’t even think about why she wasn’t falling asleep.

When it came time for her next feeding, I walked into the room only to see her sitting up in her bed. Now, most 12 month old babies I am sure have already crossed this hurdle, and I thought we had. We had one nap one day where she sat up and had a disrupted nap, but that was so long ago I thought we were done. But apparently she hasn’t really mastered the art of laying back down after sitting up.

Now, normally this wouldn’t be a huge deal for her. She is such a happy person and her missing a nap isn’t a cranky-sentence for the rest of the family. I would normally have just put her to bed early, or perhaps even just done a short evening nap. However, yesterday was picture day for her 12 month photos. She happens to be afraid of the camera they use where we go. A tired Kaitlyn is a Kaitlyn who is a Mama’s girl and wants to sit in Mama’s lap. My vision of her 12 month photos did not include me, so I knew I needed to do something about this.

I got her out of her bed at 3:30, fed her, changed her diaper, then put her right back down to sleep at 3:45. I wasn’t sure if this would work, but I needed to try it. She fussed for about 1-2 minutes (which is very uncharacteristic of her, but I knew she had to be very, very tired). She then fell asleep and was able to take a 1 hour 15 minute nap before I needed to get her up in time to get ready and leave for pictures. Success!

I share that story to illustrate several points. Point one: everyone makes mistakes. I messed up in not checking on her. You can be sure that won’t happen again. Point two: don’t be afraid to tweak your normal schedule according to your situation. That is flexibility. Point three: always be on the lookout for changes in your child. Watch for changes they are going through, from teething to new skills.

Yesterday afternoon, Kaitlyn was once again not falling asleep for her afternoon nap. I am glad to report that I did get smarter and learned from my previous mistake. I went to check on her and she was just laying in her crib talking. I told her it was time to go to sleep. As I did so, I noticed the smell. Sure enough, poopy diaper! I was glad I checked on her and didn’t leave her to lay in a poopy diaper. I changed it and put her back in bed. She was quiet for a bit, then mad that I left her in her bed, then went to sleep (though it did end up being only a 45 minute nap. Apparently she wasn’t extremely overly tired yet like the day before so she didn’t nap well, but at least she napped).