I would say 3/4 of the advice I got when I was pregnant centered around sleep schedules. The advice was varied: "Never let them sleep in the bed with you," "The family bed works wonders," "Sleep when the baby sleeps," "Rigid sleep-training will help you in the end," and so on.
Clearly, sleep is important to everyone.
But something about it has always nagged at me. Is my life supposed to revolve around my baby's sleep schedule?
I don't mean to sound selfish, if that does. This is a genuine question.
The Gorilla and I have been fairly vigilant with bedtime (though it has taken a few adjustments as we get to know Pigtail and her needs), and she has always woken up about the same time every day. She's a decent sleeper, and since she's started solids she is sleeping through the night. So I feel good about nighttime.
Naps, however. Eh.
Her morning nap is consistent. She goes down without protest two hours to the dot of when she woke up. She'll sleep for 45 minutes to an hour and then she's up and happy. I use this time to shower and get ready for the day. She wakes up from this morning nap around 10:30am and that's when all schedule goes out the window.
Like the rest of America, we have things to do. Errands. Chores. Life. In a perfect world, we would do these things right as she wakes up from the morning nap and be back in time for an early afternoon nap. But this isn't a perfect world. I'm not usually ready to leave when she wakes up, or the errands take hours longer than expected (everything in Los Angeles takes twice as long as you think it will), so she ends up cat napping in the car.
But even when we're home, life gets in the way. A unexpected phone call or visitor and I'm behind on feeding her, then behind on sleeping, then we're all cranky. On the days I have help, our sweet nanny Sara cannot let Pigtail fuss in her crib for even two minutes. She just can't. It's not in Sara. And what am I supposed to say to someone who loves my little girl so much that she can't stand her to cry?
Now, I wouldn't bring this up if there wasn't a problem. As Pigtail gets older and more aware, her cranky-pants-ness shows if we skip this second nap. I can see a huge difference in our early evening attitude when she's slept well throughout the day and when she hasn't.
So there's the conundrum: How do you do what you need to do during the day AND maintain a healthy sleep schedule? Is this something I should strive for just let live? I can't seem to re-arrange the order of our day to fill everyone's needs.
Thoughts and suggestions appreciated.