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The Monster in my Daughter’s Crib

I just had a really tough hour and a half.  I know many of you parents have been through this, but maybe not as late in the game as I have.

The Bean used to nap like a charm – when she was tiny.  I could set my watch by the hour and a half that she was up between naps.  As she got older, she still went down well, and I was the envy of some in my playgroup.  I’m not sure exactly when it changed.  A year ago, I was attempting to use the Cry It Out (CIO) method to get her down for naps, and I gave up pretty quickly when I was spending as much time crying as she was.

Over the past few months, it has gotten so the only way I can get her down for a nap is by taking her for a drive in the car.  She transfers from her car seat to her crib like a dream, and will often sleep for 2 or more hours after falling asleep that way.  I’m always out and about, so it is sometimes pretty handy that she falls asleep on our way home, but other times it’s a drag to have to head back home instead of finishing my errands.

Lately, though, I’ve been feeling imprisoned by the need to drive her around for nap time – not to mention the extra expense and pollution associated with driving the car.  It has also made me feel like I’ve failed in some way.  I “should” myself a lot:  SHOULD have gotten her on a schedule at 6 months like (the mythical) everyone else; SHOULD have been tougher with the CIO a year ago; SHOULD sacrifice whatever I need to to make this right.  But what I feel like I’m sacrificing, when I try to get her to nap without the drive, is my own sanity.

Today, I decided we were going to give it another try.  I’m not sure why I thought it was a good idea – maybe it’s because I’d just had an amazing massage and felt good.  At first, I thought we’d sit on the couch and just relax together for a while.  I figured it might help her to calm down and get sleepy (sleepy is very different from tired) if we snuggled and sang.  But that’s when the temper tantrum started.  So I let her thrash around on the floor for a bit, and when she calmed down, I picked her up and tried again with the snuggling.  No dice.

At some point, the monster left, and my beautiful daughter was back.

After about 20 minutes of that nonsense, I put her in her crib, but then hung out on the couch in her room, reading email and otherwise staying busy on my iPhone.  I thought that if she saw that I hadn’t abandoned her, she would calm down more quickly.  Nope, that didn’t work either.  At the 50 minute mark, I walked out of her room and closed the door, and then started sobbing.  I’m actually impressed that I lasted that long.  I credit the amazing massage for my mental and emotional fortitude up until that point.

After some encouragement on Facebook from my cousin and a close friend (thank you ladies), and a glass of wine (I don’t mind admitting), I managed to sit through another 28 minutes of slowly diminishing cries until The Bean was finally asleep.  Ahhhh, deep breath.

Tomorrow we’ll be driving home from a birthday party at exactly nap time.  I guess I’ll have to save my next attempt at non-driving naps until Monday.  Thank goodness I’ll have that same close friend over for some packing help that day – we’ll drink the wine together!


About Bethany Seto

I am a first-time blogger and a Stay-at-Home mom. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area with my husband and daughter.

10 responses »

  1. I had no idea you had a blog, well if you told me, I may not have been paying attention. I have just read the whole thing. My heart is warmed by your stories. I knew you had challenges with the Bean, but I had no idea of the complexity of the therapies. You are an amazing woman, Beth! An amazing family! I really don’t know if I could do what you do. Its true that God doesn’t give us anything more than we can handle. You have a child with disabilities, and I have 5 teenagers LOL! They all come with something don’t they? I will continue to read your blog and be encouraged. Keep up the good work, share the tears with those close to you, knowing that those of us who are far away hold you in our hearts, and celebrate the goodness of the gift you have in the Bean. (and a little wine never hurts either)

    • Hey Marlys, welcome. I’ve been posting my links on Facebook, but I probably didn’t tell you specifically that I had a blog. I have another one, too, where I talk about other stuff not Bean-related. 🙂

      Thanks for your kind words and encouragement. I’m convinced, too, that God only gives you what you can handle. I’m not sure WHAT I would do with 5 teenagers!

      I’ve been enjoying getting the Bean’s story written. It’s actually very therapeutic to write it all down.

      • Not only theraputic, but it’s going to be amazing to look back on your writing as the years go by. You will remember that nap for the rest of your life, as you re-read your blog posts. What a gift you are giving to yourself, and to the Bean for when she’s older.

  2. Oh Beth! Tracey Hogg actually talks about this exact scenario in her Toddler Whisperer book. It might be worth a look (just go to a bookstore, and read that chapter 🙂

    I’m glad you stuck through it. I think we can all empathize with crying on one room, as our baby cries in theirs. Day one is done!

  3. For the record, I am not adverse to the ‘car-induced sleep’ method. It worked for our parents and we didn’t turn out too weird. Look at it this way, many moms and dads need to get around anyway to run errands. If you’re doing that, then you can multi-task the nap into it.

    That being said, it may not be best to do it all, the time, but sometimes you have to out-think your kid.

    Okay ladies, tell me how wrong I am…

    • Thanks for putting in your two cents, Devin. I agree that sometimes it’s necessary, but not all the time. So I’d love to teach her how to go down for a nap in her crib when we’re home, and still be able to nap in the car when we need her to. Who DOESN’T want a perfect napper? 😉

  4. Ginny Schneider

    It will all change when she turns three. Yippee!!! I can hardly wait. Thank you for the encouragement you are to me and thank you for sharing the bean. Ginny

  5. As an update to this post, the next few days were so busy that she ended up falling asleep in the car for all her naps. But this morning we were home and she needed a nap, so she cried it out again. It didn’t take nearly as long this time, and I was also in a better frame of mind about the whole thing. We’ll get there.


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