Yes, nap times are a big deal. A missed nap time means a tired, fussy baby. It means it takes me twice as long to get him to sleep again, and this time my baby will be screaming twice as loud. Regardless of which nap time he missed, he will sleep worse at night. It will take longer to get him to sleep at night, he’ll sleep lighter and will wake up more often. This all means that I will also get less sleep and will be more fussy, so now we’ll have a fussy baby who won’t sleep and a fussy mom who can’t. So yes, nap times are a big freakin deal.
So when I walk up to you with the baby in tow to meet for lunch, dinner or coffee and I whisper, “He’s sleeeepppingg,” please don’t take that as an opportunity to stick your head in his stroller and poke at him, stroke his head, adjust his clothes, talk to him, or in any way disturb his precious slumber. I need him to get his full nap not just for his peace of mind and body, but also for mine.
Oh, and after I spend 30 minutes rocking him to get him back to sleep and he is finally tucked away again in his car seat with his eyes closed, resist the urge to give him a goodbye pat on the head or high five (thus waking him up AGAIN). And above all else, when I say, exasperated, “He’s awake… AGAIN,” please DO NOT shrug your shoulders and say, “Oh well. He seems fine.” You aren’t the one who will have to deal with the consequences of this missed nap for the rest of the day, and I could use a little sympathy.
I do want to see you. I want to hang out and have a grown-up conversation. And I do truly want you to spend time with the baby. But nap times are a big deal.