While we were in Texas and trying to get used to the time change, I decided that while we were off schedule anyway I could perform some experiments without fear of messing things up. After all, they couldn’t get much more messed up.
So one evening Bella was being very very fussy, rubbing her eyes and crying. But it was during that tricky hour between four and five, still way early for bed but late enough I was afraid a nap would ruin her bedtime. But she was frantic so I nursed her and when she fell asleep I put her in the car seat by my feet. I figured in the seat in the bright lights and high traffic of the living room she wouldn’t sleep too long. And if it put off her bedtime till later, so be it. Her schedule couldn’t get any worse.
She woke up after her usual half hour. I gave her dinner and her bath and then she nursed and went down to sleep easy as could be. And she slept better that night than she had the previous few. So I did it again and again.
Now the nap somewhere between four and five has become a Bella staple. It doesn’t seem to interfere with her usual bedtime at all. I was so afraid to let her nap so close to bedtime, yet it works.
Last night she did it again. Woke at midnight, had a snack, then was awake and playing quietly in her crib when I went in at seven this morning. Clever baby. This is a pattern I can live with.