My Baby Naps in Bathroom

My baby sleeps in the bathroom. It’s perhaps my best trick of motherhood. But before the sleep Nazis get all over me, let me smugly clarify: she goes down like an angel for 12 hours in her crib at night. Ferber is a genius. With naps though, his methods fall short for me. And Fi.

For months I’d get anywhere from 29-31 minutes, at most twice a day, in the crib. Hardly enough time to wash a dish, pet the cat or write a blog. Our Brooklyn apartment is very loft-like and her room and the downstairs bathroom are the quietest places in the house. But the bathroom has something her bedroom doesn’t: total darkness (if I make her room dark, I can’t run the a/c window unit).

I happened upon my baby-in-the-bathroom trick when a guy was coming over to install a safety gate (this, after my husband threw his drill across the room in frustration, proclaiming KidCo had “ruined his day.”) I knew the handy man would be pounding near her bedroom. Desperately I tried to think of where to put her.

There was only once place. The Zen-like stone bathroom, which happens to be my favorite room in the house.  Little did I know it would become my lifeline.

I dragged her carseat down, strapped her in and turned on the ceiling fan. She slept for 3 hours. She was super sweaty when she woke up, so the next day I perfected my method. I dragged another fan in to lightly blow on her. I crossed my fingers and toes. She slept for 2 ½ hours.

They say twice is a fluke, three times a habit, and after day 3 came and went, I proclaimed myself on par with Einstein—or maybe Ferber–simply brilliant.

But then she turned 10 months, gained weight and grew. Her legs dangled out of the carseat and the toddler seat was too upright. I knew my bathroom days were dwindling. I decided to try crib naps again. For 10 days I put her in the crib, let her cry, she’d fall asleep, wake up 29-31 minutes later, cry cry cry until I admitted temporary defeat. But I wasn’t totally giving up.

I brought her stroller in the bathroom, reclined it all the way, strapped her in, and we were back in business. Even now at 19 months, I get at least 90 minutes this way. And when I travel, it’s an easy to transition. Every place we stay has a bathroom.  And a fan. I guess I won’t be trekking with her through West Africa until she’s completely nap free, but I’m okay with that.

Baby in Bathroom

Baby in Bathroom

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  1. by Heather Morgan Shott

    On July 19, 2011 at 9:27 am

    Whatever works! Sometimes my baby eats dinner in the bathtub (http://bit.ly/opP1ye)and he can be as messy as he wants to be:)

  2. by Jill Cordes

    On July 19, 2011 at 10:29 am

    Heather–that is really funny–and a good idea! Mealtimes are messy and with the cat, quite annoying. I may have to try it!

  3. by Mom 4 Real

    On July 19, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    My best friend does the same thing. Between the darkness and the noise of the fan, it works perfectly.

  4. by Cara

    On July 19, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    Hi Jill, love it – I regularly used to pop my daughter in the hallway in her stroller and she was happy as Larry ;-)
    Can I offer you a SnoozeShade to try – I invented it to help children nap for the amount of time they need even when in the stroller… It’s one of the UK’s best-selling baby products and my new version SnoozeShade Plus is designed for older children – (I use it on my 3 and 3/4 yr old when she needs to nap)..
    Kind regards Cara

  5. by Jill Cordes

    On July 21, 2011 at 7:30 am

    So glad you guys can relate. Cara, thank you for the offer. I use the sun shade on her stroller, which looks pretty similar to your snoozeshade. What a great idea though! Thanks everyone.

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