It looks like we're seeing a major shift in the way Eamon naps. It's happened gradually over the past few weeks. He's consistently taking two naps every day around the same times (9:00ish and 1:00ish), and they're tending to last an hour to an hour and a half. I NEVER THOUGHT I'D SEE THE DAY. And yet I've already come to expect the longer naps. It's interesting how quickly you can get used to something.
The window of time we can be away from home has shortened as a result of this new schedule. In the past I didn't try to be home in the afternoon by a certain time. The times of his naps varied, and they were never longer than half an hour anyway. I found that I often needed to be out in the afternoon in order to stay sane. But it's now become a priority to get home. Sometimes he'll fall asleep in the car and then I'll transfer him to his crib (he often wakes up, but has more often than not been content to play awhile before falling asleep again, or he fusses some, but doesn't full-on cry).
Yesterday we were in South Austin at a friend's house for lunch and he became unhappy very suddenly after we'd finished eating. I asked my friend if it was close to 1:00 and she looked at her watch and said it was 12:55. She was impressed that I'd called it, and I have to admit that I was too. Man, life is so much easier with a little predictability. (Of course, yesterday was a day he fell asleep in the car on the way home and then wouldn't go down again after we got here. I tried again at 2:45 and he crashed until I had to wake him up at 4:15 for our weekly playdate with Kay and Jonas--and also because I didn't want him napping too late in the day.)
Why do none of the sleep books talk about babies who don't nap well or have any consistent schedule for the first six months, but who then start to nap longer around seven months? I've heard other people talk about this happening but have never read anything that mentions it. I wasted a lot of time worrying that Eamon wasn't getting enough sleep and trying to find ways to solve the problem. Now I think he was just being himself and sleeping as long as he could at that stage of his life. I'm so glad we never tried to force him to sleep longer by letting him cry.
In any case, hopefully this nap trend is here to stay. It feels like it is. I can't imagine people who've had days like this since their babes were two or three months old. It's a different world, I tell you. Still tiring, but with longer breaks and more time to get stuff done.