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Nap time AND early bedtime?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I wanted to ask this on here, because waldorf is big on kids getting enough sleep. The books I read tend to encourage early bed times and naps, but the two don't go together for us. If my son takes a nap, he is up until ten or eleven. If he doesn't take a nap, it's between 7-8. I'm trying to get a rhythm to our day, and it's hard because most days he still needs a nap, but it pushes bed time back so far, it drives me crazy. By 10 pm, I want to be working or relaxing, not mothering.

So what I want to know, is it possible to have both an early bedtime and a nap. My son will be three year old in three weeks. And I know most kids don't take a nap anymore at this age, but from what I've read waldorf encourages respecting the nap. He usually will fall asleep at night about six hours after he wakes up from his nap. He takes about a 2-2.5 hour nap. But I can't get him to take a nap at 11:30am...
post #2 of 17
For us it definitely has to do with how much I tire her out in the morning. On days when she goes to school, she naps for 2-3 hours, from 12:30. On days when she doesn't go to school, if I don't really get her outside and running around naptime is... well, not a success. She goes to bed between 6:30 and 7 every night.
post #3 of 17
Hi,

Have you read the book Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child? It talks a lot about healthy sleep rhythms for children, and with my two boys I followed the author's recommendations for age-appropriate sleep schedules.

We're also homeschoolers influenced by Waldorf methods

By age 3, he recommends that parents protect an early (7-7:30) bedtime by transitioning the child to shorter afternoon naps until they eventually disappear.

Transitions in our house were always tough- my boys seemed to really really need their sleep or they would get cranky and aggressive (mainly my oldest).

I would stop protecting naptime and make sure he goes down early for the night, possibly even earlier than 7, if necessary. The author says that adjusting bedtime to an earlier time helps keep the transitioning child from getting overtired.

HTH!
post #4 of 17
My dd stopped napping around 2.5--we were in nap "twilight" from age 2-2.5 where some days she'd nap, other days she wouldn't. Like you, dd would go 6-7 hours after a nap before bed--and this was with me ACTIVELY trying to get our child to sleep (lights dim or out, soft music, bedtime routine, etc.). One time I worked for 4 hours trying to get her down at a decent time. Ultimately I decided it wasn't worth it unless she's sick. I then actively worked to KEEP her from napping from 2.5-3, and our nights were so much better. We would have "down" time of reading books and snuggling but no nap. Now, she's 4 and since she doesn't nap or need a nap, our rhythm is much more steady unless we get sick and then everything goes wonky for a while, which I hate with a passion. DD usually gets 10-11 hours of sleep at night and she's good to go. Our days usually start around 9 a.m. and she goes to sleep around 10 p.m. This works great for us!
post #5 of 17
It can help get you over the hump of the dying nap if you wake up early, by 7 a.m., have an outdoor activity before ten o'clock, then an earlier lunch, so that naptime truly is around 12:00 or so. Then wake up by 2:00 for sure, and try the earlier bedtime. You can wake them up after about 45 minutes of nap, too, to prevent them going into another, deeper sleep cycle at naptime. It helps to get up early, see the daylight in the morning, and then cut out electronic media by 3:30 or so so that the screen lighting does not re-set their circadian rhythm.

Once you have transitioned to a 45 minute nap, try skipping the nap, go to bed about 15 minutes earlier, and sleep as long as they can in the morning. Some kids have an inner rooster that will not allow them to sleep in, but others can lie in longer in the morning if they are tired.
post #6 of 17
My girls are 4.25 now and don't nap anymore. In retrospect I think I would have saved myself a lot of angst if I recognized at 3 that they were ready to give up their nap. No matter how physically active they were all day -- and they're really active girls -- if they had a nap they would be awake for 1.5-2 hours after they were in bed on the days when they napped. I did try moving the nap earlier but all that did was make it so they didn't fall asleep for the first hour of naptime, then take a really long nap, and not fall asleep until even later at night. Finally at about 3.5 we stopped napping and instead did an hour or so of down time; at first with me but now in their rooms. They started falling asleep easily at the 7:00 bedtime and sleep until 6:30/7:00, getting a total of more sleep than when they were napping. If I had it to do again with the same children, I would start weaning them off the nap when they started to have trouble falling asleep at night and make a gradual a transition rather than struggling to have a nap and an early bedtime because I thought that was what was supposed to happen.
post #7 of 17
my 4 yo no longer naps, she stopped around 2 1/2-3 years old. I learned from her to have a bed time with my next one and a rhythm. Oh my, did I learn!!
But my 20 month old wakes up around 7am, naps from 10-11 and then goes to bed at 6:30pm (my 4yo also goes to bed at 6:30pm). 6:30 works great for us, the girls get plenty of sleep and Mama gets her creative time to wind down from the day :
post #8 of 17
Everyone is giving good advice about skipping or shortening the nap and working for an early bedtime. I totally agree! In our house, we replace the nap with a rest time just after lunch. The kids play quietly in their room for an hour. If they sleep fine, if not fine. I write about it here: When Your Child Stops Napping.
post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by counterGOPI View Post
my 4 yo no longer naps, she stopped around 2 1/2-3 years old. I learned from her to have a bed time with my next one and a rhythm. Oh my, did I learn!!
But my 20 month old wakes up around 7am, naps from 10-11 and then goes to bed at 6:30pm (my 4yo also goes to bed at 6:30pm). 6:30 works great for us, the girls get plenty of sleep and Mama gets her creative time to wind down from the day :
Nicole,
what time do your daughters get up for the day, seeing as their bedtimes are so early?

Sharon
post #10 of 17
My 3 year, 4 month son is transitioning to not napping. He has napped pretty steadily until the last 2 weeks, though.

He goes to bed at 7:30 if he naps (wakes around 6:30). If he does not nap, he is ready for bed at 6:30, and he sleeps until 7:30.

For our family schedule, it's a whole lot better if he naps (cause a 6:30 bedtime is really hard when dh isn't home until 6), but he is starting to have a lot of trouble falling asleep in the afternoon.
post #11 of 17
We have to do early bedtimes, REALLY early ones (5 pm) because the LO's wake up at 5 am. No matter when. they. go. to. bed. They don't nap either. They are turning-2 and turning-3. I go to bed around 9-10 myself and sleep until 6 (they play quietly for a little while before we wake up).

I didn't know early bedtimes had a Waldorf-philosophy aspect. We just seemed to notice that's the *only* thing that worked for us. And believe me I'd rather sleep from midnight to noon myself
post #12 of 17

Trying to get a schedule going---

Okay, I am not really sure where to post this, but here seemed as good a place as any. I've just started reading more about Waldorf and love the idea of getting ds who is 16 months old into a schedule and routine. However, we are a co-sleeping family and he still breastfeeds through the night, I don't know how often, it's how I get my sleep. Also, he doesn't go down to sleep until late--usually around 10:30/11, occasionally he goes to sleep earlier, but rarely. He usually gets up around 8:30/9 for the day and then naps from 1-3, but really this is also without a rigid regularity. I would love to have some adult only time for me and my husband who usually comes home late from work 8-9 pmish. Any ideas? Are there other co-sleepers who manage to get their babies sleeping before Mama is in bed for the night?
post #13 of 17
My son just turned 3 and has also given up naps most days. It was not worth the time and struggle to get him down and he was always up late if he did manage to fall asleep. Like a lot of people we switched to a quiet period in the afternoon and it works great.
post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mirichka View Post
Okay, I am not really sure where to post this, but here seemed as good a place as any. I've just started reading more about Waldorf and love the idea of getting ds who is 16 months old into a schedule and routine. However, we are a co-sleeping family and he still breastfeeds through the night, I don't know how often, it's how I get my sleep. Also, he doesn't go down to sleep until late--usually around 10:30/11, occasionally he goes to sleep earlier, but rarely. He usually gets up around 8:30/9 for the day and then naps from 1-3, but really this is also without a rigid regularity. I would love to have some adult only time for me and my husband who usually comes home late from work 8-9 pmish. Any ideas? Are there other co-sleepers who manage to get their babies sleeping before Mama is in bed for the night?
My son is almost 2 and we still cosleep and breastfeed. We used to have him falling asleep around 10pm and it was doing my head in - and I think he was cranky from being overly tired. We started by waking him up at 7 am, and from there making sure his naps are on time and not too long, and the earlier bedtime just sort of falls into place. And it is glorious to have some quiet time with DH. We have a solid bedtime routine of supper, bath, story and num nums in bed. On our good days, he is asleep in 15 minutes after lights out and we sneak out of the bedroom and get on with our adult lives. He usually sleeps for at least 2 hours before he calls for me, by which time I am often ready for bed myself.... on our bad days, where naps are all over the place and bedtime falls apart - well. It's a disaster. I just posted what our day looks like in the rhythm thread. HTH
post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mirichka View Post

Okay, I am not really sure where to post this, but here seemed as good a place as any. I've just started reading more about Waldorf and love the idea of getting ds who is 16 months old into a schedule and routine. However, we are a co-sleeping family and he still breastfeeds through the night, I don't know how often, it's how I get my sleep. Also, he doesn't go down to sleep until late--usually around 10:30/11, occasionally he goes to sleep earlier, but rarely. He usually gets up around 8:30/9 for the day and then naps from 1-3, but really this is also without a rigid regularity. I would love to have some adult only time for me and my husband who usually comes home late from work 8-9 pmish. Any ideas? Are there other co-sleepers who manage to get their babies sleeping before Mama is in bed for the night?

We share our bed with our son, and he just turned one. I've always laid in bed to nurse him and he falls asleep like that. Than is pull out my boob and he says asleep. Sometimes after he's fallen asleep, but I'm not ready to stay in bed (or care to stay for comfort nursing - which I love but sometimes I just don't want too) he has a hard time letting go of my breast, so it takes two or three times.

But I've always been able to walk away. I have a monitor to listen to. He sleeps by 7 pm USUALLY but can be unpredictable and stay up late if there's a lot going on wink1.gif

I usually sleep when he does tho bc I'm exhausted orngbiggrin.gif
post #16 of 17

I've noticed the same sort of pattern with my daughter, who will be 3 in October.  For a few days, I let her skip nap and realized it was not a good idea.  She was progressively getting fussier, and clearly need it.

 

What I've learned is that a few things need to happen in order for sleep to go well on a given day.  First, we have to wake up reasonably early.  For us that's between 6:45 am and 7:30 am.  Then, we have to have good outdoor time with physical activity.  A trip to the park or walk in the woods will do nicely.  A trip to Target -- nope.  Then I have to be sure to hit her natural mid-day nap window.  For us, it's about noon.  If I wait till later, then she's hitting her second wind and then it pushes nap too late in the day.  If I do these things, it usually means nap in the 12:30-2:30 or so time slot, which makes for a decent bedtime around 9 pm (with bath and stories beginning around 745/8pm).  I've frankly not gotten her to bed much earlieir than that without her being unusually tired. 

 

Sometimes it seems like a pain to hold to this rhythm, but when I pay attention to the difference in my well-rested daughter, it is so worth it to me! 

 

Warmly,

Babygirlsmama

post #17 of 17

I really don't think you can keep a long nap and also get an early bedtime. DD was clearly ready to transition away from naps at 2.5 . I admit I kind of loved it because she was a second child and it gave us a lot of freedom. But DS easily napped until almost 4. However, we limited his nap to one hour and work him up. He would be a crank for about 30 minutes but then snap out of it. We did this for at least an hour.

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