I have three little ones (9 months, 4, 6) and we have had a pretty good daily rhythm here for awhile. My 9 month old has been doing the 2,3,4 thing (two hours from wakeup to first nap, three hours in between naps, four hours in between second nap and bedtime) for several months now. Suddenly lately, he's had a really hard time settling down for his first nap. He's fussy so I try to nurse him down (he nurses to sleep 100%) and he just unlatches and rolls around, wanting to crawl off the bed. Totally happy. This goes on for quite some time, up to two hours - I take him out of the room til he's fussy again and we do it all over again. Yeah, two hours. Focusing on naps like that wears on my patience big time. Just now I tried to nurse him on and off for 20 minutes and then finally gave up and got up to get myself ready to go out, and by the time I was finished (10 mins tops) he was a whining mess again. In no condition to go out. But still won't sleep.
So after he finally sleeps, which is LATE, in between when he used to do the first and second naps, he can't make it til bedtime anymore. So then he wants his second nap like 5-6pm. Way too late to be napping. So then DH and I have to tag team in order to keep him entertained until he can pass out at a reasonable time.
It seems like he's dropping his first nap but I feel like he's not ready yet, he can't drop that amount of sleep and still be happy. If I let him go to bed for the night at 5-6pm to compensate, he will wake after a short while and be ready to go til like 11pm - midnight. He treats it as a nap.
I have read some about babies dropping naps, and 12 mos or so is much more common than 9 mos for this. I think at his age he still really needs that good morning sleep for REM and brain development.
The reason I'm asking for your thoughts is that this is totally messing up our day. I'm moving toward homeschooling here in another month and we like to have that late morning time to do some structured activities...me spending two hours on and off trying to nurse the baby down while the other two entertain themselves is not going too well. Just basically wondering if I should stick with it or just let him drop the nap and put him down for a slightly earlier nap in the afternoon?? I think the problem is that he is so busy developmentally, he has trouble switching it off. Every single day he has new moves and new sounds. Tips, thoughts ,anything would be greatly appreciated.