Lately getting DS (19months) to bed has become even more difficult than usual. He has *always* fought sleep, but now it's gotten really out of hand and I'm losing patience quickly. He has started taking really long daytime naps and sleeping fewer hours at night as well.
His typical sleep schedule right now:
Up at 7:30 or 8am
It's highly variable, but the long late afternoon nap and late bedtime is consistent. It would be fine, but now getting him to sleep is a crazy drawn out process with multiple tantrums, lots of nursing, lots of stalling (on his part).
I know that 19 months seems too young to stop napping, but I'm wondering if I try to keep him up all day if it will help him get to sleep easier at night and get him to sleep longer overnight. He has gone without napping a couple of times, and it's great - he goes through a rough patch in the afternoon, but gets through it and is out like a light at 7:30 or 8pm. It's glorious.
On Saturday we tried and failed to get him to nap, but he fell asleep in the car at 5pm. Tried to wake him, but he slept until 8pm, then didn't go to bed until 12:30am. It was awful.
Anyway, does anyone have any experience with anything like this?
We stopped giving daily naps sometime around 1.5. My son always sucked at taking them and he wasn't crabby without them. We just did them on days it worked out and didn't do it if we were busy. It is the same thing we are doing with my daughter now, but she is almost 2.5. Both of my kids sleep early and long hours over night though. Usually 7pm-7am.
Mama to three
That said, if that doesn't work, you might be able to ditch the nap afterall. My first lost her nap early, but she sorta did it on her own by not napping during "quiet time."
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Yes, my dd1 kept the same schedule as a baby (except maybe woke up a bit later). We stopped napping regularly around that age in favor of much better bedtimes (where they weren't at 12:30 or 1 a.m. ). What seemed to happen was she'd nap 2-3 days out of the week, and I'd work hard NOT to nap those other days (unless I was too tired, and just didn't care about having to make coffee that evening for the crazy late bedtime).
8-9pm bedtimes are GLORIOUS. Even if you're able to only get them sometimes, with a late night kiddo like that.
Thanks for the tips everyone! I think I realized my problem in that I was missing a nap window much earlier in the day (around 11am) when we will kind of act tired but we would breeze past it. The last few days I've been able to get him asleep by noon and it's been much better.
We were spending SO much energy trying to get our son down that it just became kind of ridiculous. We cut out his naps around 17 or 18 months probably and he's been going to bed around 6-6:30 really easily since.
There are days, on occasion, that he still naps a bit but they're few and far between. There are also days that he doesn't want to go to bed until later but in general, life has gotten SO much easier for all of us.
Cutting out the naps has been a life saver for me--it gives me time to clean the house and have a few minutes to myself at night, too.