As per title I'm wondering if anyone has experimented with changing their LO's routines in order to try and preserve the last nap, that it looks like they are giving up?
My thought is that perhaps my daughter will still sleep regularly if somehow I tweak her day and make it a bit longer here or there.
Has anyone tried something like this? Successfully?
- She's 2 and 9 months.
- In the last month has played through about 15 days of naps (mostly in the last two weeks, every second day).
- On no nap days she is in bed asleep at 6.30pm - and we get her up at 6.30am. (12 hours)
- On nap days, she is in bed at 7pm, and usually well asleep by 7.30 (11 hours).
- On days she does nap, nap length is anywhere between one hour and 1.45. (So, 11 hours plus 1.20 avg = 12.20)
- I can't tell anymore when/if she is tired! Some days she seems exhausted in the late morning...but revives and plays and stays awake regardless.
- She's a complete mess by 4pm on no nap days...and frankly, I'm not in the position to give up and keep her out of her bed just yet, even if she doesn't sleep.
- She sleeps in a cot (crib)
Am, of course, laughably - hoping it's just a phase!!
Routine (on nap days).
12.30 bed - eta correction: bed, but not sleep - often not asleep until 1.30pm
6.40 stories etc
What I'm thinking...is maybe keeping her up longer in the a.m. Say trying the nap at 1pm? And maybe even combining that with a 15 minute later bedtime.
Would love to hear any thoughts. Or am I just completely deluded, and my child is joining the world of awake ALL. DAY. LONG. people. (Eeek).
Edit to add:
Two additional things I'm wondering about.
1. On no nap days, I'm currently leaving her there for the normal duration. If I got her up (say after just an hour) - would that help tire her out for the next day etc?
2. When I think about it, after no-nap days, the next nap is usually longer than normal. We've had quite a few that are tending towards 2 hours (like todays, which is why I'm able to quickly add this bit...ha ha.) Should I think about capping all and any naps to a certain length? Do these sorts of changes actually have ongoing effects? Or am I still deluded!?
If she's sleeping 12 hours at night, she might not need a nap. I think given when she gets up, a 12:30 naptime is great. If you push it back by much then there may not be enough time after nap to wind down before bedtime. I think there's no harm in trying. My kiddo would be a) completely overtired and miss her nap window and b) wouldn't settle for bedtime until 9 or later. But your kiddo may take to a later nap swimmingly. You can always abandon the changes if they dont work. Ok so that wasn't super helpful, just know that I envy your 12 hour nights
Gah. Yes. I'm expecting people to tell me she is probably getting enough sleep. Eeek.
However, I just edited the above to be clearer. She doesn't often fall straight asleep for naps - often staying awake playing for a good hour or more, then conking out. On no nap days, she can play happily for 2+ hours.
On an ideal (in terms of timing and length) nap day - her night sleep is only 11 hours, or ever so slightly less...but she is pretty consistent.
On these new (horrible, eek) no-nap days, she is tacking an hour on to night sleep - but I'd MUCH rather she had that hours sleep during the day....so hence contemplating extending something or rather. I guess if she can make it through the day though....? But, well, I don't think she can fully.
As for overtiredness - well, that could be a factor. She is so busy developing at the mo, and sometimes seems crazy tired when I put her to bed after lunch...but then she just lies down and seemingly can't stop talking....and talking....and talking....and eventually I guess her body has recuperated, and she gets into standing up.
I have tried a couple of times for an earlier nap - on the off chance - but this didn't work really.
She can also get up as late as 3pm, and still be asleep at night by 7.30pm. Famous last words! - so she's just able to go a looong time in the a.m. it seems?
I don't know really, lol. She confuses me totally.
Thanks for your reply.
I have an 18mo with no particular rhyme or rason to her nap schedule. She dropped her 2nd nap sometime around 15 mos an is down to one a day....or so I thought. Recently she began to cut her last 3 teeth (she's got 13, so just filling in some front canines I believe) and she's a horrible teether and I know it throws her way out of whack. So the past few days she's been hinting towards needing a 2nd nap late day (like after 4) and Friday she DID fall asleep while nursing around 5pm, and nothing was waking her up, so I let her stay asleep for an hour then began the battle to wake her and keep her up until a normal-ish bedtime. She's not *yet* an all night sleeper (although we're beggining to trend that way 3 to 4 nights out of the week she has been doing a 10-11hour stretch) and just recently her bedtime changed from 8/830 to about 7/730 as that's when I noticed her getting tired. Late bedtime for us is no guarantee for a late wake up call and missed naps almost certainly mean a horrible night is ahead full of wake ups. So while we're nowhere near losing naps completely, she is in a funk over how many naps she needs so I totally get the stress of it all. Consistency would sure be nice!
I would say to the question of capping naps times, it seems to always backfire for me and I really try to just let her nap as long as she needs otherwise I find it harder to get her back to bed (late naps) than if I just let her sleep and wake on her own, even if it is only for an hour and back to bed, she does much better sleeping if I don't interfere.
I have nothing to useful to add to this thread. Except she suddenly went from napping only every second day - to doing a five day stretch - and is now back to every other day.
She is also waking up in the morning a little earlier than she used to, so I'm still veering towards the theory that she's either:
a) not getting enough exercise and/or
b) her days need to be longer - more time out of bed.
It's very difficult though, as she's all over the place. On the nap days she's sleeping much longer than usual, and I feel compelled to wake her up....gah!! It's all very frustrating.
We are just not in a position where she can NOT have that little break from us and vice versa - so, since she is happy enough playing in her cot, I'm still taking her there every day.
Futile wish in the extreme - but I really wish it could just be the same as it was for a little while longer.
I'm still convinced she needs a nap....but maybe I'm fooling myself. Boo hoo.
I would probably advise tweaking her schedule so that she doesn't nap at all, because once she gives it up regularly her sleep schedule will adjust. It will probably take a few weeks. The worst behaviorally is when they rotate between the two.
Thanks for that. I think she will adjust okay when we all drop the nap completely, as she seems to sleep through those nights for a full 12 hours, and not wake up like she used to.
But we're in a tricky position. We're building a house - and have a few weeks left until we can move in. I have to use that two hours she's in bed to do my work-at-home job (to pay for the house!) and likewise my partner uses the time to work on the build - we don't have babysitting options....so was hoping to tweak her into keeping it up for just a little while longer. Eeek.
I know we probably can't work against nature though....
On the other hand, she is very random. The last two weeks it's been x3/4 days napping, then 1 or 2 not...rinse and repeat. Some days her naps are going way too long, so I'm waking her up after an hour and 15. She is definately waking a little earlier these days - but conversely, is also crashing out instantly at bedtime (say 7.15, instead of 7.45 a month or so ago) - so her days are the same length, but everything seems to have shifted earlier.
Her timing is just very unfortunate. (But then everything about us having a kid, and trying to build a house at the same time has been a bit unfortunate timing wise. Not her fault!)
It can be a very long transition when they're almost, but not quite ready, to give up that last nap. We went through months of what you're describing, never knowing whether he would nap that day or not, until we just banned naps altogether and kept him up even when he might have napped. Life is so much better now.
But for us it was a difference of a 10p bedtime after an hour+ of nursing to sleep (with nap) or a 7:30 bedtime, passing out after nursing for five minutes (no nap). He gets sleepy around 4 but powers through easily if kept occupied. Kind of a no-brainer for us.
The unpredictability is what was really killer.
It sounds like she does pretty well occupying herself for long stretches? Could you institute a quiet period in the afternoon where she plays on her own while you work? Maybe set her up with audio stories or something. Or would she just randomly go to sleep if she got tired enough anyway? That is a foreign concept to me, but it is my understanding that such children do exist :)
Best of luck!
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Living and loving in ATX with DH (of 7 years) and DS (3.5)
Long transition - argh!
I guess I'm looking forward to the longer free time in the evening - but we aren't able to do away with her 'naps' for at least another three months. I'm just hoping we can all hang in there somehow.
Weirdly, although she is very very tall for her age, she has never tried seriously to escape her cot - so we are lucky that way I guess (famous last words).
Yes, I'm sure if she was staying awake until 10pm (that's way past my own bedtime!) - I'd be thinking slightly differently. Fortunately, nap or no nap, she's always asleep by 7.30pm. On no nap days she passes out in bed at 6.30pm.
Absolutely. That and NEEDING it yourselves as adults, for whatever reason. I'm just hating her timing (but not hating her).
Ha. Yes, this is hilarious. Where are these mythical children who 'stay somewhere' for 'quiet time'. Ha!
Mine would not do that in a million trillion years. If she figured out how to get out of her cot tomorrow, that would be it - total game over. I wouldn't even have to think about all this...I'd never ever get her in there again during the day.
And randomly sleeping on the couch etc? Again...I wonder if such kiddies really exist??
Even as a tiny baby, she could keep herself awake for nearly 7 hours straight (midwife and doctor were both astonished). I guess we're lucky (again) that considering how little she slept in the first six months of life, that she EVER napped at all, or even goes to bed at night - aick!
So - basically, from the replies, I'm thinking no one has tried to tweak their toddlers day...i.e. lengthen a little, to keep the naps going....
Perhaps, as a concept - it's just mythical too?
Best of luck!
She has given us a small reprieve...and has napped every day now for 8 days. Woohoo.
Not counting chickens though - as I think she is just going through a big developmental boost (can't stop chattering, asking questions...busy, busy, busy!) But still crossing fingers we can get her into the new house in six weeks with naps still on the table a bit....
Update in case anyone's interested. And kind of answering my own original question a little.
Okay - so I've been tracking her naps in a spreadsheet for a few months now, just to see if there was an undeniable pattern of giving them up. It seemed that way to start with....but...
The smilies below (upside down because she was happy to not nap...me, err...less happy) are days out of the month that she had no nap - followed by the percentage those days make up out of the whole month.
(month unfinished, but nearly)
So, the most obvious thing to note is that I started this thread in the worst month (panic, panic). Since then...things have evened out a little again, and I'm glad currently that I'm still putting her down for the nap. We have re-doubled efforts to make sure she is tired-out in the mornings. Afternoons not such a big deal, as she almost always goes to sleep before 7.30pm regardless.
We are only 1 month away from moving to our new house - and it will be much easier and safer to have her up all day, if that is still where we're headed...but, as long as she's not protesting....off she goes.
Caveat 1: I should mention that I think she's been having a growth/developmental spurt the last month, so could have made her more tired. In the last 4-6 weeks she has been averaging slightly more sleep than before...about 12.45 hours, as opposed to her usual 12.15.
Caveat 2: She was ill for two days a week ago, and since then has slept quite a lot.
Caveat 3: I've probably jinxed myself now by thinking that it's all going my way. Ha ha ha.
August looking much like 50% so far. Eeek.
Maybe she is nearly done.
Fortunately she is still not able to escape. On the other hand, she is trying lots of tactics now - last three days calling out to me over and over (not distressed...just trying...) Still slept after a while on two of those days, but late...but still, I'm sure we are nearing the end....
What a horrible transition period this is.
And I just don't know what I'm going to do when she's around all day long. Her nap time is when I do my (meant to be full time - but very very part time currently) day job!
Another update - last one I think.
August was 41% no-nap.
September turned out to be more like two/thirds not napping.
Didn't bother to chart that month.
October's hilarious - she has napped twice (from sheer exhaustion) for only two days...out of 21.
SO. It seems I can no longer be in denial. She is officially done with napping now...at 3 years and two months old.
I *still* take her to her bed though, as she is happy to play there for an hour. (She has a cot still, and STILL hasn't tried to escape) But I can see this is nearing an end too, as a) she is just too perky and awake, and b) she often poo's during this time and we are trying to toilet train...and c) we have made our first ever visits to preschool, and if she ends up going a couple of days a week she will not be actually sleeping there either, just having quiet time....oh, and the most obvious one is d) - if she does happen to nap still, she wakes up before the birds. No napping days at least are now consistent and reliable in terms of getting to sleep.
I'm NOT READY to have her around for the whole day. I should be...she's my child, and I love her. But I'm not. Mostly because I'm so ridiculously exhausted still (still have insomnia).
Oh well. You can't stop them growing up I guess?
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