Advice for Revamping our Toddler's Sleep Schedule? (x-post from the sleep forum) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 12-18-2013, 10:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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(I initially posted this in the sleep forum a few days ago, but since I haven't gotten any responses I thought I'd throw it out here to all you Toddler folks.  Hopefully you all will have something to say!)

 

We have more or less always co-slept with our 27 month old.  For the last year or so he has started the night in his own bed and sometime during the night moved into our's and he either nurses to sleep or is walked by his dad - all of which is totally fine for us.  The issue is the timing of nighttime sleep and nap.  He currently goes to sleep anywhere from 8 to 11pm and sleeps until anytime between 6:30 and 9am.  Nap happens anytime from 11 to 1 pm and lasts anywhere from 1 to 3 hours, and some days he doesn't nap at all.

 

He's been at home with me or my husband so the wildly varied schedule hasn't really been much more than annoyance, but he will be starting a Montessori toddler program in January and I think we need to get a routine established so that his school schedule does not conflict horribly with his sleep schedule.  

 

Ideally he would start going to bed between 7 and 8 pm and wake up at about 6:30.  Nap would happen after school, 12:30 or 1ish.  (School is 8:30-12:ish, and we need to be out the door by about 7:20 to take his older sibs to school too.)

 

Anyone ever moved from a really wild child-determined schedule to something a lot more structured?  What steps do we take to help our son get settled into a more routine sleep pattern?  Help please!

 

Any help or thoughts will be greatly appreciated!


“...there are two ways to meet life; you may refuse to care until indifference becomes a habit, a defensive armor, and you are safe - but bored. Or you can care greatly, live greatly, until life breaks you on its wheel. ” - Dorothy Canfield Fisher

 

 
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#2 of 5 Old 12-19-2013, 08:04 AM
 
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Do you have a well established bedtime routine? I basically start that around 6:30 and then even if sleep doesn't happen, we're in DD's room reading, snuggling, with low lights and quiet activities. If at 9 he's still up and playing with his toys in the living room then it's hard to get the signal that its late and time to rest. What do your evenings look like? Sorry about all the questions smile.gif
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#3 of 5 Old 12-19-2013, 09:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Evenings have been pretty chaotic, but I'm trying my hardest to implement a bedtime routine.  The vision is to get DS in the tub right after supper (6:30ish) and then head upstairs for pjs, teeth and hair brushing and then a story and nursing in bed.  

 

I have a 9 and 15 year old as well, so sometimes it is super challenging to get the energy level down after supper and get everyone on-board with the bedtime routine!  Anyone have tips for getting older sibs to cooperate?  I try to point out to the big kids that if we get the little guy to bed earlier they will have more adult attention, but that only goes so far...  

 

Thanks!


“...there are two ways to meet life; you may refuse to care until indifference becomes a habit, a defensive armor, and you are safe - but bored. Or you can care greatly, live greatly, until life breaks you on its wheel. ” - Dorothy Canfield Fisher

 

 
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#4 of 5 Old 12-19-2013, 11:31 AM
 
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:lurk 
Sounds just like my 25mo DD and our crazy non-structured life!  She'll be doing all day pre-k next fall so maybe I can pick up a few things...god knows mommy would like more sleep!

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#5 of 5 Old 12-19-2013, 12:31 PM
 
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We're pretty unstructured here most of the time-kids more of less go to bed when they're tired. WHen we do need to adjust for some activity like homeschool co-op sessions or class semesters I've never had much luck (or, more likely, I don't have the patience for wink1.gif ) with the gradual approach. I do it all at once by getting them up early a few days before we need to operate on a schedule and devote that day to wearing them out. Hiking, park, swimming, physical projects like chopping/stacking wood...whatever ensures they'll be ready to go to sleep at the new early bedtime. The only hard part is keeping to it after that. Results may vary of course- I wouldn't try this with a kid who gets super crabby when tired or freaked out at a routine change, for example, but mine have never had a problem with it.
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