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#31 of 40 Old 12-20-2012, 03:55 PM
 
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Thanks for the update!
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#32 of 40 Old 12-20-2012, 05:23 PM
 
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I am sad to report natural light having no effect on his sleep. He sleeps the most deep in mornings and nothing seems to get him up early enough. 

 

I may have found a home daycare which will have flexibility with times and later arrival. I am hoping maybe that will set us into a routine and help him feel tired earlier for earlier nap. Yesterday he napped from 2:30-7 pm. I woke him up several times and everytime he fell asleep. He just couldnt keep awake and I felt horrible jolting him awake every time. Needless to say he slept at 3 AM! Yeahhh. No crankiness or crying or tiredness. Just like that....as if 3 AM is no biggie!dizzy.gif


Personally, I wouldn't be ok with my dk having a 5 hour nap and then going to bed at 3 am in the morning. I think it's ok to impose some limits in this situation.

 

If I went to bed at 3 am, no amount of natural light would wake me up in the morning!

 

When you wake him up from his nap there are gentle ways of doing it. I used to take my dk out of the bed and nurse them while talking to them and rubbing their feet. No need to jolt them awake.

If you don't nurse, carry him to the window and show him something outside. Take him for a walk.

 

Even if we, as mothers, feel guilty for what feels like imposing our wishes on our kids, I think sometimes you have to do what you have to do and is ultimately for their own good.


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#33 of 40 Old 12-20-2012, 06:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Personally, I wouldn't be ok with my dk having a 5 hour nap and then going to bed at 3 am in the morning. I think it's ok to impose some limits in this situation.

If I went to bed at 3 am, no amount of natural light would wake me up in the morning!

When you wake him up from his nap there are gentle ways of doing it. I used to take my dk out of the bed and nurse them while talking to them and rubbing their feet. No need to jolt them awake.
If you don't nurse, carry him to the window and show him something outside. Take him for a walk.

Even if we, as mothers, feel guilty for what feels like imposing our wishes on our kids, I think sometimes you have to do what you have to do and is ultimately for their own good.
Oh I agree completely that 3 am is not acceptable. On this particular day he woke up 8 am instead of 9:30 am ( which I was excited about coz I put lot of effort to get him up earlier...and I mean lotttt) and so when he napped at 2:30 , I let him sleep till 4 pm ( late for others I know, but better than his natural body clock) and from 4-7 pm, every 15 min I would wake him ( gently...jolt was a wrong term to use), he would wake up, open his eyes, few times he sat on my lap, but he just kept falling asleep. I know it sounds easy to wake a child, but since my son has unusual sound sleep I am posting about this topic in the first place.
Today he woke up 11:30 am ( after 3 am last night) and we skipped napping and its 9 pm, and he is tired. If I put him to bed too early , say 8 pm, then his body takes it as a nap, and he wakes up refreshed at 2 am. Has happened many times.

Just wanted to say, I agree about placing limits! In every other area of parenting ( food, potty, manners etc) I am doing progressing/doing fine. I just struggle with his sleep and his body just wont adjust to whatever changes I am trying to indtroduce.

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#34 of 40 Old 12-20-2012, 07:02 PM
 
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Your DS sounds exactly like mine except the total opposite lol (as in, my DS isn't a happy, easy kid & doesn't sleep well/deeply, but the bedtime issues are very similar!!)

When we dropped naps, which I think was around his 2nd birthday, it was like peeling a layer off the struggles -- bedtime got marginally easier, as in, I could usually count on him being asleep by midnight, instead of later!

Since then, we have had periods of time where we've been able to get him to a semi-decent bedtime (around 10pm). Usually it started when he was sick or something & we just kept trying to stick to it after he recovered. He's not sick often so it's a long wait for the next bout of illness if he gets thrown off-schedule lol.

Recently we did have some luck with waking him up earlier -- it never worked in the past but for some reason this time it did help. We only woke him up about 15mins before his preferred wake time, and then moved it back another 15mins or so when he had adjusted. Then for a few weeks I consistently woke him up at that same time every day, and now he generally wakes up at that time on his own. Bedtime is still somewhat variable but has been in the 9:30-10:30 range. Anything before midnight is good for me lol!!

Other things that have helped: (and again, I've not had much long-term success but some, I guess!)

-Going to bed with him. This is incredibly hard for me because I'm a night owl, but I lay in bed reading with just a nightlight until he falls asleep. If I'm not in bed, he has a much harder time settling down, it's like he thinks he is going to miss something if he goes to sleep before me, so I did this until his body clock seemed to have reset. Now that he's falling asleep a bit earlier again, I have DH taking over bedtime & I'm staying awake in another room but quiet. We've had an adjustment period where it's taking him an extra 1/2 hour or hour to fall asleep but I sense that he'll slowly get back to our desired bedtime.

-Planning things in the morning, even though it's a struggle to make it in time. We have outings/playdates frequently. I don't do anything super early but if we have a commitment at 10am, it motivates me to get him up early, and seems to make it easier on him too since he likes seeing friends. smile.gif If we waited 'til he was sleeping decent hours, we'd never have a playdate... going ahead & making those plans helps us both stay on track, since I'm a bit routine-resistant too.

I've never tried melatonin for various reasons but maybe that's something that would help you reset his body clock. I notice DS seems to have a 25-hour body clock or something. So after a few days he is off by an hour or two, and I feel like I'm constantly trying to get him back on track. The more I stay on top of it, the easier it is, but even one or two days off-schedule and he is off for months on end.

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#35 of 40 Old 12-21-2012, 03:56 AM
 
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Oh I agree completely that 3 am is not acceptable. On this particular day he woke up 8 am instead of 9:30 am ( which I was excited about coz I put lot of effort to get him up earlier...and I mean lotttt) and so when he napped at 2:30 , I let him sleep till 4 pm ( late for others I know, but better than his natural body clock) and from 4-7 pm, every 15 min I would wake him ( gently...jolt was a wrong term to use), he would wake up, open his eyes, few times he sat on my lap, but he just kept falling asleep. I know it sounds easy to wake a child, but since my son has unusual sound sleep I am posting about this topic in the first place.
Today he woke up 11:30 am ( after 3 am last night) and we skipped napping and its 9 pm, and he is tired. If I put him to bed too early , say 8 pm, then his body takes it as a nap, and he wakes up refreshed at 2 am. Has happened many times.
Just wanted to say, I agree about placing limits! In every other area of parenting ( food, potty, manners etc) I am doing progressing/doing fine. I just struggle with his sleep and his body just wont adjust to whatever changes I am trying to indtroduce.


You could think of a schedule that would work both for you and your son, and stick to it. If you think he's getting close to dropping his nap, don't put him down for a nap any more. As I said before, you can take him out for a walk, ask him to help you with setting the table for supper, keep him engaged.

 

If you believe he still needs his nap, set a limit of two hours then wake him up. Again, you could take him outside, or at lest, out of the bedroom, so he's not tempted to fall asleep again. If you stick to it, he will adjust. Imagine you had to work and he had to be in daycare at 8 am, do you think his sleep pattern would have been the same?

 

GL to you, I know it's crazy when they drop their nap. My son was the same since he was a newborn, waking up early in the morning, taking long naps, nursing through the night. Keeping a routine saved my sanity.


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#36 of 40 Old 12-21-2012, 02:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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CrunchyMommy Thanks. Your DS sound and you sound similar to me! I am a night owl too! And Oh I have to lie down with him every night for 1-2 hours in the dark pretending to be asleep. If I dont lie down he would never agree to go to bed. BTDT.

I will keep working at this challenge.

transylvania-mom I worked the first year of his life and quit. My best friend works and her son and mine are 25 days apart. She complains about sickness, ear infections, misbehavior etc which I dont face but I agree if I had to work DS had to be treated more sternly. Part of the reason my child thrives at hime is because it allows his natural rhythm. If you are a routine person ( my sister and my best friend are ) you wont realize how routines simple dont come to people whose natural tendency is to be irregular. My point is I guess I want to find a way to do this without making our lives miserable. I have tried the no nap and it doesnt work. He needs naps, not everyday, but still needs them. And duration of naps has no effect. Two hours is what I do most days and it has zero effect on getting him to bed earlier.

I have kept a log of his sleep timings and this is what has come up:
Time between wake up and nap : 6.5-7 hrs
Time between nap and bedtime : 8.5-9 hrs. ( This is just tooooo long a gap)
On days he skips naps : 11.5-12 hrs.

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#37 of 40 Old 12-21-2012, 02:31 PM
 
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CrunchyMommy Thanks. Your DS sound and you sound similar to me! I am a night owl too! And Oh I have to lie down with him every night for 1-2 hours in the dark pretending to be asleep. If I dont lie down he would never agree to go to bed. BTDT.
I will keep working at this challenge.
transylvania-mom I worked the first year of his life and quit. My best friend works and her son and mine are 25 days apart. She complains about sickness, ear infections, misbehavior etc which I dont face but I agree if I had to work DS had to be treated more sternly. Part of the reason my child thrives at hime is because it allows his natural rhythm. If you are a routine person ( my sister and my best friend are ) you wont realize how routines simple dont come to people whose natural tendency is to be irregular. My point is I guess I want to find a way to do this without making our lives miserable. I have tried the no nap and it doesnt work. He needs naps, not everyday, but still needs them. And duration of naps has no effect. Two hours is what I do most days and it has zero effect on getting him to bed earlier.
I have kept a log of his sleep timings and this is what has come up:
Time between wake up and nap : 6.5-7 hrs
Time between nap and bedtime : 8.5-9 hrs. ( This is just tooooo long a gap)
On days he skips naps : 11.5-12 hrs.


I don't mean to imply that it's better to work than stay at home; I also SAH with my kids until they were preschoolers, so we could be more relaxed about schedules, naps, activities etc.

But I don't believe in a natural rhythm as you define it. A kid would not be naturally inclined to be up in the middle of the night if it weren't for artificial light, someone to keep him company etc. We aren't meant to be up at night and sleep during the day, it has nothing to do with being a routine person or not. I also love to (and used to) stay up past midnight and sleep in the next day, but I wouldn't be very productive so I choose not to.

 

Anyways, it's your choice. I sincerely hope his sleep pattern will improve.


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#38 of 40 Old 12-21-2012, 09:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't mean to imply that it's better to work than stay at home; I also SAH with my kids until they were preschoolers, so we could be more relaxed about schedules, naps, activities etc.
But I don't believe in a natural rhythm as you define it. A kid would not be naturally inclined to be up in the middle of the night if it weren't for artificial light, someone to keep him company etc. We aren't meant to be up at night and sleep during the day, it has nothing to do with being a routine person or not. I also love to (and used to) stay up past midnight and sleep in the next day, but I wouldn't be very productive so I choose not to.

Anyways, it's your choice. I sincerely hope his sleep pattern will improve.
Thank you for your advice. I agree that choosing not to certain habits are a good thing. I use an alarm and get up same time everyday no matter when I slept or when DS wakes. I appreciate what you have to say, after all this is why I posted here, because mamas here are very good at advice smile.gif

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#39 of 40 Old 12-22-2012, 06:35 AM
 
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I have tried the no nap and it doesnt work. He needs naps, not everyday, but still needs them. And duration of naps has no effect. Two hours is what I do most days and it has zero effect on getting him to bed earlier.
I have kept a log of his sleep timings and this is what has come up:
Time between wake up and nap : 6.5-7 hrs
Time between nap and bedtime : 8.5-9 hrs. ( This is just tooooo long a gap)
On days he skips naps : 11.5-12 hrs.

So the numbers you posted here lead me to think he may actually not need the nap. I'm no expert, but from what I understand, the nap is necessary when it's more of an addition to nighttime sleep, not a complement to it or worse, reducing it. So on the days he skips naps, he is sleeping 12-12.5 hours total? And on the days he doesn't nap, he is sleeping 8-10 hours total? If I'm calculating correctly, that really makes me think the nap is interfering with him getting enough rest.

When you first give up naps, they have to adapt all over again. You do have a few days, weeks, maybe even a month or two where they are crankier, sleeping more erratically, etc. But once they adjust, they settle into a more normal sleep pattern and any crankiness goes away. So I don't know that you can tell if he needs naps or not if you've only tried skipping them for a couple of days. That doesn't give his body time to catch up to the new schedule of sleeping only at night.

I know you said you have variable sleep habits, and so do I... but I don't think kids are quite so variable. They might need an hour less here & there but from what I've seen, given the opportunity, they will generally sleep similar numbers of hours each night. What makes it erratic/highly variable is usually external factors -- artificial light, like the pp mentioned, or lots of excitement, too much noise, too little exercise, too little time outdoors, staying out too late at a friend's house, too much time in the car, etc. I'm not saying you are to blame for your DS's sleep patterns (that would mean I'm to blame for my DS's!!! lol) What I am saying is that there are a lot more factors that you do have control over, and some kids really need the extra control around these factors. They can't adjust rapidly to all the little changes so they need us to keep things incredibly consistent. This is why a 2-night overnight trip threw my DS off for 3 months.... that's how long it takes him to adjust to variances. The other day we went to a holiday party and left early so DS could be in bed in time. Not something I would have done in the past, but I'm trying it because we cannot deal with the bedtime/scheduling problems anymore! And it worked. He was still asleep a bit later than I've been aiming for (partly due to the excitement of the party & partly due to other factors) but it wasn't anywhere close to midnight, much earlier this time. smile.gif I feel like it's really... unfair, I guess... that I have to put so much effort into getting him to sleep well and that we can't even take a break from it for one night, that we can't have even a little bit of flexibility. Some kids just have much more intense needs than others and my DS has always been one of those kids, in all areas. So I'm just doing my best to control the things I can to help him as much as I can.

I know your DS, unlike mine, is a really easy kid. So maybe you can let this continue to be "easy" and just let him sleep whenever he wants. That really is a totally valid option. But when you get to the point that you can't take it anymore, for whatever reason, it may be even more of a struggle for you than it is for me to set up something consistent, since you haven't had major struggles in parenting him thus far. It will be much more emotionally difficult, I'm sure. I've spent almost 4 years now struggling with DS every day in every way because he is such a challenging kid. The plus side of that is I've tried millions of things, and I am way more open to trying new things than I ever expected I would be, and I have less emotional struggle with implementing things like strict bedtimes. The downside is I am exhausted & drained from it all! So maybe all I want to say is that you won't destroy his natural rhythms and tendencies by doing something like waking him up at 8am every day or encouraging him to skip nap as often as possible. Instead, you'll be gently guiding his natural rhythms to coincide better with the rest of society -- the society you want him to participate in.

And now I feel like I've babbled on excessively about the one thing I'm totally a failure at lol. So feel free to ignore my advice, I can't decide if I'm the best person to give sleep advice or the absolute worst! wink1.gif

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#40 of 40 Old 12-22-2012, 11:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So the numbers you posted here lead me to think he may actually not need the nap. I'm no expert, but from what I understand, the nap is necessary when it's more of an addition to nighttime sleep, not a complement to it or worse, reducing it. So on the days he skips naps, he is sleeping 12-12.5 hours total? And on the days he doesn't nap, he is sleeping 8-10 hours total? If I'm calculating correctly, that really makes me think the nap is interfering with him getting enough rest.
When you first give up naps, they have to adapt all over again. You do have a few days, weeks, maybe even a month or two where they are crankier, sleeping more erratically, etc. But once they adjust, they settle into a more normal sleep pattern and any crankiness goes away. So I don't know that you can tell if he needs naps or not if you've only tried skipping them for a couple of days. That doesn't give his body time to catch up to the new schedule of sleeping only at night.
I know you said you have variable sleep habits, and so do I... but I don't think kids are quite so variable. They might need an hour less here & there but from what I've seen, given the opportunity, they will generally sleep similar numbers of hours each night. What makes it erratic/highly variable is usually external factors -- artificial light, like the pp mentioned, or lots of excitement, too much noise, too little exercise, too little time outdoors, staying out too late at a friend's house, too much time in the car, etc. I'm not saying you are to blame for your DS's sleep patterns (that would mean I'm to blame for my DS's!!! lol) What I am saying is that there are a lot more factors that you do have control over, and some kids really need the extra control around these factors. They can't adjust rapidly to all the little changes so they need us to keep things incredibly consistent. This is why a 2-night overnight trip threw my DS off for 3 months.... that's how long it takes him to adjust to variances. The other day we went to a holiday party and left early so DS could be in bed in time. Not something I would have done in the past, but I'm trying it because we cannot deal with the bedtime/scheduling problems anymore! And it worked. He was still asleep a bit later than I've been aiming for (partly due to the excitement of the party & partly due to other factors) but it wasn't anywhere close to midnight, much earlier this time. smile.gif I feel like it's really... unfair, I guess... that I have to put so much effort into getting him to sleep well and that we can't even take a break from it for one night, that we can't have even a little bit of flexibility. Some kids just have much more intense needs than others and my DS has always been one of those kids, in all areas. So I'm just doing my best to control the things I can to help him as much as I can.
I know your DS, unlike mine, is a really easy kid. So maybe you can let this continue to be "easy" and just let him sleep whenever he wants. That really is a totally valid option. But when you get to the point that you can't take it anymore, for whatever reason, it may be even more of a struggle for you than it is for me to set up something consistent, since you haven't had major struggles in parenting him thus far. It will be much more emotionally difficult, I'm sure. I've spent almost 4 years now struggling with DS every day in every way because he is such a challenging kid. The plus side of that is I've tried millions of things, and I am way more open to trying new things than I ever expected I would be, and I have less emotional struggle with implementing things like strict bedtimes. The downside is I am exhausted & drained from it all! So maybe all I want to say is that you won't destroy his natural rhythms and tendencies by doing something like waking him up at 8am every day or encouraging him to skip nap as often as possible. Instead, you'll be gently guiding his natural rhythms to coincide better with the rest of society -- the society you want him to participate in.
And now I feel like I've babbled on excessively about the one thing I'm totally a failure at lol. So feel free to ignore my advice, I can't decide if I'm the best person to give sleep advice or the absolute worst! wink1.gif
You are definitely the best mama to give advice since you have walked in my shoes. I know that when I try to advice my friend about her kid and making him eat ( she constantly complains about kid not eating or eating less or eating junk) she just listens to me not to offend me. Food is huge for me, and I habe worled very hard to develop healthy food habits for DS and he is also not a serious picky eater. So she thinks I dont get her struggle ( and I am sure I dont!).
Since DS has been about 15- 18 months I have gone through huge struggles with sleep. ( I was too preoccupied struggling with breastfeeding before that) lol). Everytime it resulted in weeks and months of parenting struggles. When we do these sleep experiments ( to put it nicely) my DS is NOT a easy child. Even otherwise I would describe him as a intensely persistent, mature beyond his age yet verbally not there, kid. He is currently in a phase where he is happy. That will change again as I know these cycles change every few months. Anyways, now I am babbling. Lol.
What you say and what everyone else has said is all true. If I wasnt convinced that sleep needs to be more regular, I wouldnt be posting here. The title of my post says I need help with implementation. I own a copy of Sleepless in America ( you should also read it CrunchyMommy) and I think its excellent.
I found a wonderful in home daycare. I am soooo excited. And that has given me all encouragment I need to try to tackle his sleep problem all over again. I must say though that we have made progress in these years. He can now lie in bed and not run away....which I fought for months and months. He doesnt fight bedtime which is huge! And I forget sometimes that he has moved three times in his 30 month life. So he has slept in three different dwellings and had to adjust to different environment factors. So, I guess at this point, after having a " natural rhythm " period ( and we moved 3 month back) I am re-reading the book and using the advice here. It will take time but when I first posted the thread, I was too scared to face it. Now, I am ok smile.gif

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