To all you amazing mommies: I am having a dilemma, one which has been prevalent for the last 7+ months. My 10.5 month old still takes about 3 naps a day, usually all around 40-45 mins, sometimes longer (if I'm lucky!) It takes about 30 mins to get him to sleep, so when all is said and done, I have about 25-30 mins to get stuff done while he finishes his nap. He also wakes up around 5+ times a night, and is ready to go at around 6:30 am. We've started putting him to bed earlier, but so far it hasn't really seemed to make a difference. In fact, he woke up at 5:30 this morning ready to go. I feel like most mommies would have ripped their hair out by now. I have tried everything I can think of, but I'm starting to wonder if I'm being too "soft." I'm starting to get pretty fed up with it, but I love my baby, and I HATE cry it out. I need to know that I'm doing the right thing and that it's "normal" to "cater" to your 10.5 month old this way. At this point if he wakes up as I put him down after he's nursed and is asleep, I sometimes start to cry. It's so frustrating to spend 30 mins getting him to sleep every time just to have him wake up when I put him down. Plus the night wakings are taking a toll.
I really don't want to resort to CIO, especially since I've been fighting it the whole time, despite repeated efforts from my husband and in-laws, not to mention other Moms who've told me it's worked. I had had enough at 5 months but refused to do CIO, and it's still a problem at 10.5 months. I know that I might get more sleep, but I just hate the whole idea behind it. When is enough really enough? Am I crazy?
10.5 is about time to transition to 2 naps a day if you haven't done so already. Slowly push the morning nap a little later, at first by playing outside or doing something engaging, putting a finger-food snack in him to stall for 5 more minutes or so before nursing and cuddles and nap. Then do the same for the afternoon nap. I would avoid anything outside the house that does not put him in the car or stroller or wrap at the proper time to avoid premature naps. Eventually, once he gets into the rhythm of 2 naps, this won't be such a big deal.
He will be a little cranky for a week, maybe even 2. He will be ready to crash at 5:30. But he will adjust.
As for the night wakings, this might help--it will help *some*, but this only has a little to do with daytime sleep. IME it has more to do with a child natural sleep patterns, and often they start sleeping more soundly once all those teeth come in. Connected? Coincidence? Could be either, but time and again, with my kids and with my friends', nighttime becomes quieter once all those toddler molars emerge, by about 2.5yrs.
As for my house, nighttime wakings were easier for me because I had them in bed with me. Still wasn't great with my little pumpkins, but I couldn't imagine being the nighttime parent in another room.
My husband was on board because I was the one doing the nighttime parenting. If it helped me, it helped him. Get some support and you might find that some of your tears are from your need to live up to others' expectations. I know on those very difficult nights that were inevitable (illness, heavy teething), it was helpful to shoo my husband into another bedroom, and it made me better able to cope. It really does help!
Get his naps down to 2 and see how he does. Sleep--or more properly lack of--breeds desperate parents. I used to be so judgmental towards parents *before* I was a parent.
"Let me see you stripped down to the bone. Let me hear you speaking just for me."