How do you tell?
Lately he's been pushing his afternoon nap back further and further, and it's to the point where we're pushing bedtime back later and later as a consequence. DH is getting mad (at DS and me) because he thinks DS should be in bed by 7 so DH can have his evenings to do whatever he wants (he just signed up for school, so he's going to be doing homework at night).
For example, yesterday DS pushed his nap back to about 3. So he didn't get up until almost 5. He was showing signs of tiredness, so we started bedtime routine about 7:15, I started actual bedtime by maybe 7:30, but I didn't get out of there until just at 9. He was all over the place, barrel rolling, up and down, babbling, etc. And each time I thought he was asleep and I'd start to sneak away he'd grab for me. So it took a full 90 minutes to get him to bed last night. Well, that means we don't eat dinner until 9:20 or so (luckily dinner was already ready before I started bedtime - that's not usually the case). And then DH starts his own bedtime around 10 or 10:30.
*I* feel like DS is getting enough sleep. Last night let's say he went down at 9. He was up at 8 this morning (which is actually late for him). He just went down for his nap at 2:00. With luck, he'll sleep until 4, putting us right on track for a 7:00 bedtime tonight. I guess the main problem is it isn't consistent. I follow his cues as to when he naps - and actually some days I start trying to put him down at 11, but don't actually succeed until several hours later.
I guess I really just need to know if this is normal - the schedule all over the map? I feel like some days I'd just be better off not putting him down at all and just starting bedtime at 5 or 5:30. But those last few hours are horrible if I do that.
Thoughts? Commiserations? Advice? What can I tell my DH?
Cristeen ~ Always remembering our warrior ~ Our is 3, how'd that happen?!?!
We welcomed another warrior in May 2012!!
2012 Decluttering challenge - 575/2012
The best sleep advice I ever got was from my DH who pretty much said, "Listen to your instincts and stop trying to make her follow other people's schedules." Babies have their own schedules. The best you can do is have routines for them to follow.
I think you might be missing his window for sleep. He is probably getting overtired and that is making him fight sleep. Things got so so bad for me when my ds1 was that age. I would literally sit in the living room with the lights off and the tv on mute and he would just play and play and finally pass playing sometime after 11pm. And this was without a nap half the time. I could not get him to sleep. Turns out he was extremely over tired.
Being awake from 8am to 2pm is a lot for a baby your ds's age. I realize that you know that and obviously want him to nap earlier or you wouldn't be posting. I just think he might need his nap quite a bitn earlier than you think.
Anyway, I am not exaggerating when I tell you that my life changed when I read Sleepless in America. I used the techniques and information in it to finally get my ds napping and going to bed at a decent time. I really really recommend it.
Unexpectedly expecting a new little one in November!!!
Your DS is 12mo? Is he already on only one nap? My DD is 10mo and for several months now, I find that the times that I have a long, drawn out bedtime process where she wakes up shortly after being put down, it is because she is overtired. I have learned that the early bedtime is my friend (and DD's). She routinely goes down between 5-6 although now that her naps are better, she is sometimes up until 6:30. I love that she goes to bed early because I have evenings to myself or with DH, when he's home. The later she stays up, the harder bedtime is, almost without fail.
For some reason I knew this already. I guess I remembered you and your ds is one month younger than mine so that makes it easy.
Also, I did a search online and "they" say that 18 month olds need about 13.5 hours sleep per day. I know a lot of people think these guidelines are silly and prefer to just let baby sleepwhe he is tired but others find them very helpful. I know I did.
I wish my sister hadn't kept my copy of Sleepless in America. It also has a list in there of ways to tell if your child is overtired.
Unexpectedly expecting a new little one in November!!!
Well, my baby is only 11 months old, but he's in a similar place. About 11-11.5 hours of sleep at night, and lately, it is a miracle to get more than one nap out of him! I am getting discouraged. I'm reading the No Cry Nap Solutiion, trying to figure out what I can do to help him. Then I feel guilty that he isn't getting enough sleep....his mood is generally good, but I think he is getting a bit sleep deprived. He just took his first steps last weekend, so maybe when he's got that figured out, things will improve? Sorry, I seem to be hijacking your post, but at least you know you're not alone...
DS2 is 16 months. He just gave up his morning nap a couple of weeks ago. He goes to bed around 7pm and wakes around 7am. He takes about a 2 hour nap at 1pm. Sometimes I put him down a bit earlier, like at 12:30 if he seems tired.
My oldest DS kept the same routine. He was 3 in October and still naps for about 1.5 hours every day - I put him down at 1pm. He goes to bed at 8pm and wakes in the six o'clock hour.
I've found with both of my boys that keeping nap times and bedtime consistent has really paid off. If you want your baby in bed by 7pm, I wouldn't put him down for a nap any later than 1 or 1:30pm.
I am certainly no expert, as we are having our own struggles. I just saw your post and wanted to read before posting my own.
Cristeen, you said afternoon nap, so does that mean he takes a morning nap too? My almost 16 month old still takes 2 naps per day most days, and we are having the same issue. When they are in that in-between stage, it's always hard to decide when to cut out the nap and plow through. I think it could have been overtired, but I think if he has trouble going down after a late nap, then he isn't tired enough. I think it's normal for there to be some back and forth during these transitions. I think the only thing you can do is experiment and see what works. But with my older dd, I did the long bedtime battles. This time, I tend to go back downstairs and start over in a half hour if I know she ended up having a late nap. Sometimes to get things reset, I will wake LO up after a half hour if we are in a trend of late afternoon naps. I just do enough to take the edge off to get back to early bedtime.
His nighttime sleep is the same way. Some nights he goes to sleep at 7:30 and some nights at 10. If he has skipped a nap altogether he will crash at 5:30. No matter what time he goes to sleep he always wakes up at 6:30am. So I guess that is a fancy way of saying that your husband's expectations while wistful are not rational. Kids are not machines and do not perform as such.
Besides I don't see how he is the one who feels the most impact here..you are. You're the one who puts your son to sleep, right? Whatever is your DH is doing during that time? My DH is usually doing dishes if we have already eaten dinner or making dinner if we are not. If your DH does neither of these things than he can consider that "his" time and stop bugging you about it. Seriously how is it your fault if your son has trouble going to sleep? I really don't follow the logic there.
All I can tell you is what I have learned through living my life as a mama to a nine month old girl and a daycare provider to many age ranges.
My dd sleeps about 12 hours at night, 7:30pm - 7:30am (I wake her up at 7:30 if she is not up yet), starts her 30 - 45 min nap right around 10:30am - 11:00am (for this she is wrapped on me), and starts her second nap right around 2:00pm (in our bed). I wake her up at 3:30pm is she is not already awake. Then she take a long bath at 7:00pm and goes to bed at 7:30pm (in our bed). I find that she needs four hours between nap and bed time or she fights sleep (or wakes up after a half hour thinking it was just a nap). We are very happy with her sleeping arrangement and feel like she is getting just the right amount of sleep. We plan to merge her two naps to one nap sometime this summer.
The best thing I can tell you is to not be afraid to wake him up if he sleeps late. If you know that he needs a certain amount of time between nap and bed (this is so with my dd), make sure he gets it. Long baths are also great for winding down a child.
My daughter is 16 months too, and we're just about on the tail end of the same problem!! It's SO frustrating, I feel your pain! The restlessness is definitely caused by overtired in our neck of the woods. Here's the method that we've been using, and we're still kind of in tweaking mode, , but she's asleep by 7:30 at the latest every night these days :D
What we did in the beginning was either nurse or take a car ride with her lullaby music playing around the time that she started to slow down a little instead of zooming all over the place (NOT when she started to get fussy and rubbing her eyes, which is when I had been starting nap time/bed time, and I realized that she was actually already overtired by that point, which made getting her down for a nap pretty much impossible). Our problems started when I tried to wean DD from nursing to sleep, but that + dropping her second nap = chaos, so I started again until I figured out what her schedule really should be like. Now that she has a more consistent routine, she falls asleep within 20 minutes of lights out pretty much every night (I lay with her quietly and try to interact as little as possible. It got some protests in the beginning, but that has also made a HUGE difference). At first, she was still overtired, so she would get sleepy at like 9 a.m. Even if she took a nap that early, she wouldn't do a second nap, so we just delt with the afternoon crankies and I put her to bed SUPER early--asleep by 5:00, and waaaayyyy less of the tossing and turning than she normally does. Amazingly, she slept until 6:00 or 6:30 the next day every time; sleep begets sleep! :D After a few nights of catching up on sleep with an early bed time, she started getting sleepy later and later--10:30, 11:00, now 12:00 or 12:30, with a morning wakeup time of 6:30. She sleeps until 3:00 most days, and is asleep by 7 or 7:30 at night. To be honest, she STILL seems overtired though (cranky, much more aggressive than usual, cries at the drop of a hat come 5:30), so we're still tweaking. I've read a bajillion stupid sleep books, and the book I actually found to be most useful was "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child". I HATE the guys perspective on getting kids to sleep, but I do think his suggestions for nap, bed, and awake times are magic. It's all about the biorhythms. Hope this helps your family gets some good rest, too!
By the way--I SO feel you about the dinner dilema! Sometimes I'm a rockstar and prep a crockpot meal in the morning, but most of the time we are just too busy. Anyone have great ideas about quick, healthy, make-ahead kid-friendly meals? This should probably be a separate post, but it never hurts to ask.
Love life, learning, and living
I was in your DDC. and I wanted to let you know that we are in the same boat!! Sam dropped his 2nd nap at 10 months. I cried at the loss of my productivity, and then adapted. A lot of people told me not to try and change his nap time, he was napping at about 10:30-11am through lunch to about 1-2pm.. and then bedtime was at 7-7:30 when he showed signs of being tired. It seemed we would have smooth sailing and then bam a week of hard bedtimes. As in BATTLES, 90 mins to get him to bed... then it would go away and be easy as pie again.
DH changed jobs and now gets home a full 2 hours later than before so we had to adjust and change our schedule, or he would never see Sam on week days. I went ahead and moved the nap to 12:30 just after lunch and then bedtime was moved to 8:00-8:15pm. At first, things went great, Sam was asleep in 20 mins of less. The a week or two went by and we were back in the battles again.
It's always a couple days great and easy, and then a couple that are tough.
So my conclusion is that we are doing everything right. These guys are just learning how to fall asleep these days, and they are old enough to know (or think) they are missing out on a fun time, so they resist sleep. We are also noting that any time he is teething badly, bedtime is a long drawn out process. Tonight took us an hour.
Sam sleeps 11 hours at night and then the one nap is 2-3 hours. I wake him up at 3:15pm.. as it seems if he sleeps too long it messes with bed time. Lately I have just been putting him to nap at 12noon, to avoid having to wake him.
i hope this helps!
Momma to Samuel Wyatt 8/15/09 and our new addition Jack 9/25/11!
i totally remember this phase. DD is 27 months now and sleeps well, except that she wets or needs to get up and pee a lot (whether she is wearing diapers or not).
ANYWAY, i remember coming across 'the sleep lady' online and finding the info SO helpful -- especially about biorhythms and adequate preparation. (we never got into the "wake-up" routine.) i tend to agree that your child may be overtired. this is the kind of situation i would tell myself to see as my child asking for a change to match her development. in this case, it may be that your child is ready for a schedule.
on the other hand, if it's not a problem, it's not a problem. there are days that i stick to the schedule because i know it's best for her both in the short run and the long run, and then there are days that i don't because i don't mind the inconvenience and i know she can handle a little imperfection here and there.
I can commiserate. I'm 7 months pregnant and dealing with the same thing with my just about 21 month old DS. I actually just posted a very similar thing on my FB page last night! I have terrible pregnancy induced insomnia that the night before I only had 2 hours of sleep. So after laying in DS' toddler bed (he's already scaling the crib) for over an hour to almost 2 hours I just started giving him 3 warnings to lay still - I make sure he goes to "night-night" with his sippy cup of water - other wise I'm getting up in the middle of the night fetching water or listening to him complain about it. So back to the 3 warnings...if he's not laying still by warning #3, I'm out of there, he's old enough to cry it out, IMO.
Like yours, he barrel rolls(I call it alligator rolling), fiddles, talks, sings, drinks his water, sits up, tries to climb out, etc. I am just so exhausted, and my husband's on deployment, so it's just me. I let him CIO after the warnings. Last night was trial #2 with the warning system. So far he's stayed in bed and was quiet after 10 minutes.