Help! We need our evenings back. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 07-10-2013, 02:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have a beautiful almost 15 month old daughter who isn't tired until 9:30 pm on average.  She had a consistent bedtime before 8 months old but since that regression she has been all over the place.  She went to bed at 10:30 pm last night.  She isn't acting overtired (cranky, crying at the drop of a hat, etc.).  I think it's developmental but I want to make sure she's getting enough sleep.  She has never been a good sleeper.  She is with a nanny during the week and she doesn't have a strict nap schedule.  She does take two naps a day with the longer one in the afternoon.  We have tried creating and following a bed time routine but that failed.  I have just been following her tired cues.  Any advice or encouragement is welcome.  My husband and I would love our evenings back!

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#2 of 11 Old 07-10-2013, 06:04 PM
 
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I wonder if she's ready to cut down to just one nap?  My daughter has never been a great sleeper either.  She's 18 months now, and it seems like we went through a rough patch with bedtime around 12-15 months, with way too many nights of her wide awake at 10pm!  She was learning to walk around then, and teething madly, and it seems like she was just on overdrive.

 

We survived it by reducing to one nap and being very strict with the bedtime routine, moving it earlier (6:00-6:30) and ending in the bedroom, with only stuffed animals and bedtime books for entertainment, while we watched for sleepy cues.  She settled into a bedtime around 7:45-8:00.  Is your DD walking?  It's also helped to make sure our DD gets plenty of exercise, climbing, fresh air, etc.

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#3 of 11 Old 07-10-2013, 06:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the reply Zirconia!  She has been walking for a couple of months.  She's probably teething since her molars have not erupted yet.  Unfortunately an earlier bedtime routine is not a possibility since my husband doesn't even get home from work until 6 pm.  She gets a ton of exercise by going to parks or swimming every day.  It's nice to know there are other families that had to deal with night owl behavior for a couple of months.  

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#4 of 11 Old 07-13-2013, 12:20 PM
 
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I second what zirconia said about dropping the second nap. When DS started walking (about 13 months), his "good" sleeping went to frequent waking and staying up until 10. Like you, DH and I needed to have our evenings! It was frustrating. What worked for us was strictly cutting out the afternoon nap. He was a bit grumpy for a few days when adjusting, but it's worked very well since then. Now, he wakes at 6:30AM is down at 10:30AM for two hours and goes to bed for the night at 7:30PM. I had to nightwean him to end the night wakings (I'm pregnant and could no longer handle it!). After that, he has slept solidly until about 5ish and then nurses until he wakes up. 

 

Sometimes it is definitely hard that he goes to bed so early--makes social things almost impossible. Mostly my husband comes home from work at 5:30 and we have dinner and then are in bed at 7PM. DS's bed-time routine has always been very simple. We change his diaper, read, and then lay and talk while he nurses to sleep (20-30 minutes tops). Then we have our evening and go to bed by 9AM. Old fogies for sure!


Good luck!


Happily married to DH 

Stay-at-home mama to DS1 (01/12) & DS2 (01/14)

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#5 of 11 Old 07-13-2013, 03:36 PM
 
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When does she wake up? If she sleeps until 10, for instance, it makes sense that she wouldn't be tired until 10. (My kid usually sleeps from 10-10 or something like that.)

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#6 of 11 Old 07-13-2013, 04:16 PM
 
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She may need the evenings with you since she is not with you during the day. Perhaps you and your husband could include her in the evenings for a while and then try to get her back to an earlier bed time when she is more open to it. I would likely follow her need for now.
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#7 of 11 Old 07-13-2013, 05:41 PM
 
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When my kids were this age, sleep took priority; so there was a window of time when naps were being dropped (from 2 to 1 and from 1 to none) that they just didn't see daddy much.  He got home at 6, they'd be in bed by 7.  I would feed them dinner before he got home and then he'd get 20-30 min or so with them before off to bed, and then he and I would eat.  It was a short timeframe so we didn't sweat it in the grand scheme of things.  Yes, dinner together is important, but that can be done on weekends for the short period when their sleep is being tweaked because of developmental leaps.  In a few years it will all be a distant memory because there will be no naps, and a later bedtime. 


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#8 of 11 Old 07-13-2013, 06:13 PM
 
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The short "family" evening time is tough!  My DH gets home around 5:30-6:00 too, and it's often stressful with DD getting tired and me trying to get dinner on the table.  We usually sit straight down to dinner as soon as possible (if I haven't already fed her).  Then DH handles most of the bedtime routine, giving DD her bath and reading sleepy books in her room until I come nurse her to sleep.  Some days they only get an hour or so together in the evenings, but it's a very special hour.  And they always play in the morning while I get breakfast going.

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#9 of 11 Old 07-13-2013, 06:20 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kalapsych View Post

We have tried creating and following a bed time routine but that failed.  I have just been following her tired cues.  

 

Just wanted to add, you're right (at least in my experience) that a bedtime routine is worth nil if the baby isn't sleepy!  For us the bedtime routine just winds things down so that when baby is tired, she's more likely to cooperate with going to bed.  It doesn't work any magic, but it might allow you to catch an earlier sleep window.  And I will add that in the past 3 months, we have seen a huge response from DD to the bedtime routine!  She now points to her bed, or even crawls up on it, when she's sleepy.  So the routine may not feel like much right now, but it'll pay off!  I found the "No Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers" really helpful - probably even more so than the infant book.

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#10 of 11 Old 07-15-2013, 01:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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She has been waking up around 8 am now since she's going to bed at 10 pm.

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#11 of 11 Old 07-15-2013, 01:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zirconia View Post

 

Just wanted to add, you're right (at least in my experience) that a bedtime routine is worth nil if the baby isn't sleepy!  For us the bedtime routine just winds things down so that when baby is tired, she's more likely to cooperate with going to bed.  It doesn't work any magic, but it might allow you to catch an earlier sleep window.  And I will add that in the past 3 months, we have seen a huge response from DD to the bedtime routine!  She now points to her bed, or even crawls up on it, when she's sleepy.  So the routine may not feel like much right now, but it'll pay off!  I found the "No Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers" really helpful - probably even more so than the infant book.

I will check out that book.  I didn't like the one for infants.

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