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I agree with what Lynn said about getting outside in the morning, and how important that can be for setting the body's clock. This is something that one of my kids really needs in order for her to fall asleep quickly and to get good, regular sleep. Another thing that helps all my kids is sticking to a very regular sleep/wake schedule. It wreaks havoc on my kids' sleep when they sleep later some days than others, or go to bed later some nights than others.

Some kids do get overtired, and their bodies go past sleepy into overdrive and they get cranky and wired. My kids are like this. I have found that, with my youngest in particular, when she gets overtired it's not a matter of chronically being overtired in the sense of not getting enough sleep every night. Instead, it's a matter of needing to nap or go to bed a little earlier (before the eye-rubbing, cranky, obvious stage of tired). At some point, I had been having her nap around...I don't know, 12 or 1:00, because that's when she'd be rubbing the eyes and it was when my other kids napped. But we stumbled onto realizing that she was tired way before that, and really needed to go to sleep at 11 or 11:30 (and some days earlier).

It has also been very helpful to make naptime or bedtime very pleasant times of connection. Playing seems a lot more fun than sleeping, even I stay up past when I'm tired to do fun things. So it helps an awful lot to make bedtime as pleasant and enjoyable as possible. Kids sometimes just have trouble settling down, something a lot of us can relate to, and it can help to find some really soothing rituals to help them unwind and be ready to sleep. I see you don't have a car, which was I could resort too on a day when kids really needed to sleep but couldn't unwind. I have also pushed strollers around inside, rocked even big kids to sleep, allowed kids to sleep in places other than their beds, gone to bed with the kids, and settled for 'rest time' without sleep. It helps to get creative. It's a rare day that we can't find some way of resting and I end up with a cranky, un-napped toddler all day.

With regard to the climbing, that's a natural toddler drive. Kids need to climb, some more than others. I found that the key to coping with the stage where they climb on everything in the house, including the things I don't want them to climb, is to provide plenty of safe opportunities for climbing. That might be trips to the park or indoor play area, or it might mean setting up things to climb on at home, or supervising chunks of time specifically for climbing stairs with supervision.

With 3 kids, I didn't babyproof much with the younger two because the older ones have their toys and putting everything away wasn't practical. Instead, I found the answer was spending the time helping my little ones explore things safely. Anything that couldn't be explored safely, or anything too valuable to be handled, was put away out of reach (very few things met this criteria). It was a lot of work, but less work than saying 'no' all the time and it helped the kids learn to handle things respectfully, cautiously, and gently. And they learned a lot of other things in the process of exploring.

Also, you have a new baby coming. Though your son is young it's likely he sense changes afoot and that might be a little stressful, which can contribute to difficult behaviors. He's also 18 months old, which is just such an independence/autonomy-oriented age of exploration (for my kids it was anyway). Maybe he could have more choice regarding nap: where to sleep, what to wear, etc.

Take care.
 
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