Wednesday, October 26, 2011

To nap or not to nap, that is the question

We're going through some transition at our house right now. Both my daughters are working through a new nap schedule. It's not been fun. There are times of complete meltdown, mostly in the evenings. I would guess most parents have gone through this in the early parenting years. Any advice is certainly appreciated.

My oldest is 3. She goes to preschool 2 mornings a week. On those days, especially, she gets tired. Getting her to nap is usually a struggle but when she does sleep, she'll sleep for 2-3 hours. If I wake her up before her body thinks it's time to get up, she's a grouch. If she doesn't nap, she's a grouch in the evening. If she does nap, she's up until 10 at night. We can try to put her down earlier, but then she spends the time difference getting up, going potty, singing in her bed (and subsequently waking her sister). We may as well have waited until 10 anyway. Upon the advice of my friend Lauren, I stopped pushing the naps. She has to have quiet time, and I admit, I let her watch some PBS kids. She's been resting for about 2 hours and then getting back up to play. She hits a wall about dinner time and still has a grouchy time, but we have been able to get her to bed earlier (and enjoy some peace and quiet with just my husband and I). It's the evening time that is killing us right now. Everything is a struggle. It's the only time my hubby gets to spend with the kids, so he gets frustrated when they're crabby.

My youngest is 18 mos. She is moving from two to one nap a day. She's always been a good sleeper, but is just getting to the point where she doesn't need that second nap. She'd actually prefer to sleep from 10:30-12:30 or 1, but that really screws up the day because I have to either reheat her lunch, or make a second lunch and then she's up when others are sleeping/resting (and let's face it, mama needs some quiet time too). I usually push her through her morning slump and put her down after lunch. She'll still sleep for 2-3 hours, but she also gets crabby in the evenings. Her time is after dinner and there have been some meltdowns as of late. I put her down at 645 the other night (usual bedtime 8) and she slept until 730 the next morning.

We're working on this new napping. It's the nighttime attitudes that are the hardest and most frustrating. I'm hoping we'll get it worked out soon. Of course the time change is coming, so it could all be in vain. *sigh* I also want to move my youngest into the toddler bed, but I think there might be too much happening right now. Sometimes having all the change at once is an easier transition because we're not prolonging the transition part. Then I wonder if that's selfish reasoning. Where's that parenting answers handbook when you need it??

1 comment:

  1. Uggg...Carlee sounds just like Royce with his naps. On the days we are home in the afternoon he does great with just quiet time in his bedroom, but on the days were we are out, driving somewhere, in the afternoon, he always falls asleep in the car and then her is such a CRANK...and up super late. Even 15 minutes of sleep makes him cranky and keeps him up. Ugg! My only advice for Carlee would be to maybe do her quiet time a little later in the day...that may keep her in a bit of a better mood a little later into the evening.

    My oldest was such a good napper...she napped every day until she started Kindergarten, and now (in 2nd grade) will still occasionally nap on the weekends. It never seemed up upset her bedtime. Wish I could say the same about Royce!!

    Hope the napping gods smile down on you soon :)