Thursday, April 30, 2009

Sleep: A Mythical Quest?

Oh, nap time! Simultaneously the bane of my existence and one of the bright spots of my day.

I remember struggling to get LP to go down for her naps when she was AK's age. However, I did confidently schedule conference calls for 11am knowing that it was LP's nap time. And more likely than not she was asleep at this time. And again around 2:30.

AK is a whole 'nother ball game. Since starting day care at the tender age of three months AK has only taken ONE nap a day. And, for the most part, since entering her new classroom in early March, her single rest period has been in the morning. Keeping in mind that she is only 11 months old, consider this schedule:
  1. 7/8 am: Wake Up, Breakfast, etc.
  2. 11-12: Nap
  3. 12-2:30 pm: Lunch, gym, chilling with friends, snack
  4. 2:30-4 pm: Other kids nap, AK feigns napping and plays quietly
  5. 5 pm: Snack, pick up
  6. 6 pm: Dinner
  7. 7 pm: MELT DOWN. Just in time for the Hoos and me to have dinner.
  8. 7:30: Bath and Bed

When AK is home with me, she also only naps once. BUT, I have enough control over our daily schedule that I can force her nap time to be after lunch. If she sleeps from 12:30-2, all will be okay with the world. This is also pretty good because it kind of coincides with LP's nap time (not that we ever really get a break unless they fall asleep in the car, but a mom can dream).

Unfortunately, in AK's current classroom they have a set schedule, including 2 naps - at 10:30 and at 2:30. Which is great if your kid follows it.

If, say, your little baby only naps from 11:05 until 12:10, you end up with a miserable, adorable, crying mess on your hands.

As is the case most nights in our house.

Last night I had to defer my dinner and give AK a bath at 7 and she was out like a light by 7:15. She slept until 3:30; I nursed her to sleep (I KNOW, I need to stop doing that, ESPECIALLY considering I started weaning her to whole milk this week); and she slept until 6:30. Not bad, but not enjoyable for anyone. Who wants a screaming kid? Who barely gets to see her Daddy at night?

Today we asked the day care to see if they could keep her from napping in the morning. I know, it sounds cruel and unusual, but we frankly don't see any other choice. They have to put her down in her crib at the aforementioned times (obviously if one kid was out and playing, all of the good nappers would be distracted and refuse to sleep), but we are hoping she can barrel through the day until the afternoon nap and be as sweet as pie when I pick her up.

Other thoughts?

Or how about ideas on how to get an almost 3 year old to go to bed at night? We have fallen in to a horrific routine of LP wanting to pee on the potty every 5 minutes once in bed. If I am trying to encourage her staying dry at night so we can get out of pull-ups, I can't refuse her request.

Or can I?

Anyone else noticing that their almost-3 kids are hitting the Terrible Twos?


Anonymous said...

SUCKER! They have you wrapped around their little tiny fingers!
-DM ;-)

Billie said...

Ok... I am in line for horrible Mommy reward. If my kids start making continual trips to the bathroom I simply deny them. I explicitly say... "You have already been, you don't need to go." Once caught, they actually turn around and go back to bed.

We use complete and utter bribery to get them to bed. They can select to either have some books read to them or watch a movie. They used to go half books and half movie but they figured out they get more time up if they select movie. Since that discovery, we make them go to bed earlier so they still fall asleep at a decent time.

You either go to bed without any hassle or the privilege of doing books or movies is taken away. Should you be noisy during the movie, the movie will be immediately confiscated. If you start hassling me about that... the privilege will be taken away the next night.

I might have had to listen to some crying and screaming a few times but once they learned I was absolutely serious.... night time has been mostly easy. Every now and again they forget the rules and taking away the privilege has them remembering for months.

Occasionally, we take this privilege away for heinous actions that occur during the day.

Anonymous said...

I usually only oblige LDs first request for whatever it is, then after that I say it is bed time and I shut the door. She usually takes a book with her to bed and plays for a little bit. If I hear that she is not settling down, then I go in and say that I will take the book/toy away. We have also put a fan in her room to help with the fact that the temp in her room is WAY off, this has really helped her get off to sleep and sleep well during the night. Good luck.

A's Mom said...

I'm with trying to push back her nap to a later time so you have a more peaceful evening.

I may not have a 3 year old, but the same rules apply. With LP at night... I agree with DM. She does it more than 3 days in a row and you have a habit on your hands. I say you need to tell her a limit, because I also understand that you want her to pee before going to bed. Tell her "last time" on her second reply and be done with it.

Once you set the limit, no going back!

Tiffany said...

Dealing with kids and naps oh boy. When Lily is with us on the weekends she will take a nice long nap around 9:30 am and then be up for the day. When she was 11 months I would try to get an afternoon nap and sometimes it happened but most often it did not. She has been a one nap a day kid for a while. During the week at daycare there are many times when she does not nap at all. Lily is in bed asleep aroun 6:30 every night. Maybe try to move AK's bedtime up is all that I can think of.

With LP try to make sure she is not drinking much at night. Mikayla did not fully potty train at night until after 3 years old - she was great during the day but not at night. I did finally start limiting how much she was drinking in the evening and that helped a TON.