A slow farewell

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Categories Napping, Preschoolers, Sleep, ToddlersTags , , , 12 Comments

Oh, my friends, it is truly a sad day in my house.  I have come to acknowledge a painful fact.

The nap is on its way out.


OK, it’s not gone yet.  And, to be more specific, it’s my son who seems to be getting ready to drop it.  Over the last few weeks, I’d say were at a 50-60% success rate on his nap.  If we do something especially exhausting in the morning, or weather conditions are favorable (I’m not kidding), we get a nap.  If we don’t do much, or if some number of planets are out of alignment, not so much.

It has become quite a balancing act.  You see, even on a good day, he will mess around in his room and sing to himself for a while before going to sleep.  The challenging part is how long to let him continue.  Do I go in after a while and remind him to go to sleep? Sometimes seems to work, sometimes not.  Plus, to make things even more interesting, I find he’s a lot worse-tempered if he ends up falling asleep too late (and I usually end up having to wake him up lest it get too close to dinner and bedtime).  While he’s happiest on the days that he gets a “normal” nap, he’s actually not all that bad when he skips it outright.

I’d love to blame this on our recent transition to separate bedrooms and toddler beds, because who doesn’t like a scapegoat? But the truth is that his naps were going downhill in this very manner for several weeks before we made the switch.  And, at least now he isn’t keeping his sister up.  I also have to count my blessings in that he does stay in his room without a fight, even if he spends much of the time singing at the top of his lungs.

Surprise Chicago Trip

Alas, all good things must come to an end.  I will continue to hold onto our sporadic nap, or quiet time, or break in your room, or whatever you want to call it, for as long as I can.  At a bare minimum, we need the break from each other until September, when they start preschool in the mornings.

Surprise Chicago Trip

I can only hope all that learning exhausts them.

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How falling back saved the morning nap… for now

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Categories Sleep, ToddlersTags 5 Comments

We got lucky.  I know a lot of parents out there are cursing the end of daylight savings time.   But, at least this year, I think we lucked out.

We’re smack in the middle of the 2-to-1 nap conversion in my house, and (knock on wood, turn around three times and spit) it’s going OK.  I’ve been limiting the morning nap so that they wake up no later than 10:15am, then making sure we get some run-around time before lunch.  The afternoon nap has been going reasonably well.  And, for extra good fortune, they’ve actually started sleeping later in the morning.  While I used to hear them start to talk at 5:45, and maybe I could avoid getting them up until 6:30… last week there were even a few days that I didn’t pluck them from their cribs until nearly 7:45!  Oh! The luxury!

What this also means is that, somewhat to my dismay, the plan to eliminate the morning nap was starting to work.  With the combination of the later wake-up and my refusal to let them sleep later than 10:15, Daniel was starting to just skip the morning nap entirely.  I still put him in his crib, and maybe he dozed a little, but mostly he had some semi-quiet time in the nice, dark bedroom.  That’s fine, and I think he still needed at least that.  But as last week progressed, even Rebecca skipped one of those AM naps.  Luckily, they still did fine for the afternoon.  I must say, though, I already missed what used to be a nice hour and a half of quiet in the morning for shower and blogging… sigh.

Then… fall back an hour.  I went into this weekend with a plan, and I think that plan is working (again with the knocking and spitting). Obviously, the luxurious 7:30 became an earlier-but-not-unreasonable 6:30am wake up time.  Aha, but I stuck to my clock-based nap schedule!  So I have kept them up until nearly 9am (before the change I was forcing them to go down by 9:30), which is actually a net gain of about 30 minutes of awake time in the morning for them.  So they’re going down a little later and are therefore a little more tired, and I still stick to my 10:15 rule for waking up.  Have you gone cross-eyed yet from my convoluted description?

Anyways, the point is that falling back an hour gave me an opportunity to do just a little bit of shake-up, which is at least temporarily bringing back the morning nap.  I don’t suspect it’ll work for that long, but my goal is to have them down to one nap by Christmas, so I think it might just work.

Quick.  Turn around three times and spit on my behalf…

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While my kids are sleeping, you can also find me powering through NaBloPoMo at the newly redesigned and relocated Goddess in Progress.

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