11.28.2009

Sleep, Oh Sleep...where art thou?


I'm sorry that I have been a bad blogging mommy. But I do have a legit excuse. My usual writing time, aka nap time, has been cut in half the last few weeks. Clearly, loooonnnngggg gone are the days when my sleeping beauty would sleep anywhere...for hours on end!

Olivia is s.l.o.w.l.y. going down to one nap and it has been a painful process...for me, not her. I blogged a few weeks ago with some tips on transitioning from two to one naps, but I think I need to make some amendments to my advice. Some of it, I've realized is flat out wrong (at least for Olivia, maybe not for your child since there seems to be no 'right' or 'wrong' way to do this).  I guess that's what you get since motherhood has proven, to me at least, to be trial and error.

Some days she manages fine on one nap (usually around 11:30am) other days she's ready for a nap at 9:30 in which case I force her to take an afternoon nap. The problem is no matter what time she goes down for a nap she'll only sleep for 90 minutes. That's a problem when she gets up at 11am and is up for the rest of the day because she refuses to take an afternoon nap.  It's still a problem when she gets up at 1pm because she's a miserable mess by 5pm, but it's too late to put her down for a second nap.

You're probably wondering why I'm so worried about the 90 minute nap? If she's sleeping 12-13 hours at night why lose sleep over it (pun intended)? The problem is she wakes up crying from her naps, she's still clearly tired, but she has a huge poop in her diaper and won't go back to sleep even after I change it. I've tried changing it and putting her back down, I've tried leaving her up there for 20-30 minutes hoping she'll realize it's not time to get up and fall back asleep. Nothing works.  I've also tried and tried to put her down for an afternoon nap when she gets up too early, but she resists. I feel like I've tried the nap schedule every which way but nothing works.

  • Early lunch at 11am, nap at 11:30. She wakes up at 1pm with a poop and refuses to go back down. 
  • Early lunch at 11am, play time to encourage poop, nap at 12pm. She's exhausted and can't stay up late enough to poop...wakes up at 1:30pm with a poop and refuses to go back down.
  • Snack at 10am, Nap at 11:30. She wakes up at 1pm hungry and refuses to go back down
  • Nap at 9:30 am, wake up at 11. Lunch at 12pm. Refuses an afternoon nap no matter what I do.
Twice I have been able to keep her up until about 12:30 and both those days she's slept until at least 3pm. Also I've noticed that she's pooped before her nap on those days. So now I'm trying to figure out how to encourage a big ol' poopy diaper before the single early afternoon nap.

Aw, the 'projects' I never imagined I'd have to tackle before I was entered new mamahood!

What's been your strategy for moving your child from two naps to one? 


More Sleep & Nap Help


3 comments:

MICHELE said...

Well, that sounds exactly like my day every day since about 5 minutes after she was born. HA! I have a terrible napper. So I am anxious to know if you figure anything out, b/c I have given up. And I agree if about the poopie, it wakes her up every time! So frustrating. I wish I had some words of wisdom but sadly none, still trial and error over here!

PS Hope her doctor appt for her ear infections went well?!?!

tamara mieles said...

I'm not sure if you will answer but I have to ask...how did this resolve? Did she ever extend her nap beyond 90 minutes? I am going through what you decsribe with my 13 month old. Its murder. Worst of it is the early wake up. I'm not sure when to nap him if he is waking in the 5's!! he refuses the afternoon nap so I hae no choice. He used to wake up at 6-6:30. Anyway...I would love to hear the story of how she settled on one nap and if you have any advice, I'm all ears.

Melissa said...

Tamara, Ironically I'm nearing this same milestone with my little boy...he just turned 1. To be completely honest with you I can't see him to getting to one nap anytime soon. There are days he gets up soooo early (5:45) that it's a stretch to get him to stay awake until 8 or 8:30. He may sleep 1.5-2 hours in the morning and then he goes down again around 1 or 1:30 and will sleep another 1-2 hours.

Here's what I can tell you...my daughter transitioned to 1 nap around 15 months. It was a long slow painful process. However, once I got her to go down around 11:30 or 12 she'd sleep for about 3 hours. I gradually moved it back to 12:30 and now she goes down between 1-1:30 - but you're a long way from that. haha. She's now about to turn 4 and still taking that afternoon nap.
I know exactly how you feel though...but trust me when I say that they do get used to not sleeping as much. It sounds to me like your child may not be ready to take just one nap.
Try to keep them busy in the mornings...I remember getting my daughter out of the house at naptime - but it's tricky you don't want to be in the car at nap time b/c they'll fall asleep. Instead you want to be at the playground at nap time adn then on the way home...give him a drink so he stays awake. Eat an early (11??) lunch when you get home to stretch a little more and to get a full belly.

Bottom line - for right now your son is probably not ready for two naps...

Also...is he just starting to walk?? A lot of times big milestones like walking, crawling, teething can interrupt sleep. My son refused his afternoon nap for a few days when he first learned to crawl. he would sit himself up and then couldn't figure out how to lay back down..I have pix of him sleeping while sitting up. Hang in there..it gets better! Promise.

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