Recipe for disaster?

(If you’re tired of reading about sleep and sleep issues you should probably just skip past this.)

You know the one thing that keeps confusing me about my kid? Sleep. And the one thing that keeps changing? Sleep. I’m so tired of trying to work out sleep issues. I’m tired of reading about sleep, I’m tired of boring you by talking about it,  yet I am desperate to work out a better routine for us.

We’ve recently tried to transition Anakin to one nap a day. For a while there I thought we may be getting somewhere, but it’s dawning on me that what we’re doing may well be a recipe for disaster.

Our issue wasn’t that Anakin didn’t want to take his second nap. Most of the time he would. Our issue was that he then wouldn’t be ready for bed by his bedtime. He usually goes 3 -3,5 hours max in the morning and then he seems to want around 4- 4,5 hours wake time before next nap. So we figured hey, why don’t we try the whole one nap a day thing, everyone else is doing it.

But the thing is our young Jedi wakes up at 6 and is usually well and ready for a nap by 9-9.15. Put him down in time and he sleeps for 1,5 hours on his own. Push him too far and he’s harder to get down and wakes after 45 minutes needing a lot of help to go back under, if he goes back under. But get him up from his second nap any later than 2.30 in the afternoon and our bedtime falls to pieces. But an awake time of over 7 hours is brutal and he usually has a minor mid-afternoon meltdown around 2-3 o’clock when he would normally be ready for another nap.

So what has been happening lately? Anakin wakes from his nap usually around 11-11.30. Then goes all the way until 6.30 when he is so tired he falls asleep on the boob way before he’s really done and way before we get the rest of our bedtime routine done. He then passes out in bed for about 45 minutes to an hour before waking up again needing help to get back under. More often than not he’ll wake at least once overnight (now that we’re past the last night waking hell) and need some assistance.

I’ve tried to push him longer in the mornings, but it often ends with a less desirable result. If I manage to work his nap time so that he sleeps until 1, he’s usually happy as larry and we all get to the end happier. But how to get him all the way to 11 before putting him down without torturing us all? Or perhaps it’s a question of having to push back his bedtime by an hour? (Personally I prefer 7 as a bedtime. Not sure why, I just do.)


If you’ve made it this far in this post, and you’ve been there, done that, perhaps you’ll have some words of wisdom to share? If not, then well, there’s my whinge about our nap situation and I’ll catch you later with (hopefully) something more interesting to share.

5 responses

  1. Gwen

    “Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child” is one of the BEST parenting books I’ve read. The tips offered in this guide can be life-changing. It worked for us, and we all slept better.

    January 15, 2013 at 11:44 pm

  2. Sounds like he is exactly where my little girl is at the moment.. A transition period, going from 2 naps a day to 1. Ooh, so tricky getting it right!
    Maybe try a very short nap in the afternoon? Wake him up after, say 30 mins? they’re all so different and only you know best what will work for you, but I think they sleep even worse in the night if they get overtired before bedtime, and need long to settle…
    Best of luck!
    And THANK you for your comment on our last post! x

    January 16, 2013 at 3:52 am

    • It sure is tricky! As with everything it’s probably just a matter of time, trial and error. It seems that every time I think I’ve figured it out something changes. I think you’re right about overtiredness affecting their nighttime sleep. We’ll get there in the end with whole lot of tender love and care.


      January 17, 2013 at 11:34 am

  3. We eliminated a nap (that is from 3 to 2 naps transition) by going to the pool or playdates – where Timothy is sufficiently entertained to stay awake for longer periods. After 5 days or so, he got used to having a nap later, consolidating it with the next one.

    I am transitioning him to 1 nap a day in preparation for daycare right now, and am doing the same thing – going to drop-in from 10 till 11:30, then lunch and nap. He’s a bit tired and a couple of times fell asleep on the way home from the drop-in (don’t let that happen!!!) – but he’s getting the hang of it now.

    January 16, 2013 at 5:57 am

    • It is probably just a matter of time. We are trying to work out wether we need to go back to two naps, and have specific wake up and nap times, or if we’re able to push him a bit further and get a smooth one nap a day thing happening. A lot of babies need two naps for a long time, but it’s hard when he wants one at 3 in the afternoon, which is just way too late for one unless we push back his bedtime.
      Tricky babies! 🙂

      January 17, 2013 at 11:36 am

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