Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Result....

Well, for the past few weeks we have been fighting and fighting and fighting with Eliana over naps and bedtime. She used to be very predictable... down for a nap around noon, sleep until 4:00, down for bed at 8, sleep until 8. It was great!

A few weeks ago, though, she started fighting us on naps. She hasn't been ready for a nap until about 3:00 or later, and she sleeps for 2 hours. Then she's not ready for bed until much later than 8. There are tantrums, she got out of bed repeatedly, she climbed out of the crib when we put here in there to contain her... it was not good.

So yesterday I did something I have not been looking forward to. I cut out her nap. She's just barely two, but she cannot keep the schedule she was on, with a two hour late afternoon nap followed by sleeping from about 10:30 (or later!) to 8. She was waking up grumpy from naps and in the morning and it was just wearing her (and us!) down. It called for desperate measures, and so we cut out her one and only nap.

The result? She was pretty tired yesterday around 3:30 (as usual) but instead of putting her down to sleep I just let her watch a movie. She curled up on my bed with a blanket and her milk and watched the movie. Though she was pretty drowsy, she didn't fall asleep. She had a couple hours of down time, and then she was up and running again! Leif put her to bed around 7:45 or so and she didn't fight him. And she slept until after 8 this morning! I don't actually know what time she got up, because she woke me up! But Leif left a little before 8 and she wasn't awake yet, so he just left her door open so she could come find me when she did wake up. And she came in at 8:20.

So that's what we have. A 2 year old who didn't take a nap and for the first day in several weeks, it went smoothly. There may still be days where she'll need a nap, especially if we're out and about and she gets worn out in the morning. But if she isn't asleep before 2:00 I'm not going to let her sleep. That was a miserable pattern. We'll wean her off the movies some other time, but for now it's the only way I can find for her to sit still for down time. And she definitely needs that down time still! But today was good. She had a couple freak-out tantrums (mostly when she was tired right before down time and bed), but those are pretty standard these days. She's 2. So we'll see how today goes and take it one nap-less day at a time.

5 comments:

leifw said...

The lady who didn't have to put her to bed might have thought it went smoothly. The guy who dealt with the half hour, red faced melt down before bed would not describe it as smooth.

Tamara said...

i have a number of friends in play group who have 2 year olds that no longer nap at all. i can't believe she used to take 4-hour naps, though... no wonder you (used to) get so much crafting done! :) sorry she's done with naptime (i know i'll freak out when davey's ready to give 'em up) but at least she sleeps well (8 to 8 is AWESOME)! right now, davey takes one, MAYBE two naps a day. 2 hours in the morning and 1 hour in the late afternoon. his current bedtime pattern appears to be 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. (though today it was 6). i hope he keeps his naps for another few months at least (until after this baby is born)!

Susan Beth said...

J did not nap after about his 2nd b-day. Fell asleep for cat naps in the car often if we were out and about, but no real naps. And he was one of the happiest two year olds I've ever known. And while I am not a big fan of just plunking kids in front of screens as a matter of convienence, I don't see anything wrong with a quiet activity time that include a little watching in the afternoon. You done good kid.

And as for that comment from Leifw. . .hehehe! Well, there will always be little bumps in the road. A totally smooth life just isn't God's plan for us. Sometimes you just gotta put it in four-wheel drive and roll with it! And he's a good daddy to be putting her to bed at all.

The Musician said...

You brave, brave soul. I had the lovely institution of "rest hour" in which all the children had to go to their rooms and play for an hour or so by themselves. They could look at picture books, read, play dress up, sleep, play with dolls, whatever. They just had to do it by themselves. It was a wonderful way of getting them to be not so centered on me as a source of entertainment. Of course, this didn't work with babies, but I did start them at about 2, with an ear out for trouble and a safe room where they couldn't get in harm's way. It was actually fun and they didn't resist (too much)!

Elizabeth Wickland said...

I will totally be doing the "quiet time in your room by yourself" thing as soon as I am sure she won't crawl into bed and take a nap at 3:30 like she did the other day when I tried it!! She woke up SO grumpy and wouldn't go to sleep until about 11:30 that night, so now I don't trust her to play by herself just yet! But once she gets the hang of this "no nap" stuff then she is totally going to play in her room so I can get some stuff done!