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 Post subject: Nap Dilemma
PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 5:18 pm 
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Semen Strong
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So L (21.5 months) has developed this habit of fighting her nap for ages and then passing out way too close to bedtime (9pm).

I put her down for a nap at 2, and despite being obviously tired, she ran around and read books and avoided sleep until 6. Then just as I tried to get her to go downstairs to make dinner, she rolled over and went to sleep. Last time she fell asleep at 5 she woke up at 4:30 am which was ungodly. Or else, I worry that she will wake up at 8 and then be up until midnight, which I cannot stand.

So what do you do if your baby falls asleep late in the day? I have poked her with a pointy pointy stick and she won't wake up.

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 Post subject: Re: Nap Dilemma
PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 7:19 pm 
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When Walter does this I let him sleep for an hour or so, then wake him up. He's super cranky and tired the rest of the evening, so sometimes he goes to bed a little early. But bedtime for him is 7pm, so a late nap is 3 or 4.

On days Leela doesn't nap, could she go to bed earlier, like 7?

Edit: to wake him up sometimes I have to pick him up out of bed and stand him up. It feels cruel.


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 Post subject: Re: Nap Dilemma
PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 7:55 pm 
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On days that we don't nap, she usually goes to bed a bit earlier. I just scrap the concept of a nap and call it bedtime. I can't wake her up from a nap. It's too miserable. She is such a grump and I have to hold her for like an hour if I force her to wake up so I avoid that at all costs.

Out of the past five days, we have had one nap. I'm concerned she's dropping it for good. We are doing everything we can to wear her out, too!


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 Post subject: Re: Nap Dilemma
PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 8:15 pm 
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Both of my kids went through this for a couple of months before they dropped their naps entirely. I gave a time limit for falling asleep, and after that, quiet time was over and we did active things to wake them back up again. Then bedtime was at least an hour early. Sometimes more depending on the mood.

Also, I don't know how involved you are in her nap routine, but I would try to do as much dinner prep as you can when she is trying to nap so that if she doesn't fall asleep you can be active with her rather than leaving her to do dinner prep. For several years I was the master of food that could be made in stages and just took a final 10-15 minute burst of activity right before dinner.


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 Post subject: Re: Nap Dilemma
PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 9:26 pm 
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Semen Strong
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I woke her up after an hour and took her to Moe's aka The Happiest Place on Earth That She Knows Of. She loves dancing to their music and eating their tofu tacos and then we went to Trader Joe's to end up home by 9 at which point we read a book and then she went right to sleep. Ridiculously late night or early morning hopefully averted!

We cosleep and she nurses into her nap, so I generally hang out with her while she sleeps. I put on the slowcooker before we go up for our nap, and then when we come down, dinner is done! We are definitely of the quick dinner prep school of thought!

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 Post subject: Re: Nap Dilemma
PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 10:45 pm 
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Semen Strong
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And the dilemma continues.Thursday she took a 3 hour nap in the afternoon (3 to 6) and then went to sleep at 12:30 am. Today she took another 3 hour nap (2 to 5) and just went to sleep at 11:30. I try and put her down at noon, and try and assist her waking up after 2 hours. She is so exhausted, she definitely needs the nap, but seriously, these late bedtimes are the worst.

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 Post subject: Re: Nap Dilemma
PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 1:08 am 
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Diversion, but, this is interesting to me because I never could nap, still can't. I should ask my parents what they did to make this work, because I don't remember it being problematic. I do remember however, in preschool (it was an all-day one) there was 'nap time' and I argued so much about how I shouldn't have to there because I didn't at home, and they tried very hard to get me to do it but did eventually give up and everyone was much more agreeable all around because of it. Naps both then and now just make me super grumpy no matter how long or short they are.

(No, I can't remember what it was like at 2, but definitely maybe 4... And I think I've been told I was like this before then, too)

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 Post subject: Re: Nap Dilemma
PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 7:17 am 
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Well, if she didn't need a nap that would be fantastic! We could go out and hang out at the park all day and then trot home for dinner and bed at 9pm. But she is so tired at around 2 that she can fall asleep nearly standing up. She will just come over to me, in the middle of playing and zonk out on me and then she is out for 3 hours.

I think we need to see pictures of Baby Mars!

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 Post subject: Re: Nap Dilemma
PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 7:50 am 
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Something that worked for us was putting Silas down for his nap before he was showing signs of being tired, like I know he was going to look exhausted by 2, so we'd do naptime at 1. Not sure if this will work for Leela at all, but Silas definitely has an easier time falling asleep when he isn't overly exhausted, that's when his instinct to STAY AWAKE NO MATTER WHAT would kick in. It took a little while to set the routine, but once he got used to it, it made life so much easier! It sucked having to be home every midday, but he needed his sleep so we had to handle it.

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 Post subject: Re: Nap Dilemma
PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 8:28 am 
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yep, you gotta get that nap in a bit earlier. like, 1pm seems to be a good time for most kids. really wear her out in the am, feed her lunch, and then start nap at 12:30 or 1. if it's not happening in like 40 min, i'd give up and put her down at 6pm instead. a lot of kids, when they're dropping naps, can go a few days without a nap, but then need a catch-up day or two, where they have afternoon naps like normal.


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 Post subject: Re: Nap Dilemma
PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 8:32 am 
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I just remembered something I used to do for my kids. I read somewhere that kid sleep cycles are 45 minutes long, so it is easier to wake them after 45 minutes or 90 minutes because they are at the end of a sleep cycle and in less deep sleep. I wonder if you set a timer for yourself for 90 minutes after she falls asleep if that would let you wake her more easily, and with only a 90 minute nap maybe bed time wouldn't be such a nightmare. I don't know, but might be worth a try.


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 Post subject: Re: Nap Dilemma
PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 8:58 am 
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DEG wrote:
I just remembered something I used to do for my kids. I read somewhere that kid sleep cycles are 45 minutes long, so it is easier to wake them after 45 minutes or 90 minutes because they are at the end of a sleep cycle and in less deep sleep. I wonder if you set a timer for yourself for 90 minutes after she falls asleep if that would let you wake her more easily, and with only a 90 minute nap maybe bed time wouldn't be such a nightmare. I don't know, but might be worth a try.

My friend does this and swears by it! We went out to eat last week and she applied it to her baby and it seemed to be spot on. She said getting her baby to sleep at about the time the 90 minute cycle was the key, otherwise, her baby wouldn't fall asleep.

What time do you kids wake up? (I'm asking because littlebird said 1pm is a good time for a nap, but I would guess it depends on when your little ones wake up.) We all get up at about 7 here (except Mr Crabby, who sleeps in).

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 Post subject: Re: Nap Dilemma
PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 12:02 pm 
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Has she always taken three hour naps? That is a long time! Are you happy with bedtime at 9?


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 Post subject: Re: Nap Dilemma
PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 12:56 pm 
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Thank you all! That was very insightful. I had no idea about the 45 minute sleep cycle, but it makes sense because that is about how often she then half-wakes and wants to nurse, so I will definitely try and shorten her nap to 90 minutes. But yes, since she moved to one nap, that nap has been 3 hours long. And I think we are definitely trying to put her down when she is in "I MUST RESIST SLEEP AT ALL COSTS!" mode. She is just so very not tired though - I try keeping her in the room, turning off the lights and reading to her, but its book after book, then she wants to use to potty where she sits for another 3 or 4 books, then she drifts around between my partner and me and asks for food, for songs, for books for games etc. all while she is clearly exhausted.

She definitely still needs the nap, but B and I also really need her to not fight sleep until midnight, because it kicks off bad patterns for us. I ate so much sugar just to stay awake with her, and I really do need even an hour of alone time after she is asleep to just decompress from the day, which means that I am going to sleep at 1 am. I would be fine with 9, because that means I can putter around and talk to my partner and then get a full night's sleep. She went out at 1:30, so I am going to try and get her up at 3 and then go do some fun stuff and get her back down at 9.

CC, L wakes up between 7 and 8. No matter what time she went down. Last night she went to sleep at 12:30 and was up at 7:30, chipper as could be, while I was trying to unstick my eyelids.

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 Post subject: Re: Nap Dilemma
PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 1:14 pm 
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I have to put Sven down at exactly the right moment too, otherwise he gets overtired and won't sleep ever and then eventually get a 2nd wind where all bets are off and I want to die. It sucks to do but I literally have to set the timer on my phone to remind myself that we have to leave a playdate or something to go home and nap. If all goes well he's on a 12:30-3/3:30 nap schedule. If he falls asleep late I never let him sleep past 4 no matter what, because then he won't go to sleep at night. Usually he's kind of cranky if I have to wake him up but it beats the alternative.

I really had to play around with finding the right time to put him down for a nap. It kind of involved picking up on his subtle cues that he was getting tired and finding the sweet spot through trial and error. I've heard a lot about sleep cycles too, though I don't know the specifics, but I assume that's what we're exploiting with our trial-and-error nap schedule!


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 Post subject: Re: Nap Dilemma
PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 1:31 pm 
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mandycoot wrote:
I have to put Sven down at exactly the right moment too, otherwise he gets overtired and won't sleep ever and then eventually get a 2nd wind where all bets are off and I want to die.


I am laughing in recognition at the last part!

I was so tired today, I managed to forget L's shoes when we went to the Farmer's Market. Despite packing everything else she could possibly have needed. Mama-win!

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 Post subject: Re: Nap Dilemma
PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 6:58 pm 
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i think you're starting to get to the age too where it's okay to lay down some firm boundaries. i remember with tzipi, that struggle of knowing when it was ok to start being more strict. if she's obviously over tired and roaming around the house, it's okay to lay down the law and tell her you don't care if she needs a snack/potty/extra dolly/three more stories, it's time to sleep. tzipi went through a phase of almost being held down to sleep. like, she needed the few moments of resistance and freaking out before her body would wind down enough to sleep. and then another phase of coming up with excuses, especially as she got more verbal.

on the other hand, it's not terrible for little kids to have a looser structure, and some kids do need less sleep regardless. i personally would not be ok with 12:30 am bedtimes and 7 am wakeups, and it sounds like it isn't working for you either.


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 Post subject: Re: Nap Dilemma
PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 7:16 pm 
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Do you have to be in the room with her while she's trying to fall asleep? It sounds like you and/or Brett are just too much fun! Walter was around Leela's age when I started leaving him in his room (toddler-proofed) with the door closed for a few minutes at a time, because he couldn't wind down if he had me to talk to or yell at or climb on. It's a judgement call, but I felt like by that age he knew that even if he was unhappy being alone, he was safe, and that I was just in another room. Now (at 2.75) I read him a book, sing him a song, put him in bed and tell him it's quiet time. I leave him alone for about 45 minutes--sometimes he falls asleep, sometimes he looks at books or plays Legos, but I at least got a little time alone, and he's usually refreshed even if he didn't sleep.


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 Post subject: Re: Nap Dilemma
PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 8:51 pm 
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Thanks for the advice, that was really helpful. I guess I hadn't thought about setting limits - we just let her do her own thing until she was ready to conk out.

So today I got her down for her nap at 1:30 and woke her at 4. We had dinner at 5 and went to the park from 6 to 8 and I had her just run herself tired. We got home at 8:30 and went straight upstairs and she got to go to the potty and read a few stories and then I lay down with her and her Dad went downstairs to eat his dinner. I made it clear that he was off limits and though it did take about 30 minutes, she finally went to sleep at 9.

I do sleep with her and stay with her, mostly because we co-sleep, our room isn't toddler proof and if left alone she does fun stuff like pull all my non-nursing bras out of the drawers and stuff them into the diaper laundry (as a warning not to wean her I guess!) or hiding my wallet :) And OMG yes, 12:30 to sleep and waking up at 7:30 does not work for me at all. I was so tired today!

Thank you again - I think sometimes when you're in the middle of a milestone or a shift in behavior, its so disconcerting. It has been so helpful to have people's thoughts and advice. I especially love the 45 minute sleep cycle idea - I am going to start using it with transfers as well - plan to move her when she is well in the middle of a cycle not towards the end.

And OMG today was our first day with no accidents. She made all her poops and pees in the toilet - it was amazing.

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 Post subject: Re: Nap Dilemma
PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2013 10:26 pm 
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Thank you so much for the tips! They have made a really big difference.

Sunday we went for a trip into the countryside (walking through a sunflower maze, going to see antiques, lunch and then a trip to a playground and swimming in a lake with these fish with pretty greenblue tails) and she didn't go to sleep until 3 and stayed out until 7. But we were very consistent that it was time for bed at 10 (after we got home from an awesome local fair (her first fair!)) and she just conked out, which was great.

And today she slept from 2 until 6 but went out without complaint at 10.

This has been so nice.

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 Post subject: Re: Nap Dilemma
PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2013 10:57 pm 
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I wonder if her naps would be shorter if her bedtime was earlier? I guess it doesn't matter if it works with your schedule, but for us, an hour nap is great and then bedtime by 7:30/8 is ideal.

I need the time to do my own thing in the evening before bed.


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 Post subject: Re: Nap Dilemma
PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2013 11:57 pm 
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Well, that is why I am up at this hour....

I can't seem to wake her when she is in the middle of napping. On Sunday I tried to wake her between 5 and 7 and she was just not having it. I even picked her up a few times and she fell back asleep after I thought she was up. She was doing that sleeping with partly opened eyes so it was a bit freaky. But yeah, 4 hours naps are long! I think its probably a developmental spurt driving it? She is just picking up so many words right now - I can't even keep track of everything she knows now. And she can count, and is potty learning pretty well, so I keep thinking that her wee brain needs that sleep.

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 Post subject: Re: Nap Dilemma
PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2013 5:53 am 
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My kids are both long nappers too. I tried to get Silas off his nap this summer to make the school year easier but he was not ready. So now I fit his nap in after preschool and if I don't have to interrupt and wake him up, he'll sleep 2 1/2 - 3 hours still. (He'll be 5 in October). If I try to wake him up, he is just totally out of it and its a mess. Somedays I have to, to pick up Shae when he doesn't have practice, and Silas whines about it for an hour. "Remember when I was napping? That wasn't good manners to wake me up. I was so cozy and my body needs to recharge."

I'm like this too though. If I fall asleep, I'm super asleep.

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 Post subject: Re: Nap Dilemma
PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2013 12:44 pm 
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My kids take long naps too. If I can get my five-year-old to take a nap (probably about once a week, when I send him for quiet time and he's more tired than normal), he zonks out for three hours! My one-year-old will take naps that are 1-4 hours long, depending on if he's taking one or two. We seem to have switched to one now, so it's usually about 3 hours lately.

I say if it's working for you, go for it! I'm glad you found something that's improved your situation. Nap dilemmas are the worst.

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 Post subject: Re: Nap Dilemma
PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2013 3:12 am 
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Kelly, I'm sure it's less cute when you're on the receiving end, but Silas saying "That wasn't good manners..." really cracked me up!


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