Monday, February 9, 2009

I need advice!

How the heck do you drop a morning nap? I am so frustrated!

Here is our current situation: Emerson is waking up about 6:15am and then shows signs of being tired around 9-9:15. I let her nap for about 45 minutes. She is a little reluctant to fall asleep, but when she does I always have to wake her up when the nap is over. So, she is up by 10am. At 1pm I put her down for her nap (lately it is a little harder to get her down, but not too tough) and she is getting up, mostly on her own, between 3:30 and 4pm. Then bath at 7:30 and bedtime at 8pm.

The signs that I think she is ready to drop her morning nap are the fact that she is waking so early in the morning- she used to be a 7-7:30 am waker. Also, she is a little harder to get down for naps.

So, I need help as to how to achieve this. If you are a mom who has older kids and you have been through this, PLEASE post a comment with some advice.

My biggest question is how to kick-it all off. I mean, if she is waking up at 6am, there is no way that she will stay awake until noon or 12:30. So, how can I get her to sleep in a little later so that we can get the ball rolling?




Allison said...

I am just so jealous that you can get two naps and down at 7:30p...if you can share how you do that I would be in heaven! Good to "see" you here!

pinkmommy said...

My advice is to try to get her to stay up as late as you can in the morning. If she has to go down at 10 or 11, let her go down. And I would say let her sleep as long as she wants. Hopefully she will get the rest she needs with just one nap. Good luck! Let us know how it goes!

Have you tried strawberry flavoring in her milk? Pink milk is a huge treat for my Princess.

J A Hynek said...

The sleep training book I sent you covers this. Basically, kids drop naps when they are ready for it, not when you are ready for it. So do not get in a hurry. Some kids, when they are ready, will drop them cold turkey. Others will do it very gradually. The most important thing is that the kid get the proper amount of sleep (see the chart in the book for this, based on age).

However, if you must push this, then my advice is as follows. Move bedtime earlier - to 7PM (so bath is 6PM-ish). Move lunch to 10:30 or 11AM. Afternoon nap to 11:30AM or 12PM. Keep her awake until naptime - be prepared for major crankies. She should go down for about 2 to 3 hours. You can try this cold turkey, just be prepared for major crankies, or you can get her used to the change by shifting the schedule gradually by 15 minute increments each day.

Note - Moving the bedtime earlier is important. When kids drop to one nap per day it is not because they need less sleep. It is because they are getting more sleep at night. So if she is dropping a morning nap, the time spent asleep has to be somewhere else. Amazingly enough, you may find that with an earlier bedtime she actually sleeps later in the morning. The sleep book explains this too.

Once you find the schedule, maintain it with a nazi-like zeal for at least 3 weeks to make sure it sticks. After that, you'll be able to build a slight flexibility into your life again.

As for when she gets up, thats a much more difficult thing. When either of my boys wake at 4AM, I maintain a mantra of, "Oh sweetie, it's still night-night time. See, the sun isn't up yet." I do this to make them understand that the rest of the house is still sleeping and its time to be quiet. However, ultimately, it is impossible to try to control when they wake up. It's not a battle you will win. Some kids are early risers and then swap to sleeping later. Others do this vice versa. You will just need to adapt your schedule. At age 15 months, Hank went through a 3 week period where he woke at 4:30AM regardless of what I did. I just had to deal with it. Then he want back to his usual 6:30AM.

Unknown said...

I recommend- pushing the morning nap gradually- I found getting out of the house to do something helped push back the nap and I was able to get Brady down around 10:30 or 11am and then it moved back to 12:30 and now he usually takes his one nap at 1:00pm. Good luck!!

Anonymous said...

im just trying to get 5 hours of sleep at night at this point...I dont think we are experts enough yet to help out.