Nap Attack

We're having a bit of a problem at my house.

My 2 year old doesn't think it's important to sleep.

I know, I know, all of you moms out there are saying, "I hear ya, girl", but really... what IS it with toddlers and fighting sleep?  Holy cow!

Marco has always been a decent napper... he naps for about an hour and a half, but most days two full hours.  And when he was younger (and we lived in Greenville), he'd go to sleep around 8:30 with NO problem.  Everything changed when we moved.  I don't know if it's the fact that his grandparents are in the mix and they're softies... or that he's getting older, or a combination of the two, but night time sleep is a constant battle.

Most days we aim to get him in bed by 9.  I know that this is considered "late" to most of your standards, but remember we don't have school, so our schedule is less rigid.  Also, Mau doesn't get home from work till 6:30... so with bath time and dinner immediately thereafter, it doesn't leave a lot of time for him to enjoy the boys on the weekdays.  And, yes, 9 IS late... so we expect that when we put him in bed at 9, he be tired and go to sleep.  But that is not the case.

Some days, he is up and out of bed for TWO hours before he eventually falls asleep.  He uses the typical excuses... I have to do pee-pee, I have to do ca-ca, I'm thirsty, I need my cozy (blanket), I want water, I want ice... or I don't want ice (depending on if the cup has or doesn't have ice in it in the first place... manipulator!).  We find him standing up, standing in the corner, sneaking down the hallway, laying on the bathroom floor, in the corner of my room playing on my phone in the dark and worst of all, inside Jonas' crib, while poor Jonas is trying to sleep.

Sometimes it's gotten so late that both Mauricio and I have showered and are in bed and we're STILL battling Marco to go to bed so that WE can finally go to sleep.  It's horribly frustrating.  We have tried spanking, we have tried guard dog, we have tried locking him in his room, we have tried ignoring it... nothing seems to work.

Then we realized a pattern.  Like I said, he's a really good napper... maybe TOO good a napper.  On the days that he naps from say 1:30-4, he gives us a ridiculously hard time to go to sleep.  But, on the days he doesn't nap at all, he also gives us a hard time.  He becomes too over tired and super crankified.  So what's the perfect mix?  We're still looking for it.  We're trying to figure out how long Marco can nap for and still be tired for bed at 9.  Mauricio says a half hour, but I'm not ready for that.

You see, the real problem lies with me.  I am SO jealous for my mid-day break.  I need it.  I dream about it.  I've got to have it.  I absolutely adore nap time.  I sit and catch up on my blogs or my shows, I have a private lunch, I do my Bible study and I do my Vest.  The Vest takes 20 minutes, so while I'm enjoying my shake, I usually do my Bible study.  So the minimum break time I can have is 20 minutes.

The last few days, I've begun testing him.  On day 1, I gave him an hour and a half.  It was too long... he was difficult that evening.  On day 2, I gave him an hour... it was better.  And on day 3, I gave him 45 minutes... this was the best I think.  I also have to be sure that his morning activity is highly stimulating... either physically or mentally.

I know he still NEEDS to nap.  On days we go out for an activity, he IS tired in the early afternoon and he'll even ASK me to go to sleep a bit.  On days we stay in, skipping the nap is a possibility and probably best for everyone.  Of course I feel bad waking him and "depriving him" of sleep, but I feel like he needs night time sleep more than day sleep.

This is what is recommended for Marco via this guide on WebMD, "Most children from about 21 to 36 months of age still need one nap a day, which may range from one to three and a half hours long. They typically go to bed between 7 and 9 p.m. and wake up between 6 and 8 a.m."

This is pretty spot on.  Marco is on the latter side of the recommendation... he goes to sleep at 9 and wakes up by 9... he's sleeping about 11 hours at night.  And as far as the nap goes, we've got to keep playing with those numbers... maybe someone should come up with a formula for me.

Level of morning activity/ hours of night-time sleep = nap time length.

I'm no mathamagician. 


Danielle-Marie said...

Landon went through a stage like this and it seems to have passed for the most part but we still have about 2 nights a week where it's a struggle to get him to bed. He used to nap 3 hours but now I limit him to 2 hours max. I have to let him nap otherwise he is miserable. Anyways, I know this isn't really any advice but I just wanted to let you know I understand what you're going through. It's a difficult transition. I'm hoping spending more time outside now that the weather is beautiful will help.