Thursday, September 11, 2008

What Do You Do With a No-Nap Baby?

Once again, I'm faced with a dilemma that calls upon me to actually parent my child. As opposed to letting him wander aimlessly through life figuring it out on his own. Sigh.

At 15-months-old, Oscar is getting to a point where he no longer wants to take two naps. However, he still really needs two naps or he's awful tired and awful cranky. What to do?

Our pattern for the past several months has been a 2-2.5 hour morning nap and a 1 to 1.5 hour afternoon nap. And this pattern is SERIOUSLY AWESOME. Really, it is. Ask any parent and they will tell you a kid that naps for between three and five hours a day is like a dream, people, a dream. AND averaging 10-11 hours a night.

Our pattern as of the past few weeks as been closer to one 45 minute - 1 hour nap and one 1.5-2 hour nap. While this is still not too shabby, I'm maxing out at two hours of napping spread throughout the day, which is far less than the three to five hours of napping I'm used to.

Okay, I can deal with the fact that as Oscar gets older, he's going to drop a nap. He's going to reorganize his sleep schedule and consolidate his naps. I'm guessing we'll end up with a 2.5-3 hour nap by the time this all works itself out, and I'll be happy with that.

But what I'm struggling with, is how to help him get there, to his place of napping bliss? I've been following his cues like always, putting him down when he's tired, retrieving him when he wakes; but the fact that it's gotten so sporadic again is wearing on me. And my kid is cranky. The short nap is killing him. It's not long enough for him to fully recharge and he's much more likely to melt down without a nap of 2+ hours.

And, did I mention that I'm pregnant and my patience wears very thin very quickly? It's thread bare, people, and a cranky toddler wears it down in about a second.

Everyone says that the transition from one to two naps is a tough one. I know I'm not the first one to go through this. My pediatrician says it will all work itself out by the time he's 18 months. You know, when I have a newborn permanently attached to my boob and am completely sleep deprived and unable to parent even slightly effectively.

So, I just have to make it three more months, the three longest months of a pregnant woman's life. I have to be patient and help him work it out and deal with his crankiness and meltdowns without having any of my own.

He's awake, right now, at 9:55. I put him down at quarter after. He's crowing and playing up there.

So, I'm off.

Whoever said parenting gets easier is a liar.


moo said...

ok, so it was at about this age that Gray dropped one nap too. And I was very, very sad.

We started by keeping his morning nap and missing the afternoon nap, putting him down to sleep around 7:30. But this made him cranky.

So we kept pushing the start time of the nap back and back ... and now it's about 12:30/1 pm. and some days he'll sleep until 4.

And you will LOVE that nap agenda. TRUST ME on this. You'll be able to go out in the morning! Playdates! Storytime! and then you'll be able to lounge on the couch in the afternoon, or nap, or clean, or whatever. And then 8 pm bedtime.

Anonymous said...

Amy never really did 2 naps, so I can't give you any REAL advice. I am however, full of assvice and I am always willing to share. Hehe.

When Amy was napping (she doesn't nowadays) I was putting her down anywhere between 11.30am and 1pm depending on how tired she was acting. She would then sleep til about 3 ish.

I also found that if she had an earlier nap and was tired before bedtime (7pm), I could pop her into bed anytime after 6pm and she would still wake up at a normal time. I would assume that Oscar would wake at the same time in the morning no matter what time he goes down?

At the end of the day, I'm sure Oscar will sort himself out no matter what you say or do. Goodness knows Amy pays little enough attention to what makes me happy, hehe.