Friday, July 15, 2011

Time to drop the morning nap?

When I return to my classroom in the fall, Sophie and Michael will return to their child care center.  They will be in the toddler room where there is only one nap, so at some point this summer I plan to drop the morning one.  I've just been waiting for some signs from them that it's time.

Both Michael and Sophie go down great for their two naps.  When one or both of them start getting sleepy at around 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., I turn on their sound machine, change their diapers, put on their sleep sacks, and lay them in their cribs.  They stare up calmly as I leave the room and silently sleep for at least an hour and a half for both the morning and afternoon naps. 

Lately, however, Michael has been waking up in the middle of his afternoon nap, and Sophie has been struggling with going to sleep at night.  I think what's happening is a sort of domino effect.  They typically sleep for two hours in the morning.  I'm thinking this makes Michael wake up early in the afternoon, cuts Sophie's afternoon sleep short as a result, and leads her to be overtired by bedtime (already pretty early at 6 p.m.). 

I'm planning to shorten the morning nap to one hour tomorrow to see if that helps Michael sleep better in the afternoon and Sophie go down at night.  Perhaps this will also get them to sleep later in the morning.  Michael has not gotten the message that we don't have to get up at 5:30 a.m. during the summer.  Wish us luck!

If you're another parent looking for sleep advice, I've found this blog pretty helpful.  It's based on On Becoming Babywise, the book that details the eat-play-sleep approach.  I also like Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child which puts a lot of emphasis on daytime sleep impacting nighttime sleep and supports letting babies cry at night to encourage self-soothing.  When Michael and Sophie are both healthy and not teething, we've put that philosophy to work with great results.

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