Friday, February 25, 2011

To Sleep, Or Not to Sleep...

Aren't kids so angelic when they sleep?

Maybe the sight of a sleeping child is so special to me because sleep has never come easy for my kids. They aren't sleepers. Never have been, and I assume, never will be...until they are teenagers of course. Although, I was always a light sleeper and I rarely needed more than a few hours of sleep a night. In college they use to call me the "Jenerator" because I just kept going and going. I wish I had that same energy now. Sigh...

So around 10 months, when Addie finally started sleeping the night, I thought I was home free. That was the hard part. Infancy. Now that she was a toddler and sleeping the night EVERY night, I wouldn't have to worry about her anymore.

So when Blake started sleeping the night a month or so ago, I thought I was finally out of the woods. I would be able to crawl into bed for the night and not get out until the first cry in the morning. I know illness, teeth, and the occasional sugar/party high would result in wake-ups, but on average I expected my kids to be over the difficult sleep age. Well...not so much.

Addison is starting to resist napping and bedtime. For the past month, she has only been taking 3-4 naps a week and just this past week...she only napped 2 times. I suppose this would be okay IF she was getting a good nights sleep. But she isn't. Because she goes to bed SO tired from not having a nap, she is restless and wakes up 2-4 times a night. Sometimes its to go to the bathroom, sometimes its because she is scared of a shadow, sometimes its because of a boo-boo and sometimes its just to cry. The obvious solution seems to be to just let her cry it out. But she is relentless. And the one time I let her cry it out, she really did have to go to the bathroom and she wet the bed. I still feel guilty about that. And the worst part is that she knows how to get down from her bed and go to the bathroom herself. I even bought nightlights for the hallway and bathroom and she still won't go alone at night.

So this raises a few questions for all you mommies, daddies, grammies, grampies, aunties, nannies, etc. out there. Does your 2, almost-3-year-old still take consistent naps? If so, are they on a specific schedule? If not, when did they stop napping and how do you work bedtime? And while we are on the subject of bedtime, do any of your kiddies still wake up in the middle of the night? How do you handle those night wakings? I suppose at this point I am looking for any advice that might help us all get a good nights sleep around here. Tired crabiness is the worst and if there is something I can do to help my peanut sleep better...I really want to give it a try.

Thanks in advance for your help friends! Have a great weekend!!


  1. You are not alone! Jonah (my son) was 2 in October. He started sleeping through the night at 2 months old and never looked back for a long time. He does tend to wake up at night some now and just cry and it's so sad because rarely do we know what is REALLY wrong. It's so tough! All we can do is just comfort them and hope they go back to sleep. I know this wasn't advice, but I just wanted you to know you aren't alone:)

  2. I finally figured out if my kids don't go to bed for the night or nap time the exact same time everyday then their sleep is out of whack for days. For my kids (2 and 3.5) we have lunch at 11, when they are done eating, we wash hands and faces then directly up to bed. If I let them play then my 3.5 y/o daughter gets dramatic because she doesn't want to stop playing to go to nap. Then supper at 5, snack at 7 and bed at 8. They know how to tell time at 7 and 8.

  3. Jen-I force Zach to take a nap, even though he insists he doesn't need one, or want one. He usually sleeps for a good two hrs. Same at bedtime...he doesn't want to go, but is asleep within 10 minutes. It is a battle...If Addie keeps waking up...move a little potty into her bedroom. See if that helps!

  4. My daughter is 4. No naptimes here, she gave those up a long time ago. She wakes up every single night. She used to wake up and cry but we trained her to come to our room where we have a mattress on the floor. If we try to make her stay in her room she she'll wake up every hour very upset. She doesn't wake us up anymore unless she needs to use the potty or if she's really scared.

    I'm not sure if there is some issue that we need to address, but for now it works for us.

    She'll sleep through the night in her room very rarely and when she does we make a BIG DEAL out of it and hope that someday she'll grow out of it.

  5. Parker is 2 and he naps at daycare every day for a couple of hours. I have a hard time getting him to nap on the weekends. If he doesnt nap or has a really long day he wakes up crying at night. I always try to get him to nap and if not, i get him to bed early.

  6. Parker naps everyday at daycare. If he doesnt nap I can definately tell because he wakes up at night crying. He never sleeps well when he doesnt nap or if he has a really long day. Usually i just go comfort him and give him a stuffed animal and he goes back to sleep, sometimes he ends up in bed with us. I have just learned to try to get him to nap as much as possible.

  7. I have a daughter just a couple weeks older than yours, and she still naps, but they are starting to become a little inconsistent. Some weeks, she will have a day or two that she doesn't sleep when she is in her room for nap time. I keep her in there for at least 2 hours anyway (sometimes she doesn't fall asleep until an hour has passed!). If she resists the nap, I get her up and she goes to bed half and hour earlier that night, which would be 7:30 (8 is normal time). If she wakes in the night, I go in and tell her its still night night, and she usually will go back to sleep. Maybe your daughter is getting over tired. That usually makes things worse during the night. Consistent sleep schedules are really key at this age!

    Just an idea, maybe you could put a little potty chair in your daughters room??

  8. Hey Jen
    Isaac is still taking his naps at day care and at home. About 2 hours... from 12-2. We tell him even if he is not tired, its quiet time. He always ends up sleeping. He goes to bed around 8 and is up at 6am. He still will wake up around 4am, and come in our room, but he will go back to sleep... THANK GOD. There is a night light called The Portable Night Light By Emphasis. Maybe if she can take the light WITH her, she would feel more secure? I mean, this is just a wild shot in the dark guess...
    Keep us posted!! <3

  9. Cooper is about 50% naps and I'm confused. He sleeps really well at night, about 12 hours, but the nap is hit or miss. I always make him to go his bed and "rest" anyway. Good luck and let us know how its going!

  10. Jen - Emma still takes a nap every day, unless we're out and about and then we have to skip it. She takes a nap at 1pm after lunch and usually takes a good 2 - 3 hour nap. However, if she sleeps too long she really resists bedtime around 8:30. But she's been going thru a phase of getting up a few times after putting her down saying she can't sleep, or is scared. Really just a ploy to get out of bed. But naptime is great, she doesn't hassle me about it. The days she doesn't have a nap, she isn't really crabby, but that means early bedtime. And sometimes she has restless nights when there's no nap involved. But I'm going to continue the nap until she's going to school all day long. Even if she just rests up there for a half hour or so and doesn't sleep. It can't hurt right? Good luck. I know I'm dreaming the day when all our kids sleep thru the night! :)

  11. Alexander is a sleeper so you probably don't want my advice! He still naps, which can last up to 4 hours at a time. He goes to bed at the same time, with the same routine, every night. Even when on vacation, he'll tell us its his bedtime and put himself to bed. For him, it is all about routine. We've never been co-sleepers and from the time he could roll over, he has never fallen asleep in my arms. That's the only bad part to his sleeping. My only advice is to have a routine. You're an amazing mom, Jen. It will all work out.

  12. Hey Jen!! I know I'm not a mom but I remember when we were kids (even when we started to grow up out of the toddler age) my mom would always designate "nap" time. It was always after lunch. But even if we weren't tired we had to go in our room. We were not allowed to bring any toys in our room, except for the ones that were already there. By the end of it we would all fall asleep. Even if we didn't fall asleep it was "chill out" time. Maybe that might work with Addie.


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