Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Change is Never Easy

I've been testing the one-nap waters for over a week now, and I can officially say there's no turning back for us. I don't know if I'm incredibly dramatic (possible, very possible) or if other mothers are just better adapters than I am, but this has been one of the trickiest transitions thus far. Maybe it's because Tory has never been the greatest sleeper and it took us an incredibly long time to find a consistent two-nap pattern that seemed to work for her. Once we found that groove (two naps a day from 8:30am - 10:30am and 1:30pm - 2:30pm), it worked liked magic. I'm hoping the same will be the case this time around. Stick to it. Stick to it. Stick to it. (My mental mantra, over and over again).

It's only been 10 days or so, but so far the one nap thing has been a bit stressful. Typically, Tory wakes up in the morning between 5:30am-5:45am, so the next SIX HOURS are full of me keeping her busy with planned activities and lots of distraction to avoid mid-morning meltdowns. The 8:30am-9:30am hour seems to be the worst because she's used to going down for a nap around then. The first few days on this new schedule, I tried to get her out of the house (running errands, grocery shopping, etc.), but she immediately fell asleep in the car. I finally realized a little downtime is okay (and probably much needed) without physical sleep. Over the last few days, I've been using this hour to read books on the couch or snuggle up and watch an episode of Curious George with her. This seems to provide enough recharge to power through the morning.

A solid six hours in the morning means my days need to be planned, or I'm scrambling to pass the time and the days feel incredibly long. In December, I had an advent calendar activity planned for each day and it gave me something fun to look forward to doing together. Along the same idea, I jotted down something fun and interactive for us to do every day in January. Next week for example ...

Monday - visit Mall of America aquarium
Tuesday - story time at the library
Wednesday - make Valentine's Day cards for the grandparents
Thursday - Lil' Explorers event at the zoo
Friday - music class
Saturday - make a Valentine's lei
Sunday - play date with friends

I'm hoping Tory adapts to the new schedule soon and hopefully takes a nice, long afternoon nap once she realizes she's only getting one nap a day. It hasn't happened so far. Yesterday she slept for 40 minutes in the afternoon. I let her fuss for a while thinking (praying!) she'd fall back asleep but she never did. It doesn't leave much recharge time for Mama when the better part of my alone time features a toddler crying for me in the next room.

There really is no turning back, though. She is a toddler now, and toddlers take one-nap a day. It's the way it has to be eventually and I know once we're adjusted it'll make things much nicer to do something fun together in the mornings. We just have to ... GET THERE.


  1. I don't know if this will help or not, but I tried one nap with Oliver and it didn't work. He ended up with less sleep overall and OMG he is so much work when that happens. And with wake-ups in the 5-AM hour - it is HAAAAAARD to force one nap.

    So I'm back to two naps with Oliver and he is doing both solidly. He is over 18-months and some babies do two naps until 20 months.

    Then again, she will adjust to one if that's how you prefer to proceed.

    Adjusting to dropped naps, especially with one kid, is VERY stressful for a SAHM.It makes the day confusing and challenging. I have found it less hard with two kids since Bella is up all day anyway so it feels less crucial (if that makes any sense.)

    Good luck!

  2. Lauren was around 19/20 months old (if I remember correctly!!) when she transitioned to 1 longer nap - also the start of my summer vacation. Like you said we just kept busy in the morning - we had our outing (zoo, library, Children's Museum, swimming) for the day in the morning, then we would come home and eat lunch and nap. Lauren seemed to sleep 2-2.5 hours (sometimes longer based on the activity). It worked well because I had the most energy in the morning to play and then I could relax a bit in the afternoon, and catch up with laundry and dishes and such. During the morning hours I would sleep until she did (no later than 7)and I would give her time for quiet/independent play eour outings so I could get ready and she would got used to entertaining herself and building her imagination.

    I don't even remember what I did to keep her awake in the car on our car trips - we sang a lot of songs - talked about the activity we just did - or talked about all the signs and stuff that we saw. Sometimes she napped a bit on the way home - then I would just lay her down at home - and feed her when she woke up. Luckily she was a kiddo that would stay awake when I carried her in!!

    I am kind of already trying to plan out this next summer when I am home with two kiddos, and of which my summer vacation will also be my maternity leave! I want to do all the fun stuff with Lauren but I know that baby will need a nap -- who knows it may just have to sleep in a baby carrier as Lauren and I do our thing!

    Sorry I didn't mean to write a novel -- but it will come, and when it does you will look back and ask yourself why you ever thought twice about it - that is until that next transition arrives!!

    Good Luck : )

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  4. Nap scheduling can be sooo stressful! I definitely stressed more with Lilah though because she was never a great napper (but was a great night time sleeper).
    I thought Adelle was ready to drop to one nap around 16 months too (basically just because L was that age when she dropped her second nap) and I was so so wrong! She napped and slept worse when I tried to drop her 2nd nap. So after a couple weeks, I added the second nap back in and she went back to being my awesome sleeper, day and night. We just officially dropped down to 1 nap a day, a month or two ago (so she was 20 or 21 months old). But if she is ever sick, I still put her down for 2 naps.
    Some kids will take 2 naps even when they are 2 years old, so there is no "right age" to drop a nap.
    I totally understand if you just want more flexibility and don't want to be stuck at home for naps all day, but if she is still taking 2 good naps and sleeping fine at night, I wouldn't mess with it! Let her nap as much as she wants!
    The hardest part of staying busy when dropping a nap is that I also couldn't let us be in the car any time after 10 or 11 because they would fall asleep in the car and the whole schedule would be off and nap would be ruined. But my kids don't transfer from the car to their beds, maybe you have better luck with that.

  5. Hang in there! These were my exact thoughts in July and August (I commented with our schedule on a previous post of yours since our kids apparently have identical routines!).

    My theory: the one nap day is coming eventually...so I'd rather just get the transition over with now instead of having it hang over our heads. I hated having every day as a guessing game if she'd take that second nap or not.

    You're smart to do the quiet downtime when she'd usually have taken a morning nap. Eating snacks in the car to head out to a morning activity helps, too. Then she's awake and fueled up for fun. And on the ride home, playing fun kid CDs or giving her something intriguing to play with will hopefully keep her awake if the drive is short. We tried to stick to activities within 10 minutes or less because of the dreaded car nap!

    Now that my girl is 20 months old, she FINALLY started sleeping to 6:30 a.m. (her whole life was 5:15 a.m. on the dot) and her nap is a solid 2.5-3 hours every day. So, have cheer! It will happen! :)

  6. Have you thought about taking it day by day? Some days - when M has ECFE classes - are one-nap days with an extra-early bedtime (like 5:30). Some days when she's up early are two-nap days. I'd be a little concerned about those 40 minute nap days because bad sleep can snowball and that's not good for Tory or her mama.

    Have you read "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child"? It's good for the limbo land between two naps and one.