I think it’s official, Bailey is on a one-nap schedule that works for us. He takes one solid 2+hour nap each day, goes to bed around 7pm and wakes up around 6:30am for the day. For those of you who love your sleep, this may sound awful, but for me, this could be a glimpse of heaven. Of course everything seems to change from week to week but I’m hopeful that this schedule will become a longer term trend!!
We switched B to a one-nap-a-day schedule at month 13. The sleep experts all say this can be a rough transition that can last months. We made the shift pretty abruptly because 2 naps a day just weren’t working anymore. As in, he was fighting bedtime and waking up super early for the day.
For the first month or more of the one nap schedule, his naps were all over the place, lasting from 1-3 hours. To compensate for not enough daytime sleep, I kept him on a very early bedtime (like 6pm) which typically resulted in a wake-up around 7am. If his bedtime ended up later, like 6:30pm, he would wake up at more like 4:45am (ugh!). Then there were the days that he woke up screaming at midnight or sometimes it was 4am…and could only be soothed with ibuprofen. Turns out he had a molar trying to poke through and come out…. I think you get the picture. It’s been rough. A year in, the hormones have faded away and the long-term sleep deprivation of the previous year has really kicked in. How you parents’ of multiple kids of different ages handle it, I just don’t know! But then again, I’ve always needed a lot of sleep to be a cheerful, functional person.
I really, really hoped that Bailey would follow in my footsteps. Or even better, my brother’s footsteps. Sadly, I ended up with a baby that basically didn’t sleep through the night consistently until the age of 1. And even then, it’s been sporadic thanks to fevers, ear infections,teething and poor naps…. The kid has actually always gotten tons of sleep, it’s just not typically concurrent with my sleep! Example, the day he turned 6 months, he slept from like 6:30pm to 7am and it was amazing. I thought, yes! this is the beginning of a wonderful new future. Yeah, that really didn’t last. He went on to mostly sleep a solid 8 hours but had to go to bed around 6pm – meaning he’d sleep to about 2 or 3am, nurse and then go back to sleep til 7. I guess I should be thankful that he always went back to sleep! But as he got older 7am became 6am and the night nursing shifted later to 3-4am. Did I mention it kind of sucks to wake up at 3/4am, feed a baby and then wake up 2 hours later to a super happy, excited baby that wants to crawl all over you and play? This mama does really well on 9/10 hours of continuous sleep!! You see the problem.
I’ve also officially joined the “early bedtime, routine is essential” camp. In fact, I may be the head counselor of said camp! Before I had a kid, I always thought, well duh, your kid is waking up at 5am for the day because he’s going to bed way too early. Just keep him up later! What did I know?! If we keep Bailey up too late and he’s overtired, he rewards us with like 2-3 nightwakings that night. It’s awesome, you turn off the light at 10pm and just as you drift into deeper sleep, your kids starts screaming and crying. It’s only 11:30pm and it really hurts. You get him resettled or you try to wait it out. Either way, you’re up for 20-30 min. minimum. A few hours later, repeat. A few hours later he wakes up extra early and he’s up for the day and you’re both kind of miserable. Yep. It’s definitely not worth keeping him up later because my single, solitary goal at night is to get as much sleep as possible myself!
P.s. remember that super cute photo at the top of this post? That was when B fell asleep on a morning hike to royal arch which pushed back his nap which pushed back his bedtime which resulted in a wake-up for the day at 4:45am. yawn.
p.p.s I’ve become much more of a morning person which is actually kind of nice. I like getting outside and maximizing my daylight. I just need to train myself to go to sleep by 9pm and all will be better. Speaking of which, it’s 4 minutes to 9pm. Time to go to bed.