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Sleeping and 29 Month Old: WWYD

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  • Sleeping and 29 Month Old: WWYD

    Hi, AP mamas (and daddies if you're out there) . . .

    We've had ongoing issues with our daughter's sleep, and I wanted to put some of them out there to see what kind of responses I got.

    She's a very wakeful child. Wants to see everything around her all the time. I love that about here. Except at naptime or at bedtime.

    We're on day 5 of a napping strike, and I've started to grow accustomed to not having her nap, because it cuts so much tension out of my day: putting her down for a nap, which may or may not work, and the 1 to 1 1/2 hours of putting her down at night. When she doesn't nap, by and large, she's asleep very early and within 15 minutes, because she's so tired. And she's a pretty easy kid to have around during the day, because she doesn't unravel when she's tired. But she starts to look very tired, and I look at her and think, god she needs to sleep.

    So, it's tempting to think about giving up naps altogether, even though I don't believe with any part of my being that it's best for her.

    The other thing with naps is this: If she wakes up at 7ish in the morning, she isn't ready for a nap usually until 1:30 or so. If she sleeps until 3:30, she isn't ready for bed until 9:00 or so and then an hour to an hour and a half to put her down. She just can't settle. I find that to be an incredibly long day, and I feel like a crappy parent saying that. Or if I put her down when she's finally tired in the afternoon (if she doesn't go down at 1:30), then she's waking up at 5:00 and up until god knows when.

    It's very challenging to have a child that has no predictability in the way she sleeps. The only thing predictable is how unpredictable it all is, which I suppose is my lesson in all of this.

    But we've practiced AP from the beginning, so I give and give and give and give all day long. At the end of the day, I'm ready for some time with myself and my husband, which is rare.

    I don't mean to sound like a whiner. I get that this parenting thing is all give . . . and I'm so committed to it. I'm just struggling with watching my daughter go around and around and around with sleep. And sometimes I'm okay, and sometimes I lose my temper, and I hate myself for that. I wonder how many times I can do that without doing damage. Seriously. Tonight I was at the end of my rope and threatened to leave the room if she couldn't fall asleep. She, of course, started crying and screamed,"I'm done with you, Mommy!" Of course, that cut me deep, because she's heard me say a variation of that--never like that to her!--because I've said,"I'm so done with this!" when I'm struggling with her sleep. But when she regurgitated my words back to me like that, I realized that I must be doing damage of some sort. That must be her interpretation of what I say.

    And that's the worst feeling in the world.

    So, I'm not sure what types of changes to make in our routine or what could help. She used to breastfeed to sleep to nicely, but now it seems to be more of a stimulant than a way to relax. We co-sleep, so I'm laying there with her until she falls asleep, which, many nights, is a wonderful way to do it. And on other nights, it's frustrating and I feel trapped, because I'm there for so long.

    Some of the change is within me and knowing that my child is who she is. And some of it seems like it needs to change.

    I just haven't a clue what that means or what to do. I feel completely lost in the midst of this.

    So, I hope this makes sense. Any thoughts you have would be greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    May The Force Be With You

    Dear Corrine,
    I have a four month old with similar issues... I feel alot of sympathy for your situation. I understand how hard it is to give up ALL personal time and the truth is it means things that really need to happen can't - bill paying, etc... We are a co-sleeping, AP family. My son is very active, alive and energetic. I have found that if I nap with him or let him nap on me in some fashion, he gets what he needs and I get to read a book, be on the computer or catch up on some sleep... I have also found that if I allow him to take SEVERAL cat naps a day (30-45 mins) he sleeps MUCH better at night (7pm-7am) with only a few wakeful periods to nurse briefly. Perhaps you could consider nursing her into a catnap several times a day and just see if she responds to this.

    If you are truly committed to changing these patterns, The No Cry Sleep Solution is an excellent resource.

    In the end, I truly believe that if we are not creating a problematic environment, our children will lead the way with respect to their bodies and we should trust them.

    Be Well.


    • #3
      Hi Corinne,

      I've been in your shoes. My son's sleep has always been challenging. It's also been hard for myself and my husband to get much time alone because my son is a night owl and we don't have a lot of family support around.

      Just a few random ideas came to my head reading your post - which may or may not work for your family:

      -driving in the car around sleepy-naptime
      -giving up the "bedtime battle" and letting her fall asleep when she wants to (radical, I know!)
      -Make sure your self-care habits are good - easier said than done, I know ..
      -enlist partner help with bedtime
      -look up suggestions on "gentling your days" I've heard this expression from Sears or AP or somewhere..
      -food allergies /sensitivities can affect sleep (once we took my son off dairy he slept through the night)
      -make sure she gets plenty of exercise during the day (but nothing exciting near bedtime!)
      -try a simple bedtime routine, experiment with it and adjust as needed, different things work for different kids..
      -maybe try the idea of falling asleep as a family and finding other times to have "date time" or couple time

      and if you read that and think, I have tried it all and/or it won't work for us, just take real good care of yourself. Having a child that doesn't sleep much or easily is challenging.

      good luck!


      • #4
        me too

        I have the very, very, very same problem. So I am writing because I often feel alone in my frustration and struggles, and hope it is encouraging to you to at least know that you are not.

        I'm not sure how old your daughter is? My son is 2 1/2 (30 months). He also takes apx 2 hours to fall asleep and naps don't always happen. The hardest parts are having little to no time with my husband, unless he doesn't nap and then falls asleep ontime-ish (by 8:30?); otherwise he's up til around 10, and my husband has already fallen asleep. (I wake him up for an hour to have us time, unless he has to get up at 4:30). The other hard part is that b/c my son needs us with him to go to sleep, we can NEVER go out at night. We have a 7pm curfew (his bedtime). He also wakes up every hour or so, and panics if I am not there, so yeah, we're pretty stuck, even if we COULD get him used to an alternate person to put him to sleep.

        Things that we've done:

        1. I'm terrible with schedules b/c I hate them. If my son is extra cuddly in the morning, and I am always tired, and he looks so sweet, I am loathe to wake him up in order to keep him on a schedule! And you can't force it the other way around (a late wake up)! But when we are on more of a schedule, naptime is easier.

        2. Figured out the span of time he needs from waking til nap (5 hours) and try to stick to it religiously. This makes it easier for him to fall asleep napping. I nurse him to sleep at nap time; for some reason he does not nurse to sleep at bedtime, although we nurse then, and also nurse him at each night wakening (about 6).

        3. My husband and I have worked really, really hard to excuse me from the laying-with-him-to-fall-asleep routine, b/c I really need that time to refresh myself. As a cosleeping parent, I am literally with him 24/7 (this is really not fun when I need to change a tampon and can't even get that time alone!) so I too lose the patience I cultivate all day after hours of laying in the dark. So after our routine (which has been exactly the same for 2 years - 3 stories, prayer, lights out, song, finish nursing) I kiss him goodnight and go downstairs, leaving my son with Daddy. At first this was dreadfully hard, lots of tears and many many trips back upstairs to kiss and comfort, but they lessen as he realizes this is how it is. Its heartwrenching, but I know he is with his 2nd favorite person in the world, not CIO. The hard part is, after each business trip with Daddy away, we have to go through it again. However, I know I NEED this time, and its better for my son without my tension in the room. I may not be able to go out dancing with my husband (maybe in a few years?) but I do get a bubble bath, some reading, or if its timed just right, maybe even a yoga class in.

        Thanks for sharing your own struggle - I hope to hear more good advice in the replies, and hope this may have helped a little.

        (I'm curious what the consensus is about giving up naps? My sister's and mom's kids all stopped napping at 2, and while I too believe all the literature that its too young, my son, and your daughter, seem like those rare exceptions that just don't need as much sleep, since it keeps them up at night!)


        • #5
          corinne, you just described my life! i know it is a personality difference because i have one son (4) who is just like your daughter and always has been a complete minimalist when it comes to sleep. every morning and nap, he wakes up mad because he realizes that he eventually fell asleep. my 3 year old son has always pretty much enjoyed his nap and bedtime, and he takes his time waking up in the morning.... some people just flat out like sleep more than others.

          i loved all of laura's and dvinall's suggestions. i have done a lot of "nap rides" in my day.... a lot. for those days when you just don't have the energy to go to the trouble of forcing the nap issue, but you see that glazed over look in their eyes and you know they need to rest.

          honestly, after battling and battling with my 4 yo from birth onward, i have finally decided this: the easiest way to go about it is let them decide when to sleep or not. when i mind my own business and sleep when i feel like it, i find that he decides to willingly sleep whenever i start turning the lights of and heading for bed. he just doesn't want to miss a thing, and if i try to get him to sleep first, all that "time with my husband" is spent going round and round with him. what it all comes down to, is he's not tired enough. i have found that my 3 yo will go to bed willingly with a bottle of chocolate milk. i usually give the boys a choice: lay down with them or chocolate milk. 4/5 times, they will choose the chocolate milk, so i am more than willing to oblige when they choose for me to lay down with them. not so great for the teeth, i know, but a person has to have time to change a tampon, right???

          i think this is a common occurrence with the practice of AP. i think it is indicative of feelings of acceptance... like the kids think they are part of a family unit that does stuff as a family....including going to bed! i also believe napping, not napping, and having an unpredictable sleep "schedule" is indicative of your kid being in tune to her body. there are two things that i think kids are born with that it is valuable, albeit annoying at times, to help preserve: (1) they know how to eat WHEN THEY ARE HUNGRY ...and therefore stop when they are full.... so important for lifelong health. more work for us parents, yes, but so valuable. so much more valuable to help kids tap into that than to teach them that "we eat at certain times" and then they gorge themselves past fullness just to be able to make it to the next "meal time" or "snack time"; (2) sleep WHEN TIRED.... i have found that the most liberated i feel (because i've tried to schedule despite my hatred of schedules) is when i am not trying to control my son, who is, albeit a child, another human being. isn't that just the way it goes? it is so much easier to love someone despite their more annoying qualities and move on and let them be them than to try to control/change the stuff we don't like about them. i have found that in my marriage, friendships, and children.

          i feel you totally on the needing time for yourself and time for your relationship with your husband. TOTALLY. i am sure you feel they way i feel, since you mentioned craving that time with him; but, i am actually STILL in love with my husband... crazy, right? and i NEED time with him to keep that flame going. after going round and round with my oldest child and finally giving up the battle after the birth of my 3rd child (8 months old tomorrow!), i sat down and thought about it: what do my husband and i need from each other? it came down to 2 things: conversation and sex. every couple is different, but for us, i figured out that we need to have sex at least once a week, preferably twice, to feel connected. and we need about the same amount of good hour-long conversations (minimum, of course) to get by. so, break it down. when and how can you make that stuff happen? my husband goes to work early and i cannot get up with him or i would literally die of exhaustion (been up nursing one baby or another for the last 4.5 years, not to mention the added potty wake-ups of more recent years). so, that's my relationship, but i also need some me-time, too. here's how i accomplished some balance:

          --figured out when the most reasonable time for us is to have sex.... surprisingly, it is the middle of the night. i ask him to wake me up after i've had about an hour or two of sleep (at least) and ask me then. at the end of a long day with the kids, i am just never in the mood right at bedtime. and if i lay down with the kids, inevitably my 3yo, 8mo, and myself will be asleep before my 4 yo wakeful child. mornings are out, too, as i said above....that's when i get my good quality sleep (about 430 am to whenever the kids get up). so, it sounds crazy, but we have done really well with the midnight-3am time period for sexual reconnection.

          --conversation. once again, the car to the rescue. when we really need to talk, we try to play with the kids really well, then load them up for a "night ride" to "Look at the moon" etc. if the kids didn't nap that day, this ususally can happen from 7-8 and we can carry the kids in and have time to ourselves at home. if the kids DID nap (which, likeyou said, is usually late), then this happens from about 10-11pm. we usually get a great talk in, and the kids don't feel left out.... but they are strapped down and quiet. of course, if your kids aren't great riders, this might not work... SO, on the days when i really need a real break and some ME time, then i let them nap when they get really nappy (about 3-5 or 4-6ish pm). i get a nice break, enjoy it without worrying about the "bad timing" and then enjoy an extended family night with happy, rested kids, and an hour of conversation with the husband at the end of the day in the car if they aren't ready to go down when we want to call it a day. i find, i alternate between needing that nap break really bad and not needing it as much/enjoying the earlier bedtime for the kids. and it works out usually that we get a nice mix of late nights as a family and early nights for the kids. all about balance.

          it's all about combining things you need with things that work.... i hope you find that magical combo and get some more balance for yourself.


          • #6
            More comments from the Facebook page:

            Comment 1
            wait... did I write that? That sounds EXACTLY like my situation with my 34 mo. old son. I have tried everything for a speedier route to sleep... massage, essential oils, rescue remedy, valerian (spits it out), complete darkness. No stimulation 1 hour before bedtime... nothing seems to help.

            Comment 2
            I just went through the same thing with my son. He just turned 2 at Christmas and at the same time gave up naps. At the end of him napping he was waking up at 8-8:30am, not ready for a nap until around 2pm and no matter how short the nap, he wasn't ready for bedtime until at least 10pm. Now that his nap is gone he still wakes up around 8-8:30am, but is usually in bed and asleep by 8pm. I will admit that some days we struggle to push past dinner time without a nap, but I know it will pay off for all of us (me, dh, ds1 and ds2) because we'll all get a better night sleep. And give it time, it took a couple of weeks for us to get used to the new routine. Good Luck with whatever you decide!

            Comment 3
            No, I'm pretty sure I wrote that! Just under a different name and changed my son to a girl. Wow. Was like reading my life word for word!

            Comment 4
            I have been there and still there a lot of the time.. I have 3 1/2 yr old daughter and 20 mo old son. Last night son sleep till 4:30 and daughter say in her bed. It has been hard but get your husband involved to help with bed times. Naps... we are all over the place. We bed share - cosleep in a queen (ugh) and still bfing.

            Comment 5
            I'm also in the same boat with my son, 2 1/2 yrs. He loves his naps and asks to take them but bedtime has been such a struggle lately and I'm wondering if it's because he takes such long naps. We bf to sleep (it's still the only way he will go to sleep) and lately it's taken anywhere from one to two hours to get him to sleep (I know he's tired and he's asked to go to sleep but he still fights it). Let me say that breastfeeding a 2 1/2 yr old for 2 hours is a little more than I can take, physically, and, I've found, emotionally as well. I work from home so the idea of getting rid of the naps is quite scary as it's the only time I work. I also don't know if that's best for him either, on the days he does skip a nap he goes to bed at the same time so there's no way he's getting enough sleep. Not sure of any solutions!

            Comment 6
            same boat here with sleep schedules...

            29 month old had decent sleep habits up until late in my pregnancy and then everything went haywire after the baby was born. It doesn't help that DH recently moved to an evening/late night work schedule.

            If we skip naps here, DD goes to sleep generally around 8/9pm but then she wakes up four hours later and is up for another 3-4 hours before sleeping another 4 hours. Then she will take a random 2 hour nap during the day and not go to bed till 10pm sleep 2 hours be up for 5 hours and sleep another 6. It is so completely random and frustration because her schedule is completely different from DS who sleeps fantastically and yet, is still off from DH work schedule so I feel like I am up around the clock with no help for days (sometimes weeks at a time). We have tried everything short of CIO and nothing works. Pediatrician said it's due to a series of drastic changes in our lifestyle and that it will eventually work itself out (I hope!). Maybe she should consider any changes (even minor) that could be occuring. Just like the 4 month sleep regression (due to developmental factors). Oh! The other thing is that she recently figured out how to use the potty (on her own without me having to train! Yay!) and has been working on that. That could be a factor for odd sleep patterns as well.

            My best suggestion would be to hang in there and see how it goes. It's hard but this phase should pass (eventually)

            Comment 7
            I'm in this situation too! My son is 30 months old and just in that in-betweeny stage where he kind of still needs a nap, but when he has one it's not till early afternoon and then he's up till 10 or 11PM. Getting him off to sleep is actually not a problem as long as he's ready, he just has a couple of boobs and then I carry him up asleep, but it's exhausting for me all the same - I really need those few hours in the evening just to read or watch a film with OH or whatever. During the school holidays we got into a nice routine of waking up around 8.30-9AM, going all day without a nap, and then both kids asleep in bed for 7.30PM. But since school started again (I have a 5yo as well) the alarm has to go off at 7.15 and he just can't go all day without a nap, so it's got a bit screwed-up again :S he was up till 10.30PM last night and the night before, and I was so knackered I had to go to bed myself shortly after! I just think it's a stage though, you know. He's almost there, almost at the point where he'll be able to go all day without his nap, and then things will settle down. We had similar with our dd.

            Comment 8
            I also could have written this post regarding my now 4.5 and 2.5 year old daughters. What worked for us was giving up naps (I know; probably not what you wanted to hear). #1 gave them up at 2.5; #2 gave them up by 2. Once we got over the initial hurdles of occasional dozing in the car or at the dinner table and they got used to an earlier bedtime, it was a joy! Seriously; give me a child who is go go go all day and hits the pillow willingly at 8 or 8:30 over one who naps at an inappropriate time (read: too late!) and is wired until 10 or 10:30 any day!! It will take time to adjust, and there will be setbacks (a nap here and there, the aforementioned falling asleep at dinner at 6:00 p.m.) but if you are struggling with sleep both at naptime and bedtime this is the best advice I could give. Good luck, Momma! I also think you are spot on when you comment about it cutting tension out of your day. No napping was one of the best moves we made for sanity!

            Comment 9
            Naps were officially gone on our home at around 2 years old - she just hated them and it was such struggle that left both of us feeling out of sorts and not connected -- all of that for something that wasn't needed. Having her in bed at 8P after a wonderfully snuggly time during our bedtime rituals (essential oils, reading, etc) and literally asleep moments after her head hits the pillow is wonderful for us both.


            • #7
              My daughter is 28mo. now, and in January we gave up the nap for the exact scenario you are describing. Our days and lives were so much more pleasant without the nap, we wern't fighting nearly as much. So I started to look at how much sleep she needs and following her cues and found that no nap was actually best for her. Now she is asleep by 8ish, vs. for us it was getting to be almost 11 before she would go down. It takes like you said about 15min. vs. 1-1.5 hours. I can't help but believe that no nap is best for her when she is so much easier to get to bed at night. We have meltdowns starting around 5:30pm -6pm, but I look at that as healthy she is showing how tired she is, and is ready to start her bedtime routine, and have quiet time with mommy and daddy. I have time with my husband back, I have time to myself back, and all and all I have to say I am a happier mom with no naps. It is hard and makes for a long day, but I think it's best for all of us. And some nights she just goes to bed a lot earlier.


              • #8
                Thank you everyone for your responses. Truly, my eyes were filled with tears of gratitude for all of your heartfelt words; taking the time to write means so much. It's funny, but sometimes the actual outcome of the situation isn't as crucial as the outreach to like-minded people and connecting with others who feel similarly and/or who care and "get it."

                That being said . . .

                A lot of wonderful tips and ideas that I so appreciate.

                So, a couple of days and a lot of crying and soul-searching in my part has resulted in a few changes in routine and in mindset on my part.

                Routine - naptime (now called "Quiet Time"): I told my little love at lunch that we were going to come up with some rules for naptime and what would we like to call it? I threw out "relax time" or "rest time," but she chose "quiet time" for afternoons, so that's our name now. We came up with four rules (as much for me as for her, I think) which are simple:

                (1) You don't need to sleep during Quiet Time (to ease her anxiety and let her know that I wouldn't be mad if she doesn't sleep)
                (2) Quiet time ends when the ladybug turns off (we have the Twilight Ladybug that turns off after 45 minutes. Obviously, if she's sleeping, score. If not, we're up and out of there.)
                (3) Quiet time is for quiet, laying down, and relaxation.
                (4) Quiet time is happy time for everyone. (Important, because we've had so many conflicts around sleeping . . . for me probably just an important reminder, every day, that I owe her happy times for sleep.)

                So far, we've read it before quiet time for two days and have had two easy naptimes. And when we don't, we don't. I'm trying to let go of my attachment to it. My work, always in progress.

                Routine - bedtime: Around 7:30, we move toward pajamas and getting upstairs to mobilze to bedtime. On the way, we talk about which activities are going to be included in bedtime [massage, light/concentrated play (stacking CDs, putting playing cards in slotted container, things that focus and quiet her), storytelling (she always picks this)], which seems to keep her interested. In the bedroom, we brush teeth and then do 1-2 things that we talked about. Last night it was massage and quietly building things with her little toddler erector set thing. Tonight, it was just massage, because it was clear she was ready and needing the sleep sooner. This is where things change a bit for us: we always turn on the ladybug and "gaze at the stars and moon," but now this is story time for her. My daughter is really into hearing us tell stories--about her, about when we were little, about anyting she's interested in. So, she gets to pick three or four, depending on how long they are. She directs the storytelling by picking. She nurses while we/I talk. After about 15 minutes, I announce that it's time to turn the ladybug off and say goodnight. No more talking at this point. We also cut down to one side for nursing, because it's been clear that switching sides has been too stimulating for her with all the moving around (and she's a big "two milks please" nurser!).

                I don't want to jinx myself, but for the past two nights, I've really enjoyed bedtime, and she's been asleep within 20 minutes of turning off the ladybug. Maybe a total fluke--who knows? But it's been a learning experience for me.

                I'm not very good at this part, which I wonder if other AP mommies are: setting limits firmly, but gently, and sticking to them without feeling bad. This routine feels like a compromise with what she wants and what I want for bedtime, and I like that, because it feels like a partnership in some ways. For example, one of the problems has been that she wants to talk when the lights are out, and she tries to engage me instead of sleeping. I think by engaging her proactively during the falling asleep process, maybe I'll have a shot at satiating her need for that interaction. I hope so. So, something she needs and something that hopefully is going to further the ease with which she sleeps. I'll see.

                Anyway, it's only a few days in, but I feel like I have a framework that gives clear guidelines for us to move forward, and that alone feels good.

                It's funny, but I was just thinking today how easy it was to be in tune to her when she was an infant and everything was reciprocal and mutual, and it was just a virtual lovefest all the time. Tonight she said to me (which she often does these days),"Talk to me like I'm a little baby," and I use this very gentle, sing-songy voice like I did when she was little. And I heard myself tonight and wondered when I lost so much gentle with this little girl? Everything morphs, but it's important to be reminded what it was like two years ago and regain more of that with her. I felt really sad to think about how forceful I've been in wanting to will her sleep to happen. HappyBabies, you talked so beautifully about AP kids knowing themselves and knowing their bodies enough to be able to sleep, eat, etc. when they needed to. Yes! I so agree, and I read that and feel sad that I lost sight of that in my own need to have this and that.

                Because ultimately, my husband and I are in this for life, so we aren't going anywhere even if we don't get to connect as much as we like. And in 10 years I'll be missing cuddling up with her for bedtime and naptime, and I have tears in my eyes writing this just thinking about it. So, what's really so important in my life that I have to rush her willfully to sleep.

                I guess a lot has shifted in me in the past few days, some practical, and some inner and more soulfully.

                So, here I am taking everybody's wonderful thoughts and caring in and continuing on our little journey. I'll keep you posted and updated on how our new things work.

                Ultimately, I want her world to be happy. And she's happy whether she naps or not. I'm very lucky. She's most happy when we're happy together, nap or no nap, and I owe her more of that in her life. I already beat myself up for the many times I've lost it during sleeptimes. And for what? I hope I can forgive myself for that soon (working on that too).

                Thank you again, everyone, for your caring and time. This forum has been such a wonderful way to connect. Let's all keep writing and supporting one another.
                I'll be in touch and look forward to continuing to hear from others.
                Love & Peace


                • #9
                  Thank you for your post. I too am having similar issues with my DS, and it is nice to know that I am not alone. I especially enjoyed your honesty about the feelings of guilt (and sometimes anger!) that you experienced, as this is something that I struggle with as well. I think that a lot of times, I am my own worst critic, and usually take way longer to forgive myself for my actions that my DS does. Your post and later reply helped me to keep some things in perspective, which is often difficult when dealing with sleep deprivation and the frustration that comes with it. I wish you luck!


                  • #10
                    Join our club!

                    Brought tears to my eyes reading your story - or should that be my story?! My 18 m/o is exactly the same and it's so exhausting to give so much all day and then start again at night (I have no idea how many times she wakes as I have banished the clock and the whole night is a blur of BF). Last night she took 3 hours to get to sleep at what was gone 10:30-45 by my estimate. I had to leave the room and go downstairs to scream until I got a sore throat, just to let go of the stress! The frustration is so immense and all consuming but I don't want my little girl to know that (I assume she couldn't hear over her own screams despite daddy sitting with her whilst I had my little session!) I went back and removed her from our bed and we all went downstairs, I had a cup of tea and let her look at daddy's motorbike magazine which she loves and then we went back to bed to BF and collapse with exhaustion. I have no idea what to do as the things that work with other children don't work for my little angel and I'm desperate to continue naps for at least a bit longer as I know she needs them. However, evidently we are not alone and maybe that's the only thing to bear in mind. This too shall pass (apparently!) and we shall soon have teenagers who we are dragging bedding off of at noon and trying to make get up. Bring it on!


                    • #11
                      Diet and Exercise

                      Wow! What a story! Stories!

                      The three things that I always look at when my very active 2.5 yr old doesn't want to sleep sleep is diet, exercise and stimulation. If he runs around enough, he'll almost always sleep when we lie down together. I like that break-up in the middle of the day too, so we go outside a lot, nap in the middle and have a later bedtime (about 9:00). That works for us.

                      Kids need 12-14 hours of sleep in a 24 hour period. If less than 11 hours of sleep at night, nap is not up for debate for us. Sorry!

                      I think AP parents need to be careful not to tap themselves out with this theory of parenting, because a resentful parent is no way to parent. AP parenting doesn't mean there will be no conflict ever - that's impossible (especially if you have a toddler) - it just supposed to minimize and create bond. AP parenting gives us tools for handling conflict. We do a huge disservice to our kids by giving them too much choice, when their health, safety and well-being are on the line, imo. It's okay, mama, to set limits, if under all the circumstances you feel the nap is needed. And believe me, you'll know by about 5pm.

                      I lay down with my son always, I tell a story, snuggle, etc. On hard days, I try to remain calm. I say, "It's time for rest now. It's time to be quiet. I know this is hard, but rest is important." Yes, we have exceptions, but then a early bedtime is a must. Sleep is a top priority in our house.