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To need to work around toddler's routine to get it established?

(13 Posts)
PrunesforElla Sat 23-Jul-16 13:48:51

I've posted in sleep about my struggles worth my 19 month old's sleep routine. She's going to sleep far too late, taking ages to settle and I get no evenings to myself. She's often not asleep until nearly 10pm.

Had some great advice in sleep so I'm trying to put that in action. One of the things is bringing naps forward to help bring bedtime forward. And I'm meeting resistance from my DP over it. She says its too tying and DD should learn to be flexible to fit in with us.

But we've had 19 months of being flexible, of sometimes napping early afternoon, sometimes later, to fit in with what we adults would like to do. My DP also wants to be able to stay late and keep DD up at family gatherings. 'For special occasions' but these are just really random gatherings 2-3 times a month. I like the family gatherings but they go on until midnight-ish and often when we come home, dd wakes again when I'm trying to put her to bed. DP stays up continuing to drink while I get pissed off, knowing I'll be up early again in the morning, no point telling dp to do it as she won't wake up after a drink.

She also doesn't agree that if she wants to get up and take DD out somewhere nice, it has to be reasonably early in the morning (10am-ish) otherwise DD hits lunchtime and naptime when we're out. Often we'll make plans to go out and DP isn't ready until after 11 and I like to give DD lunch at 12 with a nap soon after. If I'm alone I get up and go out around 9 or 10.

I know where she's coming from - it would be nice to have more freedom and flexibility but it's seriously not working out for me. I'm the sahm so I deal with bedtimes and mornings. DP works irregular shifts. She has had 2 kids of her own, so it's not like she doesn't know what the small child stage is like.

I would love to have a child who just sleeps as and when, who can stay up late when we're out and be fine the next day, but I don't. Being with DD from waking until 10pm is exhausting me. I desperately need to try a few solid weeks of strict routine to claim some evenings back but DP just thinks I am boring and teaching DD to be rigid and inflexible.

She's making me feel like I'm being unreasonable to want to do this, and now I'm starting to doubt whether I should bother trying. Who is being unreasonable, me for wanting focus on a routine for a few weeks, or her for not wanting to try it?

converseandjeans Sat 23-Jul-16 13:54:40

I did the controversial Gina Ford from day one and it meant waking them up at 7 on the dot - an activity in the morning - being home for a nap 12-2 then going out again in the afternoon for a couple of hours.
I used to like them having a long sleep at lunch at home rather than out somewhere. They would do 2 hrs deep sleep. But it was hard at times - it was tempting to let them sleep longer than 7am - or stay out past lunchtime. I could then crash out at lunch for an hour.
But they did sleep through from a really early age & seemed to like the routine of same thing every day & didn't need to do controlled crying or anything.
Of course it has gone out the window now they are older and want to stay up cos it's light outside!!

converseandjeans Sat 23-Jul-16 13:55:36

So I personally would trade in not being v flexible with getting a good night's sleep - everyone is different tho & some would hate being tied down.

PrunesforElla Sat 23-Jul-16 14:14:02

Thanks, yes that's the kind of routine and thinking of, I wish I'd been more firm about doing it from an earlier age. I get what you mean about people preferring different ways, I suppose I just feel like me being the one who deals with the sleeping, waking, bedtime situations then it I should do what I feel is going to work for us. DD and me, I mean.

rollmeover Sat 23-Jul-16 14:33:21

Once the routine is established you can be flexible. There is no substitute for a decent nights sleep. Being flexible clearly hasn't worked so why not give your way a try? Up at 7, lunch at 1, nap 1-3 (or thereabouts), tea at 5ish and bed at 7.

converseandjeans Sat 23-Jul-16 15:35:26

Agree with rollme - and yes we had a couple of days a week which were flexible.

harderandharder2breathe Sat 23-Jul-16 15:46:39

You have to do what works for your baby

If you have a baby who sleeps anywhere and naps as soon as you put her down, then great don't be tied down

If you have a baby who struggles to settle, who does better with a routine, then that's what you have to do.

It's not for a huge amount of time in the grand scheme of things, but it will make your lives much easier if you can have time to yourselves in the evenings and a toddler who isn't overtired and cranky. Surely better to compromise on flexibility for a happy baby and happy family?

FarAwayHills Sat 23-Jul-16 15:50:22

I am with you OPflowers

Routine and a 7pm bedtime was my sanity. It meant I could have 2 hours child free in the afternoon and evenings with DH. It took a bit of time to establish but once my DDs got the hang of it there was no problem with the occasional late night or change in routine.

PotteringAlong Sat 23-Jul-16 15:52:51

2-3 time a month is almost once a week. That's not a special occasion, that's all the time.

WhyCantIuseTheNameIWant Sat 23-Jul-16 16:34:48

So what would an ideal day be for yours?

For my dd since about 9 months, it has been
Up around 8.
Out somewhere. Park, walking, nursery...
Lunch about 12.
Sleep for an hour ish between 1-3.
Another activity until tea at 5-6.
Wind down from 7.
Bed 7:30 ish.

Decide how you want your day to run.
Then work on it.

PrunesforElla Sat 23-Jul-16 18:55:15

My day would be similar, Whycant, just with slightly different timings.

I think it sounds fine, it's just the opposition from DP getting me down.

I wouldn't care but it's DP who complains about how we never do anything in the evenings anymore. I'm just going to have to be firm and weather the moaning. I have just would be nice to be supported while I'm trying to establish this.

JennyOnAPlate Sat 23-Jul-16 19:01:22

I agree with you op. I also think that if you haven't established some kind of routine by the time she starts nursery/school she will struggle. She won't be able to stay up to midnight and sleep all morning when she has to be in school for 9am!

DorothyHarris Sat 23-Jul-16 19:03:03

Surely that can't be good for your DD though. I disagree that babies fit into your life you have to plan their needs around your own and put theirs first.
My DD has a strict routine that is very rarely broken and has done since about 9m old. As a result she sleeps from 7pm to 6.30. It has meant that I have been tied to the house as she is put down for a nap around 12.30 but it's the price I pay for some time to myself at night and a good night's sleep. She's 2.5 now so not needing such a rigid routine during the day but I now have 4m old DTS and I'm planning to do exactly the same. It's a shame your DD doesn't support you as I think a good routine benefits everyone in the house.
Good luck to you.

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