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Question for those not as fanatical about naps!

(26 Posts)
IndecisivePramBuyer81 Fri 28-Mar-14 10:07:41

I'm just curious what others would have done in this situation really..

We've always had to be fairly protective over DS's naps as he's not a great napper, and there's a definite link between how he's napped in the day, and how well he sleeps at night.

I've just started back at work, and he was with MIL yesterday. We've explained to both sets of parents (several times) his usual napping patterns (sadly it's based on when he last woke, so not easy) and stressed that the most important thing is that his last nap of the day ends between as close to 4 as possible (but no earlier than 3) so we don't have meltdown at his 7pm bedtime.

Anyway, so yesterday she let him go from 730 until 11am without a nap which had a knock on effect for the rest of the day, and his last nap had ended at 230.

Now in our world, that means he'd be tired again about half 4, but that's too close to bedtime . If we put him to bed later he still wakes up the following day at the same time and is tired all day. So we let him catnap for ten mins, and meltdown still ensued. I was then up with him from 3am until 430am this morning.

I know our parents think we're 'too much' with monitoring his naps (I don't care, it's what works best for us and DS!), but I just wondered what others would have done in this situation? Are we the only parents who place so much emphasis on ensuring he's getting his naps at appropriate times?!

Koothrapanties Fri 28-Mar-14 10:15:26

Nope. My dd is exactly the same.

badidea Fri 28-Mar-14 10:21:46

How old is he?

Our son is 10 months and naps at random times (used to be predictable but now he rewrites the manual every day :-)

Earlier this week, he'd woken from a nap at 11:30 and by 4pm he was still awake, so we put him down for a 40 minute nap then, woke him at 4:45, he then had tea at 5:20 and was down at nightime fine, (just 10 mins later, went to sleep at 7:20pm, rather than 7:10).

This had happened the week before too (I have a busy tuesday with DS1 doing stuff, so DS2's naps end up awry) but we decided against putting him down at 4pm, and he was overwrought through dinner and beyond and we decided it just wasn't worth it, as he needed the sleep so this week we just gave him the nap and waited to see what happens.

We're lucky in that DS2 isn't really a morning baby, do never really does middle of the night wakenings (unlike DS1 who did that all the time!)

If you've just started back at work, it will take a wee while for him to adapt to new surroundings/routine, I'd try and relax and just think things might be unpredictable over the next week or two, but he will settle, a lot of it is just trial and error.

IndecisivePramBuyer81 Fri 28-Mar-14 10:32:36

He'll be 9 months next week.

This is the 4th/5th MIL has had him for the day as we were conscious of the settling in thing. It's also the 3rd time his naps have turned out like this with her. The last time he was so bad during the night I gave up at 1am and brought him in with us, but he wasn't much better there either..

Maybe we'll let him catnap a bit longer next time then and see what happens (although hopefully there won't be a next time!!!).

I really don't get how she didn't look at him and realise he was knackered before 11am mind. With me, it's like clockwork for his first nap - 2hrs after waking and he's back down again! I hate thinking of him being that tired sad

I'd like to think things will be easier when he drops the third nap!

FarToGo Fri 28-Mar-14 10:46:11

Just wondering if he's ready to drop a nap now? My 8.5mo has been terrible for sleeping the last couple of weeks, so whereas I had been fairly relaxed about naps I watched her like a hawk trying to implement the 3 to then watch her go crazy at bedtime and have multiple wakenings... The last 2 days I've stretched out the morning to 3 hours after waking (even though she gives sleep cues 2 hours after) and stretch out an afternoon one too.
She has slept really well the last 2 nights (fingers crossed for more)

With the changes he is experiencing it could be a good time to drop a nap iykwim. Plus it might be easier for the in laws to manage.

Just a thought.

KippyVonKipperson Fri 28-Mar-14 10:58:01

I do think you need to keep in mind it's a massive change of routine for him to be looked act by someone else, so his sleep and naps may be affected anyway.

I am not too bothered with a strict nap regime (partly because I'm lucky to have a toddler who is very adaptable and easy going and doesn't really get grouchy) so what I could have done would have stretched him out without a nap until bedtime - so to do this with minimum of grouchiest/meltdown I'd have played with him, read stories, basically interacted with him not leaving him to play on his own, as he can't handle that when tired, then I'd have given him a long bath with plenty of play to use up some time, got him ready for bed in his pjs early so I didn't have to battle with that when he was even more tired - basically stretched him out by having lots of fun with him until bedtime. Maybe even an extra snack of fruit to keep him occupied.

HOWEVER,I appreciate we all have different babies and what works for one doesn't work for another, I do understand I'm lucky to have an easy going baby who doesn't seem to mind the odd change of schedule and appreciate there are other babies who really need the routine. I do wonder though if you have too strict a routine whether you set yourself up for not being able to be flexible when needed, and not giving your baby the chance to be adaptable to change.

IndecisivePramBuyer81 Fri 28-Mar-14 10:59:21

I did think he might be ready a few weeks ago as he started having longer naps, but went back to how he was previously. I really struggle stretching him out - there's no pleasing him when he's tired, he grizzles, wants picking up, wants putting down, wants a toy, doesn't want a toy...

I might try after he wakes up from him morning nap to stretch him out this afternoon and see what happens then.

How long does she sleep when she goes down? And what time does she wake from her last nap? I've definitely noticed that he can't go for longer than 3.5, 4 hours between last nap and bedtime, so need to get the timings right.

Really wish he was one of those 'by the clock' babies lol

IndecisivePramBuyer81 Fri 28-Mar-14 11:54:27

Hi Kippy,sorry, hadn't seen your response when I replied..

I do think we used to be too strict, but seeing as his naps are never consistent we stopped! He doesn't allow a strict routine! I've been too active in various baby groups for that to be the case I think. We do however try to keep to a 7pm bedtime whenever possible.

The approach we've gone with is 'this is what we usually do, but do whatever you want as long as his last nap ends around 4ish, but no earlier than 3'. My Mum keeps letter him sleep too late for example, and so we put him to bed a little later when she's done that and it's not the end of the world.

I think I'm going to see how we go with dropping a nap and maybe that'll work better for everyone!

crazykat Fri 28-Mar-14 12:05:18

I've just tended to let them nap when they're tired but don't let them sleep past 4.30 or they'll be up until 9pm.

Having said that I've never been able to get any of my four to nap when I want them to. Friends have been able to put their DCs in their bed for a nap but mine would either sit there playing or scream the house down.

My ds2 is 17 months and still wakes 2-3 times per night and is up for the day between 5.30 and 7am. During the week he naps from 9/9.30 until 11.30/12 and that's it until a ten minute nap around 3pm. Weekends when the others are at home and won't leave him alone he naps if we go out in the car or when he's too tired to stay awake.

The amount of sleep he gets during the day doesn't affect his sleeping at night though. If it did I'd be more strict about naps during the day.

MigGril Fri 28-Mar-14 14:29:47

I think you've also got to go easy on MIL a bit hear to. As he's getting used to new routine, when he may look tired for you. He could still be active and excited at having someone else looking after him. So he may just not sleep the same for her.

IndecisivePramBuyer81 Fri 28-Mar-14 15:36:23

Thanks crazy, glad to hear the other side of things!

And Mig, that's a good point. OH has probably been harsh on her too...well hopefully it'll get better with time!

He's had two naps today, and won't be having a third. So far so good smile It's worked out well because slept til half 7 this morning when he's normally up at half 5, 6 which makes two naps challenging!!

FarToGo Fri 28-Mar-14 20:22:57


She will sleep for only 45 minutes or lessblush

It's a rare day if it's anymore than that!

Her naps are all different, yesterday 11am then 3pm (she woke at 0800 which NEVER happens)

Today up at 7, napped at 10 then again at 1 after swimming was hoping to hold out but swimming knackers her out) - I steeled myself for her getting tired by 4ish and she was, a bit of eye rubbing but I distracted her. Last BF at 645 and she was out, I know I shouldn't feed to sleep but she mostly does.

I def think she's ready for just 2 naps, I am hoping she'll have slightly longer ones!

ChickenFromHell Sat 29-Mar-14 07:17:12

Are you paying MIL for the childcare she's providing?

BobPatSamandIgglePiggle Sat 29-Mar-14 07:36:25

We've never really paid too much attention to ds napping - he's just always slept when tired. He likes his aleep though and often tells us when he wants to go to bed (he's just turned 2)

We thought this would be a problem when he moved rooms at nursery as they have a very set nap time but ds is a total sheep and just copies the others at lie down time.

Could you lay off a tiny bit and see if things settle naturally?

We're lucky too in that my mum and mil each do a day looking after ds (no, we dont pay them - they offered and would revolt if we tried to pay / stop their day. We're very grateful) but we've never outlined routines etc - they have loads of fun, bring him back shattered and brag to bore to death their friends about how fabulous ds is!!

Pocket1 Sat 29-Mar-14 08:28:36

OP I'm watching with interest as I'm in a similar boat - am VERY protective about DD's naps for exactly the same reasons as you. And have experienced the pre bed over tired melt downs. And the painful and prolonged night waking too. DH and my mum are both a bit casual about naps and its so frustrating when I've spent much time sleep training DD and getting her used to a certain way. I understand the need for flexibility but within reason.

My tack is to emotionally blackmail DH and my mum by explaining how important it is to stick to my nap plan for DD as it really works for her. And that if we deviate from this, ie when I take over again, it's very upsetting and unsettling for DD, with lots of tears. That sort of helps.

Good luck to you smile

Theyaremysunshine Sat 29-Mar-14 09:04:31

Honestly, if you want to be that strict on naps, you need a nanny. Someone you pay who will categorically do as you ask.

If you're using a childminder, nursery, or v lucky you family, IMHO you need to accept they will do it differently.

I say this as a mum of 2. DS (PFB) was a sleeping horror. I spent HOURS walking him in a buggy to get the naps he needed to make the nights bare able. When he went to nursery at 6m I didn't think for a minute he would sleep, but he did. Not as long as at home but enough. As he got older we asked for a 4pm cutoff, then 330 then 3. So he was awake by those times even if that meant him staying up when tired.

IME you can ask for a time for me not to be asleep after, but not a time you want them to be asleep until. You can't force a nap and your baby will behave differently when not with you. It's also unreasonable to expect someone else to pick up on sleep cues you've learnt after 1:1 24hr care for months.

Dc2 has to fit in with dc1. There is no protected nap time. You can't keep a 2/3 yr old in the house all day to fit in with meals/washing/naps. You have to do the school run. There are times poor dd has dropped off for a nap and I've had to wake her 10 mins later. She naps dreadfully here and actually better at nursery. She sleeps through about 50% of the time at 11m.

Lack of sleep makes you feel v precious about following a way that has worked for you. I truly understand that. Been there. But in honesty it doesn't work unless you can deliver it personally, or pay someone to do it precisely as you wish.

Your MIL is being amazing, looking after your DS. If you have a number 2 you'll look back at this and smile. Promise!

Theyaremysunshine Sat 29-Mar-14 09:05:41

Them not me blush...though I would like more sleep....!

IndecisivePramBuyer81 Sat 29-Mar-14 09:27:15

Thanks for the feedback all.

I didn't mean to come across that I was outraged at MIL as I've already accepted they'll do it differently and am trying to let go as much as I can! I'm really appreciative of the help! It obviously does upset me to think how exhausted he must of been though which I guess is understandable as his mother?!

I was just genuinely intrigued to know how others would manage a last nap /bedtime in that situation! I often wonder how we'd cope with two wink

2ticks Sat 29-Mar-14 09:47:07

It may also be the case that when at home with you in his usual environment he will go back down in the morning 2 hours after wake up, as his in in his familiar environment. However at MIL where he is somewhere new and exciting, he may need to be more 'tired' if you see what I mean. Don't feel sad about him being exhausted - I'm sure that MIL (especially after she's had your nap regime pressed on her) would have been looking for signs of tiredness - nobody wants to have a tired and grumpy baby awake when they could be asleep - but he may well have just not been giving off signs of being tired at that point. If he gets put down to sleep when not tired and gets distressed because of that, then that could throw up a whole new world of issues around his naps... Babies often behave differently in different settings.

2ticks Sat 29-Mar-14 09:57:58

By the way, I'd be careful about going down the emotional blackmail route as a 'tactic' - you would need to have a standby plan in place if you were then told to find alternative (paid) childcare!

Floralnomad Sat 29-Mar-14 09:58:30

Mine never had set nap times ,they generally slept in their car seats whilst we were out and about ,that said they never had bed time either .

PigletUnrepentant Sat 29-Mar-14 10:16:02

You need to acepta that if you change the routine, environment and people around baby, the home routine will not be adhered to, not because relatives are disobedient but because baby is too excited to act as when he is at home.

Personally, I think that you need to choose your battles and I would say that asking them to keep him awake from 3 onwards is as far as you can go in terms of insisting on naps routines.

findingherfeet Sat 29-Mar-14 11:02:00

Nope I'm with you on this, my mum used to look after my daughter twice a week while I was working and the lack of thought about naps drove me potty (yes very unreasonably of me as she was offering free loving child care)

The evening meal/bath/bed routine those two nights were horrendous and made me feel so guilty for going to work when DD was so clearly unsettled (screaming her head off actually)

My mum took very little notice of my pleas, I know she thought I was being I invited her for dinner one work night...she witnessed the meltdown and drama and suddenly she was a bit more appreciative of my moaning winkwink

IndecisivePramBuyer81 Sat 29-Mar-14 19:27:58

Thanks finding that's exactly why I stress! I've done what you did with my mother, which is why she seems to be grasping the importance a bit more.. maybe we need to get MIL round if it happens again!

waterrat Sat 29-Mar-14 20:38:04

Those seem unreasonably complex rules to ask your mil to follow. Can you drop the third nap and just give her clearer rules on what time to put him down in the morning ie no later than 10am

I think it's unfair of you to want the flexibility of no routine - ie you say you like to be out and bout so don't want a strict routine - but then get cross with her if the naps aren't exactly how you want

If you have a routine she could follow it so perhaps you need to abandon the flexibility of morning baby groups for a couple of weeks and get a routine in place of morning and after lunch nap - once they have a routine I think life is simpler then they can always have the nap in the buggy etc but it would be fairer on your mil

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