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Panicking about dd's nap routine - starts nursery in 2 days!

(3 Posts)
dekari Wed 15-May-13 09:40:03

Prior to 11mo, my dd was in a routine of sttn 7.15-6.45; naps 9-9.40, 1-3. In theory anyway! In practice, I often had to wake her up from her am nap and the pm nap has always been unpredictable, until we got to the point where she would only do more than 1hr10 once in a blue moon, as she would wake up (too much) at this point - since she started sitting up in the cot there's no way she would resettle! She sometimes wouldn't do more than 40 or 50 mins, especially if not at home (she would usually grab another 15-30 mins on the move later in the day to top up). I tried reducing her morning nap but it made no difference and she was generally ok in the afternoons, so I didn't worry too much.

She turned 1 a couple of weeks ago and got a bad cold (happy birthday!) so I let her sleep when she wanted to help her get over it. Turns out she would happily sleep for an hour in the morning and this has continued, although she's getting better (but still snotty). This coincided with her starting nursery on Friday mornings and the first week she did an hour nap from 9.30. I decided I would keep letting her sleep up to an hour in the morning, as I was so relieved she managed a decent sleep at nursery (she's not generally good at sleeping through noise or disruptions). The following week she didn't sleep - I think they missed the window, as she struggles to settle if she's been up for more than 2.5 hours at that time.

She is now waking up after an hour in the afternoon and is overtired for the rest of the day - really grumpy and exhausted by bedtime. I originally put this down to her cold, but now fear that letting her sleep for an hour in the morning (generally put her down at 9.15) has broken her! I have read that an hour in the am and pm is an acceptable routine and thought it better for her to adjust to a routine she can stick to, as she starts full days at nursery from fri (thu and fri from next week). But she's also started stirring/waking at 6 - an obvious sign of over tiredness!

I guess the obvious answer would be to try reducing the am nap, but I'm loath to go back to 30-40 mins, as her pm nap seems hit and miss regardless - could it be possible that a shorter am nap coupled with a 1-hour pm nap would put her in a better mood? That doesn't seem likely hmm but what do I know!? Pretty sure she's not ready to drop to 1 nap, as she's even worse when she misses the am nap and gets cranky when she goes down late. She was knackered when I just put her down...

Any advice? I'm starting to panic about fri and not sure what to tell nursery staff to do... confused

KatAndKit Wed 15-May-13 09:46:05

I wouldn't reduce the am nap, I think at her age two good naps are required and if she has an hour in the morning that will set her up till the afternoon nap. In theory she should sleep well in the afternoon too because she won't be over tired. Definitely not ready for one nap yet. I would let her have a good nap in the morning but don't let it go over 90 minutes so that she will then have another 90 minutes in the afternoon. She needs two one hour naps as a minimum I'd reckon.

If she is sleeping through till nearly 7 and sleeps well at night then my guess would be to put her down at 9.30 for her morning nap, so that she will sleep from 9.45 to nearly 11. She should then be able to stay up till at least 1.30 or perhaps 2pm and then sleep from 1.30/2 to 3pm. If she goes to sleep later she might go till 3.30. This should see her through to a 7pm bedtime.
However your DD has not read this!

KatAndKit Wed 15-May-13 09:48:24

Also nursery will unsettle things for a while as it is a big change for her so go with the flow when it doesn't go to plan - if she hasn't slept well then take her for a nice long walk for a buggy sleep or even a drive so that she won't be overtired at bedtime. A new routine will hopefully emerge when she is settled in nursery.

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