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Parents of early waking toddlers...wtf do you do about naps??

(6 Posts)
BotBotticelli Sun 09-Mar-14 13:46:36

DS1 is 15mo. Until fairly recently he was sleeping from 7pm - 6.30am on normal days (apart from nights when he woke up upset with teething, when things went a bit mad!).

For the last week or so he has been waking up for the day early - anytime from 0515-0545. Obviously this isn't ideal for a lot of reasons, but I am just trying to roll with it and telling myself it's a phase: he isn't waking up cold, hungry or unhappy. he isjust UP. Chatting away, happy as larry. We ignore him for 10 mins or so and then he starts to get unhappy so we take it in turns to go and play quietly with him in his room until 6am (I have a rule that we never go into the lounge/start making breakfast/open the curtains etc until 6 at the earliest).

ANYway my question is, what the hell do other mums with early waking 15mo's do about naps, cos it's completely buggering his daytime routine. Prior to this he would wake up at 0630am and then have one nap after lunch, from around 1230 - 1400.

Now, as he is up so early he can't make it till lunch and treats himself to a little catnap around 1030, 11am. Usually in buggy or car. This then screws with his afternoon nap - he wont go down until 2.30ish, and is then waking up at 3.30 ish and then won't go to bed at night....etc etc etc. It's playing havoc with our days cos he is grumpy and angry and desperate to get out of our small flat by 8am!! No toddler groups start that early and besides, I am bloody knackered!

Any tips appreciated. Should I drag him out till lunchtime for his nap, coe hell or high water?? or should I give in and let him do what he wants? (I have always tended to do this, whilst hopefully labelling it 'following his cues' in the hope it makes me sound like a better parent, whereas in reality he is a willful little tyrant and it's not like I have any choice in the matter!)

Moominmalarky Sun 09-Mar-14 16:41:46

Feel for you! Ours does this every so often for no apparent reason. I tell myself it's when he's teething but who knows ...

I never let him nap before noon. Ever. Normally he goes down about 12:15 or 12:30ish but on an early waking morning I still drag him out til noon as I've read before that letting them nap too early reinforces the early morning waking. I don't know if this is true but I'm always desperate to avoid pre 6 am starts!

I just don't take him out in the car or buggy at key points. Which is hard. Does he walk? Could you toddle him to a park so you're not cooped up inside but also avoid the movement to sleep triggers?

Sorry. Probably not much help.

MyNameIsKenAdams Sun 09-Mar-14 16:43:21

Try and keep him up til eleven thirty, woth lunch at eleven, then long nap as usual.

Fairylea Sun 09-Mar-14 16:47:19

Both mine have always woken at 5.30am.. tried everything..I ended up going with the flow and until about 18 months they had a nap 9.30-10.30 and then another one about 1 ish. It worked for us okay like that. (11 years between them both and they were exactly the same!)

Now the youngest is 19 months and he's stopped wanting the morning nap so he has one nap of 2 hours at about 11 ish after we go out in the morning.

BotBotticelli Mon 10-Mar-14 08:17:22

Thanks for the advice ladies - the problem with letting him have the one nap at 1130 or even noon is that he never sleeps longer than 90 mins and more often than not it's just an hour. No matter how tired he is. He has always been like this.

So if he sleeps from 1130-1230 he will be desperate for bed in the evening by 1830 and then will doubtless wake up really early again the next day :-(

Do your early waking toddlers all have 2 hour naps then? <jealous face>

BotBotticelli Mon 10-Mar-14 08:19:51

Ps yes faorylea ibhabe often wondered about putting him down for a long nap around 11am (big snack mid morning and lunch when he wakes up) BUT he somehow seems to know it's not time for his 'proper' nap and if I put him down before lunch he only ever has 30 mins which is a disaster cos it's not enough to see him through till bedtime but then he will want another nap at around 3pm :-/

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