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How to change daytime sleep pattern???

(11 Posts)
frannyf Mon 06-Jun-05 20:37:15

I am feeling completely fed up with naps this week. My 2 year old son is waking up every morning about 6 or 6.30am, despite not going to sleep till 8 pm or so. He has never been a great sleeper at night, and always needed a late morning nap to get through the day, but now he is shattered by 10 am or so and has to go to bed for approx 1.5 hours. We have various social activities we like to do through the week - they all start around 10 or 10.30 am. So we are currently never getting out to see anyone and I feel isolated and bored.

I have tried putting him to bed earlier but can't get him to sleep before 8pm. This morning he slept from 9 am to 10.30am but was still awake till 8pm! If I put him to bed later in an attempt to get him to sleep later, till 7 am or so, he still wakes up at 6 and is even more tired the next day. We have a blackout, by the way, so I don't think it's the sun coming in.

I realise there is probably no answer and that in a month things will have changed again, but it is driving me mad! Just a bit of sympathy would help to be honest, I feel quite despondent about it sometimes and am not enjoying being with my lovely boy as much as I should.

SenoraPostrophe Mon 06-Jun-05 20:41:05

does he have an afternoon nap?

actually whether he does or doesn't i would try cutting the morning nap to about half an hour and then putting him down for another nap after lunch (or if he already has an afternoon nap, it should make him sleep longer). That way, he'll be less tired when he goes to bed and may sleep longer.

frannyf Mon 06-Jun-05 20:48:31

No, he only has a morning/lunch time nap. I always feel nervous about waking him up if he is actually sleeping - never sure if it will add to problems in the long run. To complicate things, if he has any sleep at all after about 2pm, I cannot get him to sleep till at least 9 pm or later. So you reckon he is TOO tired at night and hence doesn't sleep well? I am so confused to know what to do!

SenoraPostrophe Mon 06-Jun-05 20:54:17

I reckon so, franny.

Both of mine have always needed an afternoon nap or they get too tired at night. You may need to experiment with how long the pm nap should be, but i really think an afternoon (rather than a morning) nap is the answer.

You may find he doesn't go to sleep as quickly at bedtime, but it can be dne!

Chandra Mon 06-Jun-05 20:55:27

It may well be the case that he is a bit overtired by the time he goes to sleep. DS (also 2 yr old) find difficult to go to sleep if he has not slept the after lunch nap (weird) and if he goes to sleep late he wakes up earlier and it's a bit moody during the day. When he goes to sleep a bit earlier (7:30) he wakes up until 8:30. I think if you can try to keep him awake, whatever it takes, until after his lunch he may go back in schedule. Maybe one single day would do the trick. Though I understand it may be a bit difficult. HTH

Chandra Mon 06-Jun-05 20:56:36

Oops, crossposted!

frannyf Mon 06-Jun-05 21:01:08

Ok. I am thinking that most 2 year olds would only have one sleep, is that right? We did give up the 2nd nap earlier than some of my friends with little ones the same age, but now I think they all have only one sleep. What you are saying does make sense though. The only thing is that I still cuddle / rock him to sleep and I get very tired sitting with him if he takes a long time to get to sleep. So we switched to one nap a while ago as it means he is tired in the evening and goes to sleep quickly. When he was having two naps it was wake up, struggle to get him down for a morning nap, wake up, struggle to get him down for an afternoon nap, wake up, struggle to get him down for the night! Very depressing, I would spend several hours each day trying to get him to sleep!

I am happy sitting with him while he falls asleep btw,(enjoy it) but not for hours on end.
Why is it all so complicated??? Why can't they just curl up for a snooze when they are tired?!

frannyf Mon 06-Jun-05 21:03:26

Ok, think I may have misunderstood, on rereading, are you saying he should just sleep in the afternoon, not in the morning, SenorA? I think Chandra is saying the same. Sorry for being dim, I am sleep deprived dontcha know

frannyf Mon 06-Jun-05 21:07:52

He has never managed to stay awake past lunchtime, the latest I have managed it is midday and he would be pretty knackered then. He only ever sleeps about 10.5 hours at night but this used to be ok till he switched to a 10 am sleep and messed up our social life - I miss seeing other human beings in the daytime!

SenoraPostrophe Mon 06-Jun-05 21:52:49

franny - yes, but the easiest way to make him do that is to cut his morning nap to half an hour first (I must have neglected to type the sentence about getting rid of it altogether!)

Re the having to cajole him to sleep thing - that could be part of the problem too IMO. You need to get him going to sleep on his own, but you might not have to leave him to cry. In one of my books there's a method whereby you gradually withdraw - one day you sit by the bed, the next you sit further away and so on until you're at the door. eventually you stand outside the door and then you're just about there.

sad36 Tue 14-Jun-05 13:58:07

My DD was exactly the same as this and I'm afraid she still wakes quite early, but we pushed her daytime sleep back to 12pm. Was hard some days as she was desperate by 10am but I was tough! She now sleeps 12-1 or 2 and goes to bed 6.30pm which is an hour earlier than she used to go when she had an earlier sleep! She also sleeps til about 6am rather than the 5am we had for so long. DOn't know why it works but it does!

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