Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Oh help! (otherwise known as WFMW - Backwards Day!)

Shannon's "Backwards Day" edition of Works for me Wednesday came just at the right time for me. I'm having an "oh help" sort of day week weeks month.

What, oh what, oh WHAT do you do when you have two children who nap on completely different schedules? AND one child's nap schedule is utterly erratic, AND the other child occasionally (and for no discernible reason) falls asleep during his morning quiet time, thereby wetting the bed and throwing his schedule off for the rest of the day?

For example.

Thomas' naps have been all over the place for weeks. Sometimes his morning nap is as early as 8:30am, but sometimes he waits until as late as 10:30am. He'll sleep for anywhere between 1 hour and 3.5 hours. Depending on what happened in the morning, he might be ready for an afternoon nap anywhere between 1pm and 4pm, or he might skip it entirely and be a basket case by dinnertime.

Jonathan has had a very predictable 2pm naptime for ages now. It was wonderful! :) He also has a morning quiet time that varies with Thomas' nap (that's the only time I can guarantee a smidgen of time without a kiddo needing me!) Last week he fell asleep during his morning quiet time not once, not twice, but three days. When that happens, he skips his regular afternoon nap and dinnertime is a disaster.

In the midst of all of this, every week I'm supposed to (somehow!) get out to go grocery shopping, errand running, take the kids to the library and to the park for Mom's Group, go to mass, and (dare I dream?) fit in a few workouts at LA fitness.

Yet there is no way to plan times to do this, because at any given time of the day (between 8am and 4pm) one of my children could/should conceivably be napping. And if I miss the window when they ought to be napping, (especially for Thomas) I pay for it for the rest of the day.

I'm starting to think that it can't be done, and I'm going to give up and become a hermit. We'll just sit in our little house and watch mail-order DVDs and order pizza when we run out of groceries.

You know, that actually doesn't sound half bad right now. :)

But really, if you have some good ideas (particularly if you've dealt with this sort of thing before) please comment!


Holly @Aiminghigh said...

I've been known to wake my little sleeper up just so I know he'll sleep in the afternoon. The trick is to be consistent no matter what. Close to the same bed time at night, meal times at about the same time each day, morning rest and afternoon rest around the same time. It takes about four days to get the routine set. Those four days can be a nightmare. Just keep telling yourself you are doing it for the good of all. :>)

If he falls asleep during morning rest time, wake him after 20 earlier, no later. You'll know he has gotten a full (what's it called?) REM cycle and will be fully rested. Wake him slowly...rub his back, sing to him, cuddle him...he'll want to be awake for such lovely mommy-time.

I hope this works for you. It works for me in my household of four under the (just turned) six. They all have rest/nap time at the same time, AND I get grocery shopping/errands completed. :>)

Many Blessings,

Regina said...

I have found Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child to be extremely helpful. The author is a bit of a sleep nazi, but he does speak to consistency in sleep. Good luck!

Kelly said...

I totally sympathize. Lucy doesn't nap at all, and Mary and Edmund never line up either. It is very difficult. I can't seem to line up naps worth the life of me. So, I have found other ways to deal with lack of time and energy and patience.

Me, when life is particularly psychotic, I go grocery shopping online (when the kids are in bed at night) and have them delivered. You can find free delivery coupons real easy on google.

I also have an outside rule and a book in hand rule. Whenever I get frustrated and overwhelmed, I push the kids outdoors (I don't care if they're barefoot and half dressed) and bring a book and sit a read while they go crazy. It is very stress relieving.

When Mary is sleeping and Lucy is awake, I have a box full of special toys, coloring books, etc. for Lucy to play with while she sleeps. I have a rule that she can stay awake but she must be quiet and let me rest. It works very well. Maybe Jonathon is old enough for something like this to work?

Good luck!

Farrah said...

Naps have been such a constant battle for us from day one. My now 19month old wouldn't nap unless in the sling or with me laying next to him in my bed for the first 8-9months of his life. Now, he will nap occasionally but I battle him all the time and I get so weary of it.
The only thing that did help us for awhile was at the 9month point, I started putting him down for an am nap 1.5-2hours after he woke up. While that seems early, it is more a continuation of night sleep and is really restorative to them. That helped us break the cycle of no naps, for a bit. Then he outgrew that but at least I got a respite of a couple months. :) Hope that helps.

I love the "Starbucks" quote from your son... so hillarious!! And congrats to your mom. It is always encouraging to hear about other people's miracles! :)

Christopher said...

Well Emily... I'd love to give you some advise here but... :)

Sorry! Maybe you should fly me down there sometime and I can stay with the kiddos while you go pick up the pizza. :)

Love you!

Shawna Emmons said...

Well as i got online today I thought .. I'm going to Google "lining up naps for kids" Your blog came up! I was thrilled to read what you said. There are so many factors to deal with with kids of different ages. I wish I had advice, but all I have is ..I'm in the same boat as you, except I'm on the east coast. I have 2 kids, gianna is 2, and Hayden is 5 months. I feel like if I were to go out after Haydens morning nap that Gianna would fall asleep in the car... If I stay home.... she's whiny and cranky... and I can't stand that being under my feet so I put her for a nap around 1 pm.... same time as Hayden. It worked the first couple times. Now she plays with everything and stays awake until 3. .. I guess moving her nap time back to 2 would be better... but then I'd be home all day long.
All I can say is at least your best interest is in your children, to grow up healthy and smart ya know? Its hard having alist of things that need to be done and maybe one thing gets checked off by the end of the day. I have a feeling it gets better after the first couple years.... shawna