She Says… Good Morning, Sunshine!

I know I’ve been posting sporadically recently. You know what? I think I’ve found the limits of what I’m able to do.

– I have been working a lot recently. A lot. I keep thinking it’s going to slow down, but I’m not sure it is. Which means I need to get used to this pace. Not to mention the fact that some of that time has been squished recently while I tried to juggle taking care of Owen and getting my work done.

– Traveling takes a big ‘ol chunk out of one’s regular life. Not only the time being gone, but the time prepping and packing and moving schedules around, and then the time unpacking and washing everything and finding the toys we packed and putting them back in their homes. And then catching up on the other things that didn’t get done while we were gone — laundry, general cleaning of the house, mail, etc. We were only gone for 4 days, but it’s amazing how much can happen in that amount of time!

– I am learning to make a quilt! I know, I know, the last thing I need in my life is another activity that requires me to be in a certain place at a certain time, but my previously online-only friend Liz from Goddess in Progress offered to include me in a “class” she is running out of her home to show a few crafty mamas how to sew quilts. How could I resist hands-on sewing lessons (she is the reason I bought that new sewing machine) and quilt instruction from a talented quilter and the opportunity to make a few new mom friends? To be honest even though it makes things a little stressful (“class” is a 40 minute drive away that I go to after putting Owen to bed once a week, and homework is several hours a week!), I’m really loving putting my creative brain to work on something.

– Pneumonia. Owen has been on meds for a week now and seems pretty much back to normal. We’re still doing breathing treatments twice a day, but he’s back at school (not contagious!) and feeling mostly better.

– You know, enjoying life away from the computer screen. I can’t stop marveling at the words Owen is learning or the look on his face as he toddles around and wants to identify every object. I don’t want to miss a second of it.

Anyway, all of that to say that in order to do all of those other things, something has to give. In the case of the last few weeks it has been exercise and the blog. This too shall pass, though, and I’m working on getting back into my normal routine of exercise and blogging every day very soon.

Another thing that has been plagueing us on and off for awhile is early morning wakeups. At night Owen is exhausted by around 6:30pm. He rarely, if ever, crashes to the point of tantrums and tears, but I can just tell he is tired and we’ve had very good luck with our schedule of bathtime between 6:15pm and 6:30pm, which has been the same since he started sleeping through the night around 4 1/2 months. In the past he would sleep for 12 hours at night and take about 2-3 hours of naps during the day. The kid loves to sleep.

That said, he has a weird habit of crying out at 4:20am and 5:20am. Almost to the minute. Almost every night. Generally it’s only one wail and he goes right back to sleep. Sometimes it’s a few minutes of fussing until he drifts back off. Once in awhile, usually if he’s teething or has a fever or the room is too hot or cold or something like that, he cries longer. Sometimes I go in and check on him and sometimes I allow him to practice his self-soothing skills and put himself back to sleep.

Lately, though, he’s gone to sleep like a champ, but hasn’t been able to fall back asleep after that 5:20am wakeup. He’s usually quiet in his bed for 20 minutes or so, but then around 5:40am I hear loud crying. It’s actually more like yelling than crying, and as soon as I go in his room, his face brightens to a smile and he shouts, “Hi! Doggie! Hi!”. He’s totally fine; just wide awake. At 5:40am. Which, although I am a morning person, is a little too early for me.

Our old rule used to be that I wouldn’t wake him up until 6:00am or later. If he woke up before that, I would go to his room and calm him, rock him, hold him in the rocking chair, anything to make it feel like bedtime until at least 6:00am.

This morning I went in and rubbed his back and hummed to him at 5:45am. He seemed sad and sleepy, so I did it for a few minutes until I thought he was asleep. Left the room and he cried for a minute and then stopped. I thought I had handled it perfectly and he had fallen back asleep when, 5 minutes later, the crying started again. At this point it was 6:00am so we all got up.

I know this could be teething-related, or a result of him still not feeling great given his recent bout of pneumonia. It also could be related to needing less sleep as he’s getting older, and maybe we are putting him to bed too early. Thoughts? Suggestions? When do you put your 1-2 year old to bed and when do they wake up? I know the general amount of sleep Owen is getting is well within the normal range, but maybe it’s about the right time for him to move out of the 13-14 hour range since he’s getting older now.

Who knows… maybe this is all related to the eventual switch to one nap as well. At what age did your baby move from 2 naps to 1? How long do they nap during the day and sleep at night?

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21 responses to “She Says… Good Morning, Sunshine!

  1. My 1 year old goes to bed at 8 every night and gets up at 7 am. She takes 2 naps during the day, an average of 1-1.5 hours each.

  2. My littlest one dropped to one nap a day at 9 months. Crazy. His nap time varies now (at 22 months) usually 1 1/2 hours and he sleeps 11 hours or so at night. There are days there is no nap, if our schedule is interrupted, but those days are hard on all of us.

  3. Drop him to one nap. It’s really day care’s problem if he’s fussy in the afternoon, right? 😛

    Faith is IN her crib sleeping by 6:40pm every night and she wakes up at 6:30-7am. She takes one nap from 10:30am to 12pm, maybe 11:45am on occasion.

  4. My 15 mo old sleeps from 8 or 9 till 7 usually. He wakes up once almost every night. Nap is 1 1/2 – 3 hours after lunch. He went to one nap around 10 months. Sometimes we get in an early wake pattern, or late bedtimes, but after a few days its back to normal.

    Owen is a great sleeper! Maybe its just time to cut that second nap and push the time back a little.

  5. My first thought is that, as you say, he’s ready to drop to one nap. Will has started to have one day time sleep in the last two weeks which has resolved the early morning wakings we were having. I was initially reluctant to lose that second nap but you knows what? Our day actually runs more smoothly now.

  6. Callie goes to bed between 8-8:30 and wakes up anywhere from 7:30 to 8:30. However, we have the luxury of my husband working from home so she can sleep those hours and then get to daycare later. I’m sure the parent’s work schedules play into their kid’s sleep schedules. If we both had to be out of the house at 7:30 for work, her bed time would be earlier. She still takes 2 naps but the afternoon one is dwindling.

  7. I’m so jealous of all the ladies with the consistent nap schedules… Ryan is completely unable to sleep at daycare. The best we get is 30 minutes a day and it’s never at the same time. So he totally crashes in a fit of exhaustion every night. We barely have time to give him a bath and dinner. We’re switching daycares soon and he’ll have a set naptime there, so I’m praying it helps. Good luck! Keep us posted!

  8. My 15 months old sleeps from 8 till 7, sometimes even longer. since he´s been sick he starts to wake up at 6. which is way too early for me… no matter if he goes to bed at 7 or 8:30…
    he is only taking one quick nap around noon. and most of the time he´s fine with that.
    love your blog! greetings from germany

  9. My 11th month old used to sleep until 630 or 7. Lately she hasn’t been taking her second nap. She goes to bed around 630 and is waking up between 5 and 530. I’ve tried putting her to bed earlier and later, but nothing seems to help her sleep later!

  10. my son is 14.5 months old. he definitely has dropped the 2nd nap in the last 2 weeks or so. i do fear when i return to work [insane ammount of fear] because of the whole early to bed – early to rise thing. i can’t imagine getting him to bed by 6 pm so he can get 12 hours of sleep before 6 am. that doesnt mesh with our life *LOL*. right now he goes to bed at 9:30 pm and gets up around 9:30 am. it is glorious. but he wakes up between those times. what it comes down to is there is 12 hours total at night.

  11. Agh, girl, this has been the story of the last 5 months for us. Cameron has been waking up 5-:5:40 all freaking summer!!! We’ve recently had a few instances where he sleeps closer to 6a.m. and in my books it’s fair game to wake up 6a.m.+ He does bath at 6:30 and bed at 7. Right now he has two naps a day still. One at 9 and one at 2 totaling about 3 hrs.

    HIs day care provider has a group of 5 boys all around the same age so she’s testing the waters soon to see if they are ready to drop that first nap. She tried once so far and she said they were all practically begging to go for a nap, so not yet! I’m fearing the upcoming time change because I can’t handle waking up at 4:30 to start the day and working full time! And the thing is that even if he does go back to sleep, I can’t get back to sleep once he’s woken me up after 5 :-/

  12. I have a 4-year-old and a 15 month old. Here’s what we’ve done with both girls and it’s worked great for us. When our girls started requiring less daytime sleep, we made their morning nap the shorter one…right now the 15 month old sleeps for about an hour (and I don’t let her go much longer than that) and then we have a nice 2 or 2 1/2 hour nap in the afternoon around 2:00. When she drops a nap, it will be the morning one and we will back the afternoon nap closer to 1:00. We’ve liked this because, if we need to be, we can get up and be out and about in the morning when everyone is fresh and then have the nap (and quiet time for Mommy!) in the afternoon when everyone is more in the mood for a siesta. I’ve also found that this gives them more staying power in the evening and they are usually good until 7:30 or 8:00 which is nice for evening activities and parents who work. We are usually guaranteed a wake-up call no earlier than 7:00 a.m. and very often later, so we can even get up and get our heads on straight before the kids wake up. Of course, everyone has to figure out what their kids and families need, but this routine has been great for our family! And, just a side note…dropping from two naps to one is often tricky for a week or so as they go through the weird stage of not quite needing two naps but needing a little more than one…like everything else though, it all irons itself out eventually!

  13. I agree with Beth – that’s what we did with Ethan when he was ready to drop one of his naps. The transition was tough, but once we got into the routine of the one long afternoon nap, it was wonderful. Of course, he has recently dropped his nap altogether (a little earlier than I had hoped!), and now bedtime is an absolute mess as we work through this transition. Of course, a new baby hasn’t helped any of this! 🙂

  14. Both of our boys dropped the morning nap around a year – a bit earlier than I would have liked, but it was what worked best with their schedules…so perhaps test the waters on that one? Once he is feeling better, of course. If you want him to sleep a bit later, perhaps he needs his bedtime adjusted just a bit…15 minutes at a time, till he is sleeping till after 6. With the time change coming, it may be good to start now!
    Our 17 month-old is in bed, lights out, by 8 p.m., and wakes around 6:30 – 7 a.m. He takes a good 2+ hr nap right around 12:30 – often it stretches to 3 hours.

  15. Thanks, everyone! This is really helpful. It sounds like we are on the earlier side in terms of bedtimes, so it may help to shift that a little bit later. And it also sounds like it’s about the right time to switch to one nap, or at least to cut the morning one short and get Owen used to a longer stretch in the afternoon so he can make it until a slightly later bedtime. Same amount of sleep overall, but a different orientation. We’ll try it out!

  16. I’m late to the party but I’ll chime in – my boys go to bed around 8PM and sleep until around 7:30AM. The younger one (2.5) still (usually) takes a 2-hour nap in the afternoon (he dropped his morning nap around 18 months). They’ve both gone through various phases of this not working, but we’ve tried to keep the routine consistent, and it has worked overall.

    I’ll probably be eating these words in a couple months when the new baby changes everything!

  17. kitchenbelle

    Kate, I think you should write a post explaining and providing tips/examples of how you stay so organized! I’m serious! 🙂 My one-year-old goes to bed around 6:30 (it is impossible to hold her out) and wakes at 5:00/5:15 every morning.

  18. At 10 months we’re mostly down to 1 nap (11-1 or 2), in bed between 7 and 8, and up between 5 and 6. If he snoozes at 9 a.m., we may or may not get that second nap – so the two-nap days are actually less predictable for us. I’m thinking of scooching bedtime back a bit to 6:30, since he is REALLY tired by 7.

  19. hey Kate-
    Loving your updates!!
    My daughter is a month younger and loves her sleep but she is switching to one nap too. Most days she naps once for about 2 hours, but some days it’s 2 naps. And I honestly love the 1 nap thing now, because she sleeps much later in the morning on the weekend now-til about 8 or 8:39am. (i know this is not so common though.)

    But she does go to bed early still like Owen. She is down by 6:45 or 7 at the latest and I wake her to take her to day care at 7am. She sleeps about 12-13 hours at night, 2 hours or so during the day. I know this is early compared to a lot of babies, but like Owen, she is just done by 6:30 or so and ready for bed. She isn’t very um, fun, after that. And she wakes up in the middle of the night and randomly cries too…and then goes back to sleep. I tried moving her bedtime to a later time, but it didn’t really change the nap situation and she woke up a bunch of times in the middle of the night the couple times I tried it. One nap and keeping the early bedtime worked a lot better. Good luck w/the switch, whatever you decide to do!

  20. Elle is a week younger than Owen and has been pretty consistent lately with her bedtime/wake up times … but really, her wake up time has always been pretty much the same regardless of when we’ve put her down for the night. My husband works nights, and I did until recently, so our bedtime is a bit on the later side – Elle goes down around 9 p.m. She’s up around 8 a.m. every morning. I think it was about a month ago that she dropped to one nap, although I still wish it was later/slightly longer, because she’s getting cranky tired by the end of the day. She usually sleeps around 11 or 11:30 a.m. for 60-90 minutes. I was worried that the transition to one nap would be really rocky and drawn out, but she pretty much ran the show on that one – she started taking a slightly longer morning nap and then was fighting the afternoon nap or taking a really short one. It wasn’t long before we knew better than to even attempt to put her down for the second nap. Some days I think she could still use one, but she’s not having it 🙂

  21. We dropped down to one nap around 14-15 months, but it took awhile for that nap to be a “good” one. Now Paul will sleep about 12 hours at night and takes a 3 hour nap in the afternoon 12:30-3:30. But if he is at daycare or at a grandparent’s house, that nap usually isn’t very good, so then he just saves up all his sleep time for home. We don’t mind!

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