Monday, April 14, 2008

Sleep Controversies

A little while ago I spent an evening with two friends. When I got home, very late, there was Other Half on the couch with El Guille.

“What’s going on here? It’s past one A.M.,” I said with a smile.

“You would NOT believe the night I had,” said Other Half, looking at me wanly with his blue-green bloodshot eyes. “The baby was up, then El Guille was up, and then the baby was up again, and the El Guille got up! It’s terrible! I have work in the morning!”

“Huh,” I said, suppressing a smile, and sent him off to bed.


And speaking of bed, we're having a little bit of controversy at the Jet Set pied-à-terre:

At what age did your children, assuming you have children and not just animals* or house plants**, stop napping?

Did you fight to keep the nap?

Was it a more intermittent process?

Exactly how did you deal with the CRAZINESS that ensues in an un-napped child?

*Animals don't count, they nap any time they want, which is why I don't want to own an animal. Animals are so entitled; they just lord over you when you wait on them hand and foot--and then they have the nerve to nap in front of your face. I don't need that.

**Houseplants don't nap (look it up.)


SusieQ said...

All of my children gave up their naps around age 2 or 2 1/2. It's not that they wouldn't nap. They just wouldn't go to sleep at night until way too late if they had a nap that day. Crazy nap-deprived 2year olds are SO HARD to deal with!! If you can get them to stay in their room for "quiet time" it helps a lot. The key word is IF.

TheMoncurs said...

I have the opposite problem..I think my 3 month old is getting to the point where he needs regular nap times and a bedtime but I have no idea how to start. His sleep schedule is all over the place and I'm going nuts.

And my suggestion for dealing with an un-napped child: lock him in the laundry room (perhaps with some parmesan cheese or something to keep him happy). CPS will never know.

Cindy said...

How about single people without kids, we're sort of like animals and can nap whenever we want...

Azúcar said...

Just rub it in Ferguson, rub it in.

Anne-Marie said...

We just stopped enforcing naps with my 4 1/2 year old. He usually needs then & loves them. But, when it became a struggle, it was time for the ever elusive (among his 6-7 year old friends )"movie nap". Pop in a flick in another room so Mom can nap or watch Tivo while 2 year old is napping.

I must say, he sleeps brilliantly at night now & falls asleep so fast now that he is sans nap.

Cafe Johnsonia said...

Sleep? What is that? I think I remember something about something called "sleep" a few years ago..but I can't remembered because I'm so tired.

Oh, haps...I'm the one who doesn't want to give them up.

My 3 year old gave up her naps a few months ago, but sometimes she still falls asleep in the afternoon and wants to sleep for 3 hours. Then she stays up until midnight--even after a cocktail of "sleep juice" (a.k.a. Benedryl).

My little guy wakes up so early that I have no choice but to put him down around 10 or 11 AM. He will honestly sleep for 3 hours if his sister doesn't wake him up. And he sleeps fine.

My point? Each kid does their own thing. Sometimes there are days when we don't need naps, and then there are days when we do. (Except Mom, of course.)

(p.s. Don't you LOVE it when the hubster complains about not getting any sleep because HE was up with the kids?)

fijiangirl said...

ALL three of my chidren still nap. Even my 5 1/2 year old. Since I work from hom in the afternoons that is "nap" time. I tell my 5 1/2 year old and also my 4 year old that they can just have quite time in their rooms. But 80%of the time they fall asleep on the floor playing with toys. I just leave them there. Thankfully my oldest falls asleep immediately at night when he is put to bed. My 4 year old on the other hand stays up for until at least 10! But I need the quiet in the afternoons so this is how it is going to have to be for now. At least next year they will both be in afternoon school so there goes the naps but my 2 year old will still sleep then!

Azúcar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Azúcar said...

Cafe- I DO love it, because, you know, it's not like that happened just about every night for months and I HAD TO GO TO WORK TOO.

Fiji- that's our problem, no nap=a wreck of a child, nap=up until 10pm. It's a no win situation.

I can take the no nap thing, I just repeat the mantra "In bed at 7, in bed at 7."
However Other Half's nerves get frazzled when the kid is a wreck (which ultimately frazzles me.)

sarah k. said...

Zeeb still naps every day, and he'll be 4 next week. He still sucks his thumb, too. If Calvin gets a nap, he stays up until midnight. They're just different. I don't have any advice for the craziness, though. But it will pass?

I have to admit that I thoroughly love the suggestion to lock him up in the laundry room with the parmesan cheese. If only there weren't consequences that came right along with doing that.

Rynell said...

The nap cessation thing has been different with each of my kids.

My youngest (4 1/2) will sometimes still fall asleep if we are in the car in the afternoon. It helps with the late afternoon crazies, but not so much with the early bedtime. Most of the time, he gets no afternoon shut-eye and goes to bed very easily around 7:30. Lately though, he's been getting up at 4 AM and coming into my bed then sleeping till 8 or so.

My other kids stopped their naps way too soon. I think that they should all still take naps. I sure need a nap.

The Bakers said...

As soon as my children stopped napping I shipped them off to pre-school. True story.

La Yen said...

Speaking of CPS
I turned the doorknob inside out so that I lock Jooj in her room. And she is in there for at least an hour a day. She either naps or doesn't nap, but it is quiet time. So far, so good. (And I practiced unlocking it really fast in case there is a fire. And she can unlock it herself, but she only does that when he wants beatings--I mean stern talkings to.)

And she vacillates between napping for a few weeks and then goes a week with just fighting it. Then back to big naps. The more she plays outside the more she will nap.

jennie w. said...

For me the average has been about 3. I have a 3 Y.O. that naps about every other day. It takes a while for their bodies to adjust to the lack of nap. For a few months 5-8 pm becomes sheer hell. Then they adjust and its not such a big deal. Even if they don't sleep, though, they still have quiet time in my house.

Lois said...

My children sleep whenever, eat whenever, I wait on them hand and foot...

Wait, by your definition, my children ARE animals!

(Something I have long suspected).

Amy said...

I'm with la yen. I also flipped the doorknob so I can lock my darling 2-year-old in for "nap time." Whether or not he sleeps is irrelevant, although I think he actually sleeps about 70% of the time. Every time I think I have a schedule figured out, we're on to a new stage. Blast.

"No mother loves her child so much that she doesn't love him more when he's asleep."

citymama1 said...

Offspring quit naps around 2 1/2. Sucked. I tried to keep them but she refused. So instead of napping we had "quiet time" where we read books, watch a movie together, do art, or anything that can be done fairly quietly so Numero dos can nap. Or me.

buena suerte!

Monica said...

Both my boys gave up naps around 2 years old. If they fall asleep even for 10 minutes in the car they are up until 1am. My daughter didn't have that problem.

I found taking away the nap cold turkey worked best. It sucks for a few weeks, then it's over.

This is me said...

My daughter started fighting naps at about 20 months. By 22 months, I finally caved and let her give them up. She is nearly 5 now and has afternoon quiet time (computer games or cartoons -- I have no guilt). My 2.5 year old son actually asks for naps. It is awesome. I really think I need the break more than the kids do. #3 will be here next month and I need some quiet in the afternoon!
Good luck!

Bek said...

We also have enforced "quiet time" from 1:00 - 3:00. They don't have to nap, but they do have to let mamma be QUIET. Also, we have an old tv/vcr combo in their room and lots of thrift store videos. They can watch shows, and play, or read, whatever, just leave mamma alone.

Cubby is in that awful inbetween phase (and he is 3.5...). He doesn't nap, but by evening he is a whirling dervish. Thus, the 6:30 bedtime. Not kidding. Otherwise, it is too crazy. I like the quiet time idea (and they have to be in their room, w/ the child handle on). It keeps me sane. Norah still naps, but she is up late, late, late--but since she stays in her bed and sings and entertains herself, it isn't a problem.

What would I do if I had kids that stopped napping at 18 months!!

sue-donym said...

changing the doorknob? Brilliant! Where were you guys when the Princess was little?

I have no advice at all. SOrry.

Azúcar said...

Our biggest problem is that we have, essentially, two bedrooms. The baby uses their shared room to sleep. The other room is my room and the chances that my Chanel perfume would end up being used like Febreeze is very, very likely.

I can't wait until we move to a bigger place. Anyone want to buy a condo? It's reasonable priced and smells like expensive perfume.

Patti said...

I'm a lurker. A fan.

I remember when the naps went away . . . still a necessity but gone forever. Thus the meltdowns before dinner. I know what you're saying. No advice and I've had a million kids. Maybe even more.

wendysue said...

My kids all started fighting the nap about 4 years old, they would either nap a couple of times a week, or not nap, then crash about 5pm.

I started the "quiet time" thing too. . .they didn't have to nap but usually they ended up napping. You may just have to do the "quiet time" where you can see him, if he can't stay quiet while the babe is sleeping in their room. I encouraged the napping because our evening schedules were usually so crazy between the both of us that a 7pm bedtime just wasn't going to happen.

I don't know that there is anything you can do to avoid the no-nap craziness, it will just happen. Earlier bedtimes help, if that can happen, but otherwise we just had to make sure they had something to eat at a decent hour and got them to bed relatively early.

I don't think it was until my kids started kindergarten that they really had a solid sleep schedule, mainly because they were so tired they didn't have a choice!!

Lindy said...

some days anders takes a nap and some times he doesn't. but, he always has "nap time" in his bedroom for at least 1-1 1/2 hours. but, if you've only got 2 bedrooms, forget about it. on anders' "crazy" days, i have him watch a couple episodes of backyardigans, and it's all good. i am very grateful to the creator of that show.

ClistyB said...

stay pet free
naps will be hell
till you pass age three.