My husband works a lot and my child only sleeps a little, so my days were starting to feel ridiculously long… like 14 hours long.
Then about a month ago we moved my son’s bedtime up more than an hour, and he kept sleeping until basically the same time in the morning… boom… down to 13 hour days (i.e. huge happiness boost)!
His occupational therapist recently pointed out that a lot of his negative behaviors are signs of him being overtired. Now here’s the sad part – I know he’s overtired.
But when he naps, his bedtime gets pushed so late that he gets much less night sleep and the next day is a mess too. He’s also a beast when woken from a nap, so that makes it doubly hard to allow for a midday snooze. And it’s such a struggle to get him to nap that it leaves me with no motivation to make it happen.
She convinced me to reread Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child (which had been my bible for the first year of his life). The stories and advice reminded me that it might take some time, and some tears, to get him back on a good sleep schedule, but the results would be worth it. So last week we decided to move his bedtime even earlier, and wouldn’t you know it, it worked… say what?!?… 12 hour days people!
Our next step is to try to add in a short nap at a reasonable time. I was able to make it happen today and I really hope it will stick. But it took him a long time to fall asleep tonight and it was about an hour after his new bedtime (the nap was an hour long). So we’ll see what time he wakes up tomorrow. I’m willing to try it for a week to see if it helps, because the period of his best behavior coincides with his best sleep schedule (22 months old).
Fingers crossed tomorrow goes well, but worst case we’ll go back the the early bedtime and no nap.