Author Topic: How do I drop the nap?!  (Read 510 times)

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Offline Emami

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How do I drop the nap?!
« on: July 30, 2017, 05:54:24 am »
Oh my DD2 has been a sleep pickle from the beginning and she's still at it! She's 2y8m now and I think her nap needs to go but I'm not sure how to make it happen. DD1 was a piece of cake - I put her down every day, she either slept or she didn't and I adjusted BT accordingly. She was mostly done by this age.

Annabel still naps every day and seemingly needs it. She hasn't done well with a capped nap when I've tried that, and on the very occasional times she's had a NND she's had night terrors. So I concluded that she does best with a longer nap and a shorter night, and for a while now she's been doing WU 5.30, nap 12.30-2, BT 7.30. The 5.30 start isn't ideal but this routine has worked for her, her mood is good, it fits in with school runs and it's been doable. I figured at some point in the not too distant future she would start dropping her nap and WU would shift later.

HOWEVER, she loves her nap and what's happening instead is she's throwing in more frequent even earlier WUs, 5am or (barf) sometimes starting with a 4. It's no longer ok!!  We don't let her get up until 6 to start the day, but she never goes back to sleep if she wakes up after 4.30.  I'm pretty sure the nap needs to go so that she gets her sleep at night, but how do I make that happen when she's up so early? It makes it so hard to get out and do anything in the morning because if we're in the car she'll fall asleep and I don't want to reinforce the EW with an early nap. But DD1 is off school for the summer and I don't want to be stuck at home either. There's no way she can make it through a NND from 4.30. With DD1 I was a huge fan of EBT, but I can't even do that because an early BT of 6pm is still a really long day. EBT for Annabel would be going to bed at like 3pm!! Help!
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Re: How do I drop the nap?!
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2017, 07:12:01 am »
She sounds a bit like my DS. He needed a long nap and shorter night too.  His nights did get a bit silly-short and I tried capping the nap but that was not suitable.  In the end he dropped his nap cold turkey whilst he was ill when he did a 2.5hr nap (unheard of) instead of 2hr and that was his last regular nap ever.
With DS I had the nap much later, 2-4pm, I wonder if you could just move her nap later to get those mornings more suitable even though it would mean a later BT?  Then, possibly, like my DS she will drop the nap cold turkey one day rather than the series of nap and no nap days that some LOs have?
I'd probably avoid the car for a few mornings so she can't CN making up for the EW, move the nap quite rapidly to 1pm then 1.30pm and allow BT to shift later too (as early as you can whilst still accepting she only needs a shorter night at the moment). Then once WU moves to a better time after say 3 days (FX) you could start going out again without fear of a car nap.  Maybe home for lunch and nap and perhaps even another trip out after nap time?  I think that could be easier for he summer holidays and needing/wanting to get out, her being awake at 4am is not a going out time and EBT really cuts into the day too where as later WU later nap and later BT could offer a more flexible day for trips.

With mine, when he dropped cold turkey I didn't put him down for nap at all.  he nodded off a couple of times in the car over the next week or two (very short micro naps) but was angry when he woke (like he hadn't wanted to sleep and it was making his dopey and angry).  The tiredness built up and after 2 weeks I invited him to nap with me in my bed (he never ever did this) and to my surprise he accepted. We both dozed on and off that one day and then that really was his last nap.  Just mentioning this in case something similar might help for you it sounds like your DD is going to hang on to that nap until it just drops.


Offline Emami

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Re: How do I drop the nap?!
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2017, 07:34:02 am »
Thanks hun. This week is actually a great time to try to move the nap later. DD1 has an intensive swim week so is at the pool every morning and it's only a 10min walk from home, so no need for car. After swimming we can go for a walk, park, playdates etc and don't have to go further afield. The reason I've stuck with 12.30 for so long is because it works so well with school, she can't do 2-4 or anything where she is waking up after 2.30. But we still have 5 weeks of no school so hopefully that's long enough to get her WU late enough that she can do without a nap, or at least not one every day.

After she woke up at 4.30 the other day she made it to her normal nap time of 12.30, STTN and woke up at 6. So we did get a better night after a longer morning. Yesterday she did WU 6, nap 1-2 (she woke herself, short nap for her but she was happy), BT 7.30... and this morning she woke up at 4am!!! 😭 We have plans this morning and I'm not going to change them to accommodate her ridiculous sleep, so she is going to have to last until 1pm anyway. Hopefully she will be busy and distracted enough that she won't be a mess. TIRED!
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Re: How do I drop the nap?!
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2017, 08:55:45 am »
Oh dear the  morning WU is so unpredictable.  It sounds like a good plan you have though.
Yes I understand not everyone can do such a late nap as we had, no way could I do that with a second child and the school run in the middle.  you never know, if she does still need a nap by the time the new school term starts it could just be something like 2- 2.30 and then straight out to school or even a pram or car nap on the way to school, maybe setting off a bit earlier to let her have 30 or 60 mins.  People seem to find a way :)


Offline Emami

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Re: How do I drop the nap?!
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2017, 06:43:48 am »
So yesterday went WU 4am, nap 1-2 (woke herself, very grumpy!), BT 7.30. She slept through until 4 and I thought that would be it for the night, but she did go back to sleep around 5am and woke for the day at 7. Best start we've had in ages! So should I do a 1pm nap, push it later, or just power through and see how she does?  I do feel that if she naps it's all or nothing - if I cap it she's a bear, she will sleep in the car so I can do that sometimes but only if it's practical, but we don't even have a pram or buggy anymore. She never wanted to be in it even when she was little, she wanted to walk everywhere so I got rid of it when she turned 2.
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Re: How do I drop the nap?!
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2017, 07:17:52 am »
I think I'd move the nap to 1.30pm now you got a better WU time. And BT a bit later too.  I think that could help you more overall with shifting the times so that this holiday is a bit more sociable rather than 4am WUs every day.

A note about waking grumpy - there came a point with my DS (I was late to notice it though) when the grumps where because he didn't want to have been asleep. He was a bit further along in the nap drop, when he was nodding off in the car, I realised he was happier if he didn't sleep at all, it was like he was just lulled by the car and then full of sleep hormones making him dopey and grouchy where as if he just stayed awake he was happier.  Just thought I'd mention in case she turns out the same.
Mine also hated the pram even as a baby - waste of money.


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Re: How do I drop the nap?!
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2017, 05:58:43 am »
When your DD dropped his nap did his nights get longer straight away or did it take a while? Annabel is doing 9.5/10hr nights and 11.5/12hrs total, which seems to be suiting her fine but it's quite a lot to hope she adds on to her night 😕

I've been doing her nap at 1.30, and WU has varied between 5.30-7. Definitely better in that there's been nothing earlier than 5.30, but nothing consistent either! Yesterday she did WU 5.30, nap 1.30-3.15, and I pushed BT to 8.30 hoping that she would sleep in this morning as we will be out all day and I don't know how were going to manage a nap. She woke up at 6am, not terrible but I know she'll get tired and it just seems like such a short night.

What did your DS's day look like when he was napping 2-4? I'm not sure what to aim for to BT. Her days are so long!
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Re: How do I drop the nap?!
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2017, 09:49:48 am »
When mine was on a nice routine (before the nap drop transition) with nap 2-4 it was something like:
WU 6.30
long A time
S 2-4 (sometimes a slightly longer nap)
short A time (but I know not all LOs can do this short A time)
BT 8

When the transition to drop the nap started though I had about 6 months of annoying routine when nights went down to 9hrs sometimes even less (falling to sleep late, waking early) so I did try to cap his nap but it was mostly horrible, awful mood and not worth it.  I just kind of bumbled along trying capped naps and/or NNDs and a mixture of capped and long naps... until he dropped his nap.
I think when he first dropped I hoped for and got 11hrs overnight (possibly some 10.5hr) and then over time it extended to 12hrs overnight.  Once we reached the 12hrs it stayed there a long time (about 2 yrs).

So, I just found and read through the thread I had going at the time and one of the suggestions was to cap the nap much earlier, at 1hr, to catch the sleep cycle in a different place and this can result in a happier mood.  Maybe you'd want to try that?  It seems on my thread my DS did wake better that way sometimes but not all the time and sometimes out right refused to get up when I woke him and just went right back to sleep.  He was pretty much permanently OT during the transition to drop the nap - sorry that doesn't sound very positive does it.