We’ve been having a bit of a struggle with getting Gwen to bed recently. Like she’ll get into her bed no problem (after a VERY EXTENDED bedtime ritual) but she always wants more hugs and to talk about what we’re gonna do tomorrow and sometimes she also needs to get up to check for firetrucks outside (???). Some nights we need to open her curtains to show her it’s getting dark outside, or what the weather is doing. And sometimes even when we do all these things she cries and cries and cries (literally she does not stop) until we come back and give her more hugs, more talk, more firetruck checks. One night she also turned on the light, got dressed and very very quietly took out her legos to play with. VERY SNEAKY.
Also, a few weeks ago she started regularly falling asleep int he late afternoon/early evening. Like 5 or 6. She’d fall asleep on the couch (or outside, apparently) and it would wreak havoc on our entire night. She’s really difficult to wake up, except for if we would try to move her to her room. These late naps pushed back dinnertime, bathtime, and bedtime and left Gwen (and by extension, me most nights) with a super interrupted sleep schedule with multiple middle-of-the-night wake-ups. And the days I managed to keep her awake she would be SO CRABBY and unreasonable in the evenings they were a huge struggle as well.
Gwen actually decided about a year ago that she didn’t need an afternoon nap anymore, and we’ve been getting along just fine with “quiet time,” but with these recent spontaneous evening naps I figured something needed to change. I started inserting a “quiet rest time” into her regular quiet time, when she could lie in the bed with Taylor and (hopefully) falls asleep. And it worked! I had to negotiate with her about it a lot but for the last week (even on the weekend!) I’ve been able to get her to take an afternoon nap. And while she would wake up grumpy, it would pass and she would be sweet and friendly throughout the evening. Success!
Except… although they didn’t interfere with the schedule for dinner, bath and bedtime, even the earlier afternoon naps made actually getting her to go to sleep (and stay asleep) a huge struggle! I even tried starting the naps earlier, waking her from them sooner, and no dice: she was still crying after we left her room and waking up throughout the night. Yesterday I decided to skip quiet rest time in favour of regular quiet time and at bedtime she fell asleep more quickly and only woke up once, but she was super crabby and argumentative all evening.
So now I’m stuck. Without a nap she is miserable all evening but with a nap she sleeps terribly all night. I can’t really change what time she wakes up in the morning (it’s usually around 7 anyway) and we don’t really have much wiggle room with her bedtime either? Like I finish work at 5:30 and make/finish making dinner, we eat, she has a bath, we do the bedtime things and then she goes to bed. She definitely tries to drag bedtime out but most days we are able to get her settled down by around 7:30 or 8. Now we’re thinking we’ll have to get her down by 7 but that really only gives us an hour and a half with her in the evening to do everything so idk. idk! How is sleep formed, basically.
Unrelated but sort of related: this morning I was putting one of the daycare kids, a 13-month old girl, down for her morning nap (remember morning naps? siiiiiiiiigh) and Gwen wanted to help. She found the little girl’s special sleepy-time toy that had fallen under the crib, brought her a special pillow from her own room to share, and gave her a big hug. Later she ran up to me with one of her special blankets that she wanted let the little girl use as well, but I explained that she was already asleep and we mustn’t wake her up because babies need a lot of sleep. But I asked her if she was going to help me put our new baby down for naps when she/he is born and she gave me a very enthusiastic “Yeah!!” and my heart exploded with love. EXPLODED. Oh also: I asked her recently what we should name our baby and she said “Wappy.” Wappy Laramie. I like it.