My son has always been a champion sleeper. I remember vividly the first night he slept through the night. I woke up in a panic fearing he was dead in his crib. Since then, he has enjoyed many a long nap and 10-11 plus hours of sleep at night. During those infamous growing spurts, he would fall asleep before his bed time and I would have to wake him every morning. His nap time would last 2-3 hours allowing me to clean the house, work out, clean myself up and sneak in a wee bit of a nap for myself. Unfortunately, that's all about to change.
Don't get me wrong. I love his naps. It's rare when my household is quiet during the day. Lately though, my son has been fighting sleep at night. When I say fight, I mean he is finally giving up between 10-11pm, instead of his normal 8pm. I have been trained to go to sleep close to 9pm, so now our schedule is WAY OFF.
According to the charts at his preschool, this boy has been clocking some 2.5 hours of nap after lunch. Then, he fights sleep at home. So, it's time...it's time to wean back the naps in effort to gain back the earlier bed time for the sake of the household.
I did run an experiment this weekend. I skipped the naps altogether. WRONG. The boy collapses around 4:30pm and wakes up cranky by 6pm. So, my "research" has taught me that he needs something but closer to one hour to 90 minutes instead of this 3-hour nonsense.
When sleep is off in a household, no one is happy. Naps, I will miss you when you are completely gone. I will remember fondly the days when there was quiet during the day and I had a moment to myself. Darn it.
Change is the only constant especially when you have a child. I whimpered a bit this morning when I realized that he has outgrown one of my favorite jackets. Seeing him every morning makes me wonder if last night was the night he grew again. Some of my favorite things in my house are now broken and long gone.
This adage is also true when it comes to phases. For kids, phases can consists of bouts of eating, sleeping or behavior patterns. My son just left a phase of going to bed early, waking up late and taking long naps. Now the phase is fight to go down, wake up early and fight the nap with all you got. I get that this means that the growth spurt is over, but I miss sleep so much.
Every morning when I get to work, I get asked if I have been crying. Nope, I am just tired. I have been wrestling with a young child trying to convince him to sleep. It's frustrating since I can tell he is tired. He is quick to whine and cry. He will sit on the couch denying that he is tired while rubbing his eyes.
My lack of sleep brings out the worst in me. I lose my temper easily. I find myself constantly forgetting to do important tasks. My memory jerks me awake at 3am to grab my cell phone to jot down notes. I am not quite sure if I am coming or going or a combination of both.
So if you a new parent or trying to become one, please take my advice, Don't get used to anything. Every night your child goes down without a fight is a gift. Enjoy it because it will not last. And when the bad phase lands on your household, take a deep breath and comfort in knowing that this too shall pass.
Sleep is one of the best things ever yet my son fights it. He has some great tricks up his sleeve to convince me to delay the inevitable. Still, bed time comes for us all.
My son completed another growth spurt last week. He grew half an inch in one month. Suddenly, the fantastic phase of easily going to bed and sleeping until I wake him ended. As a parent, you learn to appreciate those moments when the house is quiet and you have actual alone time. When it's gone, it's devastating.
This is something that my friends without children cannot imagine. When the boy is awake, I am not alone. When I wash the dishes, he is at my feet going through the cabinets. When I make my bed, he is trying to jump between the sheets like its a game. When I go to the bathroom, I am stalked and suddenly needed for something. Every move is watched and sometimes questioned.
So I fight the good fight. I fight for my need to have at least 30 minutes or more everyday to myself in my own home. Today, my strategy was this - cut back on the nap. Yesterday, my son worked in a THREE hour nap. I used that time to do chores. When he awoke, he was ready to go and I was exhausted. When I came home later that evening, the babysitter could not get him to sleep several hours past his bed time. NOPE. GAME OVER. Nap is SLASHED in half today and my boy collapsed under the weight of his own eyelids on the couch.
Mommy time saved. Book being read. Face being washed. Slash the nap for the win.