Good Night Already

Trying to find a toddler's sleep sweet spot is harder than pinning down the Holy Grail. Too much nap, and she's up babbling past 11:00 PM. We listen to her process her day on the baby monitor, then, inevitably, her door opens and her little p.j.-encased feet pound down the uncarpeted hallway. She periodically visits us downstairs. "I'm having trouble," she announces, before requesting food, water, stories, assistance with the potty, back rubs, a story, or a playmate. After a long day providing all of those things, I am done. I hiss at her to go back to bed. Greg's sometimes a softie, though (especially on nights when he's worked late and hasn't seen her all day), and gets her snacks as I seethe.

"Drop the nap," our more experienced friends have advised. But no nap, or too little nap, and, well, it's ugly from about 4:30 onwards. U-G-L-Y you ain't got no alibi UGLY. Every step is agony, every word is whined, she can't follow directions, and she can't self-direct. There's yelling and tears. She has me looking up boarding Montessori preschools on the no-nap days. So I'm she's we're clearly not ready to drop the nap.

I've been experimenting with shortening her nap: yesterday was one-and-a-half hours, but I heard her chatting away in her bed as I brushed my own teeth around 11:00. That's a problem because she didn't want to get up for preschool. She buried under the covers when I opened the shades, and I felt like I was trying to pry a teenager out of bed (albeit one with purple pacifier. Please God, may she not still have the pacifier in high school). Today, I woke her up after an hour and 15 minutes, and she exhibited the worst of both scenarios: a train wreck who refused to go to sleep.
I hear her up there now moaning, "Mooom-my. I'm having trouble!" And I think I'm going to forego trying to craft a conclusion to this post (because there clearly isn't one, yet), and pour myself a glass of wine, and go to bed myself. Maybe leading by example is the way to go here?


  1. Smart Mommy; wine is definitely the way to go.

  2. I could have written that exactly about Little Mouse! Today she's napping (we're going out tonight.) Yesterday she did not (and we most certainly stayed in.)

    I hope they both give up the paci before middle school.

  3. Maybe she is a night owl. Once a night owl, always a night owl.

  4. she'll grow out of it . . . eventually. Although by that time you may have consumed quite a few bottles of wine! Hang in there!

  5. I know Nathan is younger, so I am actually less experienced as a mom so maybe I am way off base -- but what about waking her up earlier in the mornings, so that you can start her nap earlier in the afternoon? Then when you wake her after say 1.5 hours, the end of the nap will be earlier than it had been, with a longer waking interval before bedtime, which might make bedtime faster and easier.

    Hang in there.

  6. does that mean the next time she comes down requesting something to drink, you'll pour her a glass too?
    I agree, the nap is a sacred thing in the mommy world, without which, most mommies cannot survive. When our daughter was about Buzzy's age, we began the great conversion from nap to quiet time. This is when you establish that between 45 minutes - 1 hour of "room time" where shades are drawn low, lights turned off and noisy toys removed. You lay down the ground rules and drill it like Patton over a 4 week period: 1. talking only in whispers, 2. all activities occur on the bed 3. book "reading" permitted (refer back to 1 & 2), 4. playing with toys OK, 5. staying on bed, lying down if you feel drowsy encouraged, 6. ABSOLUTELY NO coming out of the room [except for potty] until Mommy comes to get you. keep us posted and Bon Chance!


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