in the sleep war zone

It’s been a loooong week over here, despite it barely being past midweek.  On Monday we decided to try to move Leo to one nap.  We think he is ready and we’re also hoping it helps him sleep longer/later at nights (more like 7pm-6am or even 7am).  Prior to this our schedule broke down as such:

  • 10am: morning nap for 45-60minutes
  • 2pm: afternoon nap for 1.5-2 hours
  • 7:30pm: bedtime
  • 5-5:30am: generally when Leo would wake up
  • 6am: when we actually got him up (we would check on him if he was really crying but otherwise let him fuss on and off in his crib until 6 in an effort to teach him 1) he doesn’t determine when it’s time to get up and 2) to go back to sleep)

We thought missing the morning nap would be the hardest part of this whole thing.  OH HOW WRONG WE WERE.  Here’s what it’s looked like instead:

  • 12pm: nap for 2.5-3 hours (except yesterday when it was 1.5 hours and he woke up still tired)
  • 7pm: bedtime
  • 4:15am: when Leo wakes up
  • 6am: when we actually get him up

Here’s the thing about 4:15am.  It is an ugly hour.  It’s ugly for Leo, it’s ugly for us.  It’s also insanely frustrating because he is clearly tired and needing to sleep more, but instead lays in his crib and cries and fusses and slaps the wall and fights fights fights.

I love drinking my coffee to the sound of fussing.  It’s the soundtrack of a happy, peaceful morning leading to a happy, awesome day.

Despite it, I think we are making progress.  Fifteen minutes ago – at 5:45am – Leo finally fell back asleep after being awake for an hour and a half.  I’ll take that as a huge victory and a sign of hope that maybe we can push through this.

I know this all sounds bitter and sarcastic and whiny.  It’s also honest.  I know we made the decision to move Leo and I know it’s probably a lot harder on him making the adjustment and figuring out these new hours.  We do still think it’s the right move and we do think we’ll get there, eventually.  Probably right around the time change when everything will get moved again…

More coffee please.

Completely unrelated except still pertaining to Leo – this picture melts me:


12 thoughts on “in the sleep war zone

  1. Hang in there! It WILL get better. Just stay consistent with it and he’ll soon realize that everyone has more fun when he sleeps. We would never let our kids out of bed until after 7:00 (unless some unusual circumstance allowed it). When they were a little older and could recognize numbers, we put a digital clock in their bedroom and taught them what first number they should look for before they could get out of bed. It greatly reduced the random, “Good morning, it’s 5AM and I’m awake and ready to play, are you?” moments.

  2. We have the dreaded time change coming up in a couple weeks. That always throws my kids off too for about a week. Hope you have better luck with that switch.

  3. We’re in the same weird place, sort of. E usually sleeps about 11 hours at night and if the day allows, I still try to have him take two naps but boy, it takes him awhile anymore to fall asleep. But if he only takes an afternoon nap, he still sleeps just about 2 hours (instead of 3 like I’d expect) and is CRANKY throughout the morning. Currently, I’m listening to him jump in his bed, trying to decide if we should just go to the gym afterall.

    1. We’ve found that a mid-morning snack really helps him get past the fussy/tired hump where he’d normally nap. And a quick walk outside or a little reading time. But the snack, mainly. Some days he’s napped great – 3 hours – others (like yesterday) are shorter.

  4. The Keurig is ready – have as many cups as you would like! I would definitely be bitter, sarcastic and whiny – plus crying on the bathroom floor – and it’s OK to be that way. Usually the kinks work out or so I’d like to think. Or so I’d like to hope. I was ignoring the whines at 5:15 a.m. We went to one nap pretty naturally and so I’m of no help. The only thing I’d ask is if he has something to soothe him. Not necessarily a paci but a blanket or bear. Something he could hold during those hours. I know kids are supposed to have ’em. We don’t but I long ago relinquished dibs on Mother of the Year. HANG IN THERE!

    1. He has a stuffed carrot that he loves and a pacifier – he has both in the mornings! I think it’s just a hiccup we have to get through til he realizes he should just keep sleeping.

      I’ll be over tomorrow at 4am for that Keurig. 🙂

  5. You are awesome! I’m so proud of your persistance and commitment. Consistency is key – like everyone is saying. You know the past 5 months for us have been extremely trying in the sleep area – and God has totally put people in our life to remind us of our purpose as parents…if at the end of the day I cannot say that I did all I could and invested all I am in my children and making sure their hearts are being trained for the Lord, then what am I even doing?!?
    Heart training totally starts with predictability which builds trust!
    (and we notice a HUGE difference in Mylin’s ability to manage her moods if she is not fed on time and with nutritious foods and snacks – I swear, bad eating leads to bad sleeping and bad moods and bad attitudes and bad eating and bad sleeping and so on…)

    I love you, rock star mama!

  6. Oh man . . . 4am anything is just gross and nasty. You guys have done a great job letting L that he is NOT the parent–which can be hard (I can imagine) for most parents. But it has paid off in the past and it will soon! Keep at it! 🙂 (this oh-so official since I’m childless. hahaha)

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