Saturday, September 04, 2010

Plea for Help: I'm Raising an Enigma

I need advice and I need it YESTERDAY. I know I've complained about this before, and I apologize, but here we go again.

I have largely taken away Becca's naps. She would still nap just about every day, but in an attempt to have a normal bed time and in an ill-fated hope that she will sleep in a bit, she's stopped napping. She takes about one nap a week at this point. She goes to bed between 7:30 and 8:30. Last night she was asleep right before 8:00--after playing for hours and even swimming before bed.

And damn, if she still isn't awake at the crack of dawn. Some days it may go as late as 6:23. Most days it is around 6 a.m. Today it was 5:30. FIVE-THIRTY!???? And I'm PISSED. I can't take 5:30. Even though she will just get up and play quietly in her room, I just can't believe that is good for her to be up that early.

I forced her to turn off her light and get back in bed this morning. She was WAILING. She wanted to get UP. She's NOT TIRED. She MISSES HER DADDY. She CAN'T close her eyes. I tried rubbing her back. I tried lullabies. I tried turning on her music. I tried yelling at her to stay in bed and stay quiet until her alarm clock turns green (at 6:25) or SO HELP ME GOD.

What else can I do? Do I have to start keeping her awake until 9 at night? I just don't think that is healthy for her. I don't think that is enough sleep. Do I just go back to naps more regularly? (Which will lead to bedtime wars). Do I just start making her run laps around the block until she collapses from exhaustion? Do I put her to bed at 6:30 p.m.? Something isn't right. I feel like this is partly just her, but I also feel like I'm not figuring out how to manage her sleep needs, either.

I know why this happened, by God. Yes, I do. Just yesterday I was telling my friends, "Oh. Things have gotten SO much easier for me lately. The kids are just growing up so well and they have become so much more low maintenance. Life just keeps getting easier." Rookie mistake. Maybe if I just shut my trap, my problem will magically disappear?

10 comments:

joanna said...

I know I just said on facebook that maybe a short nap would work - but I think it would only maybe help with a meltdown before bedtime. Not with sleeping in. Isn't somewhere around 10 hours the recommended amount of sleep (although maybe that's on the low end) for kids her age? Something was on one of the morning shows this week...

Katie said...

Only 10, huh? That is depressing....I guess I should keep her up later. Wow. How come all my other friends' 4 and 5 year olds sleep 12 hours?

Andrea and Ben said...

put her to bed earlier. She will most likely always be an early riser. I was/am, always have been. But I like going to bed super early and getting as much sleep as possible (as I am online at near midnight - ick). Try earlier for a while, like 7pm. I know plenty of 4 year olds that go to bed at 7pm.

joanna said...

I tried to find it - then fell back on webmd. 10-12 hrs recommended for 3-6 yr olds. Bedtime 7-9 and wake 6-8. It is depressing.

Anonymous said...

I think you have the same kind of child that I have but lucky me has it happening a year earlier. Saffran WILL NOT take a nap anymore and if she does, she won't go to sleep until about 10:30 pm. She also wakes up between 5:30 and 6:30 every morning. This no nap I speak of follows days of swimming, play dates, school, playing outside, going to gymnasics, etc... I make her have quiet time everyday (which is also at times a joke) but she goes to bed between 8 and 8:30 at night. I've trained her to watch cartoons or a movie in the morning so I can sleep for a bit longer. I usually just get up and make her a quick bowl of cereal or whatever and she's fine for a while. I feel like Becca is almost old enough to get a little breakfast snack now too. It sucks (especially when you're 7.5 months pregnant) but I'm good now that I can get her to entertain herself. Hope that helps.
Erin

Swistle said...

Sadly it is the same at my house: kids go to bed in the 7:00/7:30/8:00/8:30 range, and kids are up in the 5:45/6:00/6:30 range. No one takes a nap, not even the 3-year-old. I haven't ever been able to change things by changing naps or bedtimes. The kindergarten memo says kindergartners need 10 hours of sleep, so...I guess that's about right. But that doesn't mean I'm not looking forward to the days when I complain about them sleeping until dinnertime if I let them.

Bevo said...

She's related to General Grant.

Laura said...

I agree with the earlier bed time. It seems to work for us. The later the boys stay up, the earlier they rise. It sucks but I SOOOO feel your pain. We are having major battles at my house too. Good luck.

Lysandra said...

Mikey just gets 10 hours too and it's fine. You must never compare your 4 year old to what other 4 year olds are doing. Other people might have children that sleep 12 hours but they might not be as talented as Becca in other aspects.:)

Anonymous said...

Toddlers typically are early risers. As long as she isn't getting sick or having tantrums because she gets tired without a nap, I wouldn't worry about the exact number of hours of sleep. "Enough" sleep varies from individual to individual among toddlers as among adults. As long as she wakes up rested and plays quietly in her room (so you can get your sleep), it doesn't need to be a problem. If she starts getting a lot of colds or getting cranky after supper, then try an earlier bedtime. However, if she truly doesn't need need more sleep, an early bedtime just means she'll wake up even earlier. Perhaps a later bedtime, or an hour of "quiet time" in her room at the normal bedtime, with lights out an hour later than her current bedtime. (I assume she's not getting caffeine in the afternoon or sugary snacks after supper?)
As long as you can get enough sleep, the kids will be all right.
Love,
(Great)Aunt Linda