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Old 04-10-2009, 01:25 PM   #1
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I need scheduling help

I am not one for schedules. I really dislike them. But, I think I may be fnially accepting the fact that I need to put my children on some sort of schedule. I think a schedule would help my 2 y/o nap better and my 7 m/o sleep better at night. But, I have no idea where to start. What do I do when I decide a nap time and they don't want to sleep? Or if they want to sleep BEFORE nap time comes? I am not even sure what sort of schedule they need... Can someone help me figure this out? Share your experiences? What type of schedule do you have? Why? Is your schedule felixible?

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Old 04-10-2009, 02:32 PM   #2
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Re: I need scheduling help

I'm assuming your 2-y-o is down to one nap a day and your 7-m-o is taking two? I'd aim for something like this:

up at 7
Nap 9:30 to 10:00 (starting the process half an hour early)
Nap at 1, 1:30 or 2:00 (starting the processs half an hour early)
Possibly a short nap for infant at 4:30 or 5:00
Bed at 7 or 7:30 (1/2 hr...)

You'll need a little flexibility -- as you say, babies might be tired before you're expecting it! And as to not wanting to sleep, I let DD1 play in her crib with one toy and two books at 2. She sometimes played for up to an hour before she slept, and that wasn't ideal, but it was okay -- she was happy and it was downtime for her. Occasionally she'd go through a spell of NOT sleeping, or of falling asleep after 90 minutes; that was a lot more annoying! Then we had to decide whether to wake her up or risk a very awake child at bedtime!

On the whole, we found schedules to be VERY helpful, especially with pre-nap and pre-bedtime routines. Once we turned on certain music and had a bath, DD1 knew bed was right around the corner, for example. We've fallen by the wayside a bit since #2 came, and DD1 is not settling in her bed as readily.... (It doesn't help that she's now in a toddler bed and can wander around. I wouldn't do that again at 2.5 with another child who was happy in her crib -- I'd wait!)

HTH!
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Old 04-10-2009, 02:48 PM   #3
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Re: I need scheduling help

I think that so long as you are around the same time everyday you will be good. We are not particularly early risers around here. We get up between 7:30-8. When the baby was younger she usually went back down for a nap around 10 (usually a short nap) and then would take a longer afternoon nap around 1 or so. Bedtime is about 8-8:30. Now that she's 2, she usually just takes one nap, but it's still around the same time as before. She really just dropped the morning nap. For us, nap has generally followed lunch. They need the down time to work on their food and at that point they've been up for several hours and are usually tired. Sometimes as they get older they are allowed to read for a few minutes first. Eventually they won't nap anymore and then we just have quiet time.
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Old 04-10-2009, 02:52 PM   #4
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Re: I need scheduling help

Thank you so much! I appreciate the ideas! My DD is in a twin bed. So she is able to get up and out. I wold have left her in her crib longer but at 16 mos, she started getting her legs stuck in her crib slats (to the point that we almost had to saw them to get her out!) so we had to switch to a "big girl bed" earlier than I would have liked.

A question about your sample schedule - you have two naps listed. Do 2 yr olds take 2 naps usually? Sometimes my 2 y/o takes one, other times she taks two shorter ones. Somedays she doesn't take a nap at all. I guess this is my problem with trying to get a schedule - I have no clue what is normal? How long should a nap last for my 2 yr old? I'm more concerned with getting her on a schedule first and then trying to get the 7 mo old to comply later.

Thanks!
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Old 04-10-2009, 08:57 PM   #5
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Re: I need scheduling help

maybe you should consider more of a routine versus a strict schedule. My daughter is on more of a strict schedule but this is a necessity because I run a daycare in my home and it is important for all of the kids to get their meals, naps, etc. a houseful of cranky, hungry, bored kids would be a disaster for me. something that might be helpful is to keep a log for say a week about what you did each day to see patterns. then try to institute things that would be less of a battle, like meals and snacks at the same general times, plenty of activity, bath time, etc. once you get the rest of the day in a better routine, start instituting naptimes. give a cushion of a half hour for days they are going to sleep early and need to wear themselves out a little longer and stay up a bit longer. that way you won't get frustrated so easily when things are not on time. my 16 month old only naps about an hour in the morning and sometimes an hour in the afternoon. she just has a lot of energy. i do like her to have some down time even if she isn't napping. as long as she is perky and happy, i do not have a problem with the time she is napping in comparison to other kids. each kid is unique and she doesn't seem to be suffering in any way for a longer nap. it would be nice though

good luck with your schedule and hope you find something that works for you asap!
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Old 04-11-2009, 02:07 AM   #6
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Re: I need scheduling help

Naps for a 2 yr old depends on the 2 yr old. I have 3 children and all of them at 2 regularly took one nap a day, usually shortly after lunch. My son at two would still take a 2 1/2 hour nap in the afternoon. My oldest at 2 would've slept for about an hour. My youngest, who just turned 2, can't seem to make up her mind. I think it really depends for her on how early her brother and sister wake her up. Some days she'll sleep for an hour, sometimes for 3.
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Old 04-11-2009, 02:38 AM   #7
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Re: I need scheduling help

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiliki View Post
A question about your sample schedule - you have two naps listed. Do 2 yr olds take 2 naps usually? Sometimes my 2 y/o takes one, other times she taks two shorter ones. Somedays she doesn't take a nap at all. I guess this is my problem with trying to get a schedule - I have no clue what is normal? How long should a nap last for my 2 yr old? I'm more concerned with getting her on a schedule first and then trying to get the 7 mo old to comply later.
My ODD dropped from 2 to 1 at 14 months, which is fairly typical, I think. I'd aim for 1, in the afternoon. I let her sleep as long as she wanted *unless* she started the nap with more than an hour of quiet time. Might be one hour, might be three, plus 11-13 hours of sleep at night.
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Old 04-11-2009, 07:41 AM   #8
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Re: I need scheduling help

With the 2 year old, you just time the nap for after lunch. It's natural, it's easy. Their tummies are full and they get sleepy. (I still get sleepy after lunch too!) Have the lights dim toward the end of lunch, clean face & hands, change diaper, and head straight for a nap.

Evening, start out 30-45 minutes before you want the 2 y/o to be getting tucked in. Lights dim (I think it's hard for a little one to grasp that it's "evening" when they're in a brightly lit house!). Bath, pajamas, brush teeth, read a book, last hugs for Dad, and tucked in.

You are in a tough place though with a 7 mo old and a 2 year old! I think it was hardest when I had a baby who needed 2 naps, and a 2 year old needing 1 nap. Basically it felt like I couldn't go anywhere for most of the day without screwing one of them up, and they just couldn't nap at the same time. (Which also means no nap for Mom!). With the baby, I would just focus on establishing what time bedtime is -- 8 always works well for us. If you stay in the room with your 2 year old while she goes to sleep, you can also be nursing/rocking the baby. It helped me that the kids share a room. After you get the bedtime established the same every night, you'll probably see the naps settle themselves into a really predictable routine and I wouldn't try to adjust those beyond maybe a little tweak.
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Old 04-11-2009, 07:48 AM   #9
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Re: I need scheduling help

Quote:
Originally Posted by doodah View Post
maybe you should consider more of a routine versus a strict schedule.
Exactly. If you're focusing more on routine than the clock, then you are getting in sync with their bodies and they should get sleepy when it's time for naps, etc.

I did say 8 o'clock bedtime, but I have always found that to be a time that works really well for both kids. I keep an eye on the clock, but just to remind myself that it's time to start the bedtime routine. They may not be acting sleepy at 7:15, but by the time it's 8 and they're ready for bed they are sleepy -- and if I waited until then to start the routine, then I'd be dealing with cranky tired kids while we brush teeth, etc.

Also, we adjust the bedtime a little during the year -- may be closer to 7:30 in the winter when it gets dark early, may creep closer to 8:30 or even 9 in the summer.
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