Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Sleep Situation

For some reason, I thought it would be good to write a post about what the kids are currently doing as far as sleep is concerned.  We moved Graves into the nursery recently (I still need to do a post to show y'all what it looks like now that a little boy lives there, too!) and so I thought now would be a good time.  He still takes naps in our room and I usually start him out in our room for the night, so AP can get to sleep and then I transfer him after I fed him.  I'm nosy, so if you have kids similar in age to my two (or older, or younger, or whatever), I'd love to know, just out of curiosity, what sleep looks like at y'alls house.  I'm sure I know for some of y'all from your own blogs, but I know that at least for us these things change ALL.THE.TIME. so please share!

Graves first: he's kind of all over the place.  I guess I just assume that's typical for a child his age that hasn't really had any sleep training.  It's not a huge deal to me as long as it's not super intense hour long sobfests with no parental consolation, and we did CIO with Ann Peyton some, but I'm just not big on it until a baby is a little older.  Plus, with AP it was probably twenty minutes of light whimpering (there were some times that were rougher than that, but that was really more as an older baby).  I have a feeling with Graves it would be hours of blood curdling screams.  My mother in law tried to do it with him the other night and he screamed full force for a good twenty minutes.  I just don't see it being something he's even capable of working himself through at this point.

That said, I probably could do a better job of getting him on a more structured schedule.  Especially this Summer, our days have just all been different and I haven't made it a priority to be at home at certain times to enforce naptimes.  I always say I don't want to be a "slave to a nap schedule", but I don't mean it arrogantly.  It's just not what works for us.  Anyway, as a result his daytime sleep is really hit or miss. For the most part, he takes two naps a day.  He usually takes a super short nap in the mornings.  Like I'm excited if it's over fifteen minutes.  I wake him up if it goes over forty five because obviously, it's to my benefit if he sleeps again when Ann Peyton does.  His afternoon naps are typically longer but they vary so much, too.  Some very good days he'll sleep most of Annie's nap- for two to three hours and other days I'm lucky to get an hour and a half.  He also stirs around now that he's out of the swaddle and that wakes him up, so there's a lot of going in and putting his paci in and occasionally even nursing him back to sleep. 

I'm really not as concerned with day time sleep to be honest.  I mean truthfully, if I had to chose between getting up one to two times at night with a good, consistent nap or him sleeping through the night but not having a good solid nap I know I'd pick the former.  However, some nights one to two times would be a blessing and that's wearing me thin.  He doesn't eat every time and lots of times I can just pat him back to sleep and give him his paci.   It doesn't really bother me except on the nights it's every one to two hours.  And then I want to pull my hair out.  Fortunately, those nights aren't all that frequent. I do probably need to figure out more of a "plan" even if I'm not ready for full on CIO yet. I did attempt to get Peyton to take over getting up with him some, because I would like to get him out of the habit of waking up and wanting to eat.  However, Peyton sleeps like a ROCK and so it's so much harder to get him to wake up.  I mean I could feed, burp and change Graves by the time I wake him up.  Ha!

We recently moved Graves into AP's room at night and that's seemed to help tremendously.  He still wakes up at least once or twice, but that's usually it.  And Annie sleeps like a rock.  I'm amazed by it.  He'll wake up crying and I'll go get him, nurse him, and put him back without her even stirring on the other side of the room. We don't always remember to turn on the monitor, so I now sometimes he's probably been crying a few minutes before I even hear him.  The other night I went to the bathroom before I got him and she STILL didn't wake up.  It's not something I take for granted.

Speaking of Annie, whereas I think Graves sleeps slightly less than the typical five month old, I think AP probably sleeps slightly more than the typical two and a half year old.  Or at least she spends more time "resting" than most kids her age. Starting back to school has been really hard for her.  Girlfriend LOVES her sleep!  She's always required a lot of sleep and down time and so I 'd never given it too much thought, until a recent conversation with a friend.  I kind of think for the most part (and I know there are exceptions) kids figure out how much sleep they need and go about acquiring it to the extent that they have the opportunity to do so.  For example, I really can't imagine getting Graves on the typical three naps a day "Babywise" type schedule.

That said, she does have and will continue to have mandatory naptime /quite time in her room for a good long while.  Our minimum is between one to two hours (unless there's a good reason not to and the only one I can think of is "TUNDER" (thunder)).  The maximum I let her stay in bed is four hours and that's if our schedule accommodates that, again unless there's a good reason for more sleep- like being sick.  I know that's kind of long, but it takes her a really long time to fall asleep some days.  This is kind of typical of her personality- she takes forever to eat sometimes, too. I've called her "lazy" before and it really upsets my mom.  To be fair, it is a pretty negative term and really Annie is just doing things in her own time and on her own terms.  Anyway, four hours is the max and I usually don't let her stay in bed past five o'clock unless I know we're going somewhere and her bedtime will be pushed back anyway.  But she's a bear if she doesn't wake up on her own, so I do try to avoid it when I can.  And it's not like she takes four hour naps every day, but she probably does average one to two of them a week, with her typical nap being between two and three hours. She usually sleeps ten to twelve hours at night with few interruptions, although she has had some issues with what I think are night terrors. One thing about her is that she's good at "making up" sleep; if she goes to bed late, she may not sleep late, but she probably will take a long nap the following day or the day after that.

I know it's a bit of an outlier, but I really don't think it's THAT unusual for a child her age to rest/sleep anywhere between twelve to fourteen hours (occasionally fifteen) in a twenty four hour period. I've always just said we were fortunate to have a good sleeper, but as I said, recently a friend asked me if I was concerned.  Like I said, it's her norm, so I never thought it was a big deal, but through no fault of my friend (and the entire fault of me being a sometimes insecure, worrisome momma) I left the conversation a little worried.  Specifically, was I stunting her socially by letting her spend so much time in bed and was I just being lazy by allowing these long naps on days when she seemed to need them?  I even got a little worried she might have a brain tumor making her super tired or some kind of weird social disorder where she didn't like being around other people.  I thought about calling the pediatrician, but I opted to just talk to Dr. Peyton and Dr. Minnie instead.  My mom and Peyton both reassured me and said that they think she's pretty in line with where she should be verbally and she's hitting almost of all of her milestones, so it doesn't seem to be affecting her socially.  Peyton also said that as long as I'm maximizing my time with her when she is up (which I don't always succeed at), then it's really not being lazy, either.  She is a bit of a "different" child and just LOVES books in a way I've really never seen from a toddler, but I think that's okay and actually worth encouraging.  NOW, it can become a bit of an obsession.  I know in my elementary days, my mom had to take away many a Beverly Clearly novel and shoo me outside.  So she comes by it naturally.  I don't think there's anything wrong with her (like being "anti social" as Peyton likes to joke), though, because when she's around us she interacts a ton and wants to involve us in what she's doing. And she's always ecstatic about seeing her little girlfriends, Aubrey or Mary Milton, or seeing her cousin, Simeon.  So I know there is a part of her introverted little spirit that does thrive on relationships.  I also had to remind myself that when she is not in bed, she may read independently in the room with us, but for the most part she wants to be close to where we are.  I really see no difference between her and the child that spends a couple of morning hours engaged in independent play in a playroom or nursery. 

Whew! So that's where we are.  I didn't really intend for this post to become so long, or really so analytical.  But it probably wouldn't be a post on this blog if it weren't both, would it?


Kodi said...

I think AP & my Manning have pretty much the exact same sleep patterns. It took Manning longer than most kids to drop his morning nap and he's now averaging 12+ hours at night and 2-4 during the day. It doesn't surprise me because when he is awake he is NON-STOP. :)

Christi said...

I think Ann Peyton is just showing what her body needs. I bet when she's awake that she's active and pleasant because she's well rested.

As for Graves...three naps a day is something I don't think my babies ever did or at least often. I do encourage you to get at least one nap a day on a regular basis, because my dr kept reminding me that the better they sleep during the day the better they sleep at night. Hmm, can you tell that some of my kids (my girls) were not good sleepers at all? They are just finally sleeping better (they are 9 and 7). My dr wanted me to do CIO about 6 months with my youngest and though I don't judge others but I just couldn't do it. I am weak, but a certain cry just told me that she needed me. My oldest is is a tween and needing more sleep in the morning. My middle child is definitely a morning night she'll crash but be up by 6 am every day. We recently learned that when she's really tired it causes her seizure like activities, so I learned she needs to be in bed at a certain time. My youngest is a night owl and a grumpy morning person.

The Niemeyer Nest said...

Evie and AP seem similar except AP seems more go with the flow. I love that she is a good sleeper most of the time. Recently, it it is harder for her to get to sleep at night if she takes a super long nap. Bedtime is 7 at our house so that may mean we should move it to 7:30.

Henry either sleeps a lot or none. Dairy impacts his sleep so much. Have you noticed that with Graves? I mean he can go hours and hours awake if I eat dairy.

Anonymous said...

We have never done CIO either. We rock out 2 year old down for naps and bedtime. Her nap is usually about 5 hours after she wakes in the morning, and bedtime(well, when we start rocking) is 8:30. She typically wakes up at 8:30' and her nap is an hour and a half to 2 hours.

Mary Pauline said...

I have 3 that are all spaced out just like your two. Right now, mine are 6, 4, and 2. For the first year, while I was breastfeeding, we co-slept in a way that worked for my family - We being the baby of the day and myself. The baby of the day would start out in a pack-and-play in out closet and then once he/she woke, I would bring them into bed with me. I was also working 45-50 hours/week. At around that one year mark, they started sleeping more soundly through the night and nursing less, so I transitioned them into their rooms and then into a full size crib.
Now, everyone is out of our room and into their own. We have the boys sharing a room and our daughter in her own. The older two boy/girl insist on sleeping together every night however. This works out well as the baby is a light sleeper and wakes up at everything.
You are absolutely right in that you have to just go with the flow and do what works for you. There have been nights where I will climb into bed (or even the crib) with one of them just to get some sleep - it is about survival!

Mary Louis Quinn said...

I would NOT worry about AP's sleeping! I think every child is different with the amount of sleep he/she requires (like you said), and I'm sure she's fine! She may not always be that way so enjoy it while it lasts! :)

As far as CIO goes, I started letting C CIO around 5.5-6 months, but the schedule can really be anything you want. I didn't personally want to hear my child crying incessantly for an hour, so I started with small time increments. Like I would go back in there after 3 min at first, pat her, give paci, etc, but not get her up. Then I would go 5 min and go back in there. She was usually asleep after the 2nd or 3rd trip in there, so max crying was like 15 minutes. That worked for us, but again every baby is different.

Bre said...

My son (now 13) took FOREVER to eat when he was younger. He would (eventually) eat all of his dinner and he has always been good at trying new things to eat. However many nights he was still eating an hour after my husband and I had finished. It use to drive me insane but then my mom put a different light on it and just said the he was "enjoying" his food way to much to scarf it down. So maybe AP is just "enjoying" her time in her bed :)

Carrie said...

I completely agree that it's not unusual for a 2 year old to sleep 12-14 hours in a 24 hour period. I DO think it's probably less common for one to sleep 16 hours in a 24 hour period, which is what we were discussing that day.

Sarah Denley said...

I thought I made the point that she rarely ever takes those super long naps after a night when she's gotten a full twelve hours of sleep. But maybe that was after I discussed it with Peyton and he said he thought I was overestimating how much she sleeps. :)