While I'm not the sleep police, I do know that my kids do better (emotionally) with 10-12 hours overnight. And I would have less problem with a later bedtime if it translated to a later wake-up to keep the net sleep hours the same. So how to deal with it. Not sleeping as much overnight, they were of course seeming to need the nap more. And if they nap, they don't need to sleep at night. It became a catch 22. Enter the long weekend and a chance to experiment.
Sunday was Canada Day here. I knew we'd be out for much of the day. And knowing my kids, Nathan would nap in the stroller the first chance he had, but Corwyn doesn't stroller nap so it would be an interesting experiment. Corwyn actually fell asleep in my lap while we were having lunch. As expected though, he woke up when I tried to put him in the stroller, and happily stayed awake. Total nap time 20 minutes. Nathan passed out after lunch and slept for almost 2 hours. But in general, he needs more sleep than his brother. Come bedtime, Corwyn fell asleep at 9 and Nathan just before 9:30. And to add to it, neither woke up before 7. Success to a degree.
So onto Monday and my first attempt at a total nap free day. I had originally planned to spend as much of it at the playground as possible to keep them moving, particularly during the times they liked to doze off. But the weather did not cooperate. Rain, rain and more rain. Being the sturdy Vancouverites we are, we still spent over an hour in the morning and another hour in the afternoon at the playground.
The rest of the day was spent moving from activity to activity whenever one got bored or yawned. We watched movies, played with playdough, finger painted, had a friend over, made drums out of containers, built with blocks and pretty much anything I could think of. There was one small nod off point with Nathan as I was dishing up an early dinner. He was barely asleep and happily woke with the promise of food.
Both were starting to nod off around 6 and I got them through to 6:20 and called for a bath. Nathan loves these and Corwyn tolerates them. Both were done faster than usual. We read 2 books and they settled into their beds for a couple of quick games on their leap pads. Nathan stayed in bed and Corwyn came out and laid down on the sofa behind my back. I swear he fell asleep mid-sentence at about 7:45-50. At almost the exact same time, all sound from the bedroom stopped signalling sleep there too. So that was it, both asleep before 8pm.
What time did they wake up? How about 7:40 for Corwyn and 8:05 for Nathan! And honestly, I think Nathan would have gone longer had he not been repeatedly poked by Corwyn.
I'd like to say the night itself went smooth, but it didn't. It wasn't anything new though and not directly related to the early bedtime. It was a bit of a comedy of errors and even though I was able to go to bed earlier, I didn't get a perfect nights sleep.
Nathan came out to my bed around 2:15. Nothing new. He stopped off to go to the bathroom first (yeah!) but in the process dribbled tons on his undies and screamed for me to come help him. This I can do almost in my sleep but the noise woke Corwyn. So I ended up with both in my bed. Nice snuggles.
Around 3:20 though, Nathan said his tummy hurt. Then he said he had to poop. Since he had some liquid poop earlier in the day, I encouraged him to dash to the bathroom. He made it to the bathroom but unfortunately wasn't fast enough for all of it to make it into the toilet. So 3:30 saw me cleaning him and washing the bathroom floor. But after that was over, he was ready to go back to sleep.
But for me, that wasn't the end of it. Those who've read along for years know that Corwyn gets night terrors and waking type dreams sometimes. Usually when overtired which I guess he was. Around 4:15 he started hitting and kicking me (in the head since he was backwards on the bed) screaming for "mommy go, mommy go". So I did. I know from experience if I try to fight it, it will escalate, he will wake and not go back to sleep again at all. But if left, will fall asleep within 10-20 minutes. I went into their room. Nathan wanted me, so followed.
There we were, sharing a toddler bed at 4:30. But Nathan wanted the light on. I told him I needed it dark, so if he wanted the light, I had to leave. He seemed to let it go. But then about 10 minutes later, he told me to leave. Sigh. So I left. Then he was screaming for me to turn the light on. Seems he thought he wanted the light more than me. I turned it on, then walked out. I had not made it back to bed yet when Nathan was there, wanting to sleep with me.
By now, Corwyn's episode was done and he was deeply asleep, sprawled in the middle of the bed. Nathan crawled in on one side of him, me on the other and we all went to sleep.
I woke first, shortly after 7 when I heard the dogs downstairs barking. I was able to get up, get dressed and even start on breakfast before Corwyn woke up. He woke up happy, while I was sweeping the floor.
Overall, I was happy. We'll see how the next few days go. I don't mind 8-8 or even 8-7 for sleeping. I will miss the daytime break during the nap. But I'll manage.