DAYCARE, TO NAP OR NOT TO NAP: On weekdays, when our wee one's at daycare, she'll usually nap twice a day, but each nap will average no more than 20-30 minutes, and everyone in her classroom who cares for her knows that any amount of nap time past 30 minutes is remarkable for her... she just doesn't want to miss out on anything. Although she's had a couple record-long naps as of only recently, as long as an hour and 20 minutes last week due to a crazy growth spurt, for this week thus far, she's had no more than one 30 minute nap each day and she's been falling asleep on the car ride home -- We've only recently realized, officially, as a new rule, that any day she's only had one shorty nap at daycare, she'll be ready for bed that night by 6pm, and no later.
THE FAILED SLEEP EXPERIMENT: The last week or so of January, she began waking at 5am, but she'd wake up and want to stay up! More often than not, we could get her to either go back to sleep on her own for another hour after just 10 minutes of nursing, or she could be left alone, happy to babble away in her crib for as long as 20-45 minutes before she'd let out a squawk for someone to come claim her. That weekend of January 29th though, thru to February 2nd, she was up every morning at 5am and she refused to settle back to sleep or to quietly play in her crib, and was the one who got to get up and take care of her each time. By February 3rd, I was utterly exhausted - - and mind you, this was all going on during my stressful technology nightmare. For the past week and into the last weekend, we tried a later bedtime, 6:45-7pm, but quickly determined it doesn't seem to provide enough sleep for her. Over the past weekend, she slept in on her own until 7:30am or later, and for the past 3 mornings and last Friday, we've had to wake the poor girl up, never letting her sleep in any later than 7am, when we really need her up during the week by 6:30am in order for us to get to work on time. Although she wakes with a smile each time we've had to get her up, and she's no longer waking at 5am and wanting to stay up (which was our goal), this later bedtime experiment isn't working.... I noticed this morning she has dark little circle beneath her eyes. She needs more sleep.
WEEKEND NAPS: Ever since she began full-time daycare once she was 6 months old, she's spent her weekends catching up on sleep, napping twice a day for an hour at a time, and up to two n' a 1/2 hours. This is still the case and it can make our weekend plans a bit tricky, as we really must accommodate her sleeping needs and set our weekend plans accordingly, otherwise she's a noodle by Monday morning. And invariably, she'll get run down and catch a case of sniffles by Wednesday in the week after a crazy, nap-poor weekend. For her weekend nap times, she's usually nap-ready by 9-10am, and again around 2-3pm. If we miss the 10am window of opportunity, she's too hungry by 11:30am to take a morning nap at all. And if you don't get her down for an afternoon nap by 3pm, an afternoon nap won't happen either.
EVENING PLANS: If we have evening plans at someone's home and she's coming along, we'll bring the Pack n' Play with a baby monitor, and she'll typically sleep in the Pack n' Play wherever it goes, no problem. Such a night can happen no more than once during a work week though, as it's unlikely she'll get the chance (or ever take one) to recover from the sleep interruptions, from us having to wake her to go home, and wake her again after the ride home, to put her back to sleep in her own crib; if this happens more than once in the week, it will ruin the week, as we'll have an overtired baby on our hands, and she'll be susceptible to a cold bug. On the weekends, it's much easier on her to take her to someone's home, as long as she gets her two good, long naps in per weekend day, and we get her to sleep in her Pack n' Play by 6pm. As for late evening plans with the baby girlie in tow, wide awake, without the Pack n' Play, we really can't keep her up past 8pm without week-long consequences for everyone.
THE SHORT OF IT: So anyhow, beginning tonight, we'll return to a 6-6:30pm bedtime and hope that the 5 o'clock in the morning wake-up call doesn't resume.