I have been doing some research on how to get Annie-Mo to sleep well during her naps. She sleeps brilliantly at night (thank goodness) and often when I mention that she isn’t sleeping well during nap time people smile and say,” well at least she sleeps well at night”.
Obviously it is good that she does sleep at night but what a lot of people don’t seem to realise it that one or two regular naps not only fit in with her bodies natural energy dips but are also important aids to her development . Babies and preschool children who maintain good naps during the day are often more even tempered and actually sleep better at night then those who don’t. Of course there will always be some little ones who don’t fit the rule but on average young children need 11-12 hours sleep at night with 1-2 hours nap during the day. The first nap should be mid morning and apparently is conditioned for physical development. The afternoon nap is for mental development. Ideally each nap should be over 40 mins long for adequate benefit to be achieved. Annie was just cat napping, 20 mins mid afternoon under duress. When she awoke she would be refreshed but it didn’t last and by 5 o’clock she would be whingey and very ready for bed at the busiest time of the day. This was not a happy situation.
Whilst Annie was cat napping Pi was also having sleep issues of a ”I cant get to sleep” variety. Night after night we were regaled by her singing herself off to sleep with every carol she had been practicing for the school concert along with tapping in time and occasional shouts to emphasise the really exciting parts. This was in spite of lavender being rubbed on her feet, snuggley bedtime story and warm milk. Obviously however cute this was, the sleep deprived little girl who would emerge from her room late morning wasn’t that much fun to be around. Something had to be done.
I am currently reading ”The no cry sleep solution” by Elizabeth Pantley.
I did at first pick it up with Annie in mind but it has had some interesting suggestions that will hopefully put Pi back on the right sleepy track. One of the points I found most interesting was about regular awake time as well as the familiar regular bed time. The book explained that often during weekdays the time we get up is different to the time we get up at the weekend. Then Monday rolls around again and it is back to the previous awake time. This means that our bodies are working on two different time zones so when we go from one to the other then back again our bodies feel like they are jet lagged hence why we get that Monday morning ,”I don’t want to get up feeling’.
I have been letting Sophie sleep in because she was getting to sleep late. Perhaps I was conditioning her to not only a later wake up but also a later go to sleep time. So I am trying to maintain a regular awake time as well as bed time and it will be interesting to see what happens. I do know that no solution fits every child but even if this one doesn’t work it is one step closer to the one that will.
Annie is now also having a regular wake up, nap and sleep time working along side Gina Fords ‘The contented little baby book’.
There aren’t many self help writers who elicit such a strong reaction as Gina Ford. I found her book enlightening. To discover that babies could go to bed at 7 and sleep through was a shock. I didn’t believe it but it does make sense. The boys spent most evenings when they were young howling. I thought it was colic. It appears they were just over tired. I discovered ‘The contented baby’ with Sophie. Both she and Annie were down at 7 sleeping through from 5 weeks. I have never been able to stick to her routines religiously but instead use them as a guide. so like now when Annie’s naps have gone wrong I use ‘The contented baby’ to put us back on track and off we go again.
Thank goodness for Harrogate library’s reference section and fingers crossed that they will soon all be sleeping like the metaphorical baby.