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Am I doing okay with my toddler?


Just looking for some reassurance here. We have a very active, curious, verbal 14 month old. She has transitioned to one, longer nap a day but I haven't been able to push her to take that nap at the time when most babies do...which is after lunch, around noon. Instead, she takes that nap anywhere between 9 and 10:30 am, sleeps a good 2 hours or more and then is falling apart and ready for bed by 6/6:30. I've always thought it's best to just go with a baby's natural patterns, so I haven't been actively trying to change things. She wakes up twice during the night wanting to be nursed, and then has a very early wake up time...between 5 and 6:15 am, which stinks, but oh well...
A friend suggested I put her to bed and consider it a nap...then wake her up, feed her more, let her play and put her back down around 9. I think that's a bit odd...I always learned never wake a sleeping baby. Any thoughts?

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Asked by Anonymous at 7:24 PM on Oct. 13, 2010 in Toddlers (1-2)

Answers (11)
  • I'd try to push that first nap a little later in the day, if even by an hour.

    Answer by jeanclaudia at 7:26 PM on Oct. 13, 2010

  • My daughter has the exact same sleeping pattern, and has had it for 11 months. She wakes up at 6:30am, takes a nap at 9:30am, wakes up two hours later, has another nap around 3pm, wakes up at 4:30pm, and is out by 7pm.

    No, I don't suggest you try and change her sleeping pattern, nor do I think you should try and "push" her to change her napping schedule. We tried, ended up with a very unhappy toddler, and pedi said leave her be. So we did. Yes it's a bit much to work around, but we do it.

    I think overall you're doing fine with the sleeping habits. Let her dictate when she is tired, not you =) GL!

    Answer by Glamourina at 7:27 PM on Oct. 13, 2010

  • Oh, and my daughter is 15 1/2 months.

    Answer by Glamourina at 7:27 PM on Oct. 13, 2010

  • I think she is a little young yet to be forcing a certain nap time on her.  What you are doing is fine.


    Answer by louise2 at 7:29 PM on Oct. 13, 2010

  • My son was the same way at about that age. I didn't change his napping schedule until he started daycare at 22 months because I wanted him to be on their schedule. Before that he would wake up at 5 am and be ready for a nap at 9 am, I'd make him wait until 10am and he's sleep until 1 pm. Then he'd be ready for bed by 7.

    I think you're doing fine and your baby seems happy. There's no need to alter the baby's sleep routine unless it's not working for your family (like in our case I had to return to work and his sleep schedule had to be adjusted to the daycare schedule for three days a week).

    I have no idea why your friend thinks waking the baby in the middle of a night long rest and encouraging play is good idea. I think most people are going to think that it is a crazy idea. I can't imagine what purpose that would serve other than teaching bad sleeping habits.

    Answer by beckcorc at 8:02 PM on Oct. 13, 2010

  • When my son transitioned to one nap from 2, I noticed he was still getting very tired around 10am - so we instituted a cuddle time where he and I would lay together on the couch, read books, and just rest. Sometimes he would fall asleep during this time, I would let him sleep for 1/2 hour and then wake him up - any more than that and he had a hard time going down for his nap at 1. He eventually grew out of it and went to just the one nap with no problems. He has always gone to bed at 7:30 and he wakes at 7:30. But whatever works for your family!

    Answer by missanc at 8:04 PM on Oct. 13, 2010

  • Noooo...don't change will only mess things up and have her become more cranky. My DS was the exact ame way! At 15 months he went to 1 nap around 9:30 until12/ 12:30. We then enjoyed the afternoons together. Which, at times, were long but he was in bed by 6. Which, I have to say, was really nice because I got my evenings to myself. He would get up around 5:30/6 as well. He still does and he is 2/12! You can't change it. I have tried pushing his bedtime later and he still gets up then or earlier because he went to bed so late. That brings me back to my original thought about not changing this in that it can make it worse. So enjoy your mornings and evenings and eventually she will go to a normal naptime..GL!

    Answer by coolchic320 at 8:08 PM on Oct. 13, 2010

  • I think the best thing is to go with your instincts- it sounds like they are telling you to leave her schedule be which is likely what I would do in your situation. If you want to make changes I would try them very slowly and test the impact on the rest of the day. Like pushing back bed time for 10-15 minutes to see if she will sleep a bit later, or letting her have some time in her crib when she first wakes up to see if she might drift back off- at this age my DD loved to have books in her bed and would often "read" and even drift in and out for up to an hour at times, and then she would get up and start the day. But trying to keep a sleepy baby awake doesn't make for a fun time for them or you. I say go with whatever works for baby whenever possible. Happy baby usually equals happy Mommy.

    Answer by MaryMW at 9:55 PM on Oct. 13, 2010

  • I would put her down for a 2nd nap around 4 or 5, but only let her sleep for an hour or so. My son was the same way, and once I started doing the second short nap with him he was much better!

    Answer by 4time-mom at 10:57 PM on Oct. 13, 2010

  • I agree with everyone who said to trust your instincts. I felt the same way when my daughter was that age. I really think that they figure out their own schedule. I thought my daughter would NEVER fall into a routine, and she finally did. At 18 months old, she sleeps all night (she occasionally cries once a night), and then takes a two hour nap around noon. I swear that I NEVER imagined that this would happen. I really believe that a mother should follow their instincts, and when the child is ready, a routine will come into place!!! Good luck!!

    Answer by tracy3420 at 11:06 PM on Oct. 13, 2010

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