Could Baby be losing her 1st nap? Yesterday and today she decided she did not want a morning nap. Sometimes it’s because she poops when she’s in the crib and she hates a dirty diaper. Then once I take her out, there is no going back. Sometimes I think she is just overtired and gets so wired that she can’t sleep.
That being said, why in the heck does she fall asleep in the car when we go out around morning nap time? Obviously, she still needs a morning nap!
I don’t believe in such a thing as “catching up” your sleep. If Baby misses her morning nap, she still takes her afternoon nap, maybe a little earlier. She’ll sleep her usual 2 hours not longer. Okay, maybe once in a great while she may sleep more. Then at night she’ll go to sleep usually around 7:30pm and sleep all the way to 6:00am. She does not sleep longer if she misses her morning nap. So I don’t believe that she can catch up if she misses a nap that she needs.
That’s why I’m such a “routine” hound when it comes to naps. Some of my friends think I’m the “Nap Dictator” because I’m so strict when it comes to naps. I truly believe that there is a certain amount of time (a magic window) that your child can handle being awake. After that amount of time is up, it’s time for a nap. When you miss that time for nap or it’s late, your child becomes wired and fussy. Sometimes even fighting going to sleep. I can truly vouch for that!
Some people tell me to let Baby sleep in the car on the way to an activity or after an activity. I try to avoid that as much as possible since that kind of sleep in not considered restorative. Restorative meaning the kind of sleep that makes you feel refreshed and renewed when you wake up. (Read more about it in the book I refer to below.)
If you’ve done the prerequisite reading before having a baby, you’ll notice that most books say that children need a certain amount of sleep a day and that they do need naps. Research shows that children who nap are usually happier (less fussy) and learn more effectively.
My go to book when I have to deal with sleep issues is, “Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child” by Dr. Marc Weissbluth. This book really taught me how to deal with my children’s sleep issues. I have to say for the most part my children are good sleepers.
When parents ask me, “Do your children sleep alone?” I say, “Yes.” A lot of moms tell me that they don’t know how to get their children out of their beds or that they have to lie with their child until their child falls asleep. Whew, that get’s tiring after a while. I know because I’ve been there. In the end, I had to let my children cry themselves to sleep. Yes, it’s hard. I felt my heart breaking at the sound of their wails. But, for my sanity and for their health, crying was the way to go. After a few day, they could sleep on their own even if I put them down awake.
Princess lost her morning nap around 16 months. I think Baby will be losing her nap soon or in the next few months.