Parenting Perspective: Say Goodbye to the Morning Break

September 10, 2010 He is also adorable and engaged, all of which means all hands on deck when he's awake. But I've always known that for a bit in both the morning and afternoon he'll take nap, giving me a chance to complete an errand, make a call or grab a bite. Sometimes he's even sacked out for a couple of hours both in the morning and afternoon.

But I think that's about to go away. The past two weeks, he's gone done later for his morning nap and then stayed up till bedtime. On one hand, the teachers at his school like this. They want all the kids to be up for circle and teaching time in morning. But it does mean I'll have to be more efficient and start taking my vitamins.

But I wondered what is normal, what to expect and if there was anything I should expect. According to sleepforkids.org, toddlers between 1 and 3 need about 12 to 14 hours of sleep a day. The site says by 18 mos, most kids are down to one nap, lasting one to three hours. It also says parents should be careful not to let the naps happen too close to bedtime, because they will now interfere at bedtime.

The site also noted something I've started to see myself: The baby has now started waking up periodically, crying out and then going back to sleep. The site says now is the time to get ready for nightmares and nighttime awakenings. This is tied to their increasing imaginations as well as their seperation anxiety, which starts to kick in around this age.

The sight recommends keeping bed and nap times consistent. It also suggests choosing an object like a blanket or stuffed animal to be your child's regular nighttime companion. That may add a sense of security.

Whattoexpect.com is a website by the same author of the famed "What to Expect" books. It's got some smart ideas:

*Move baby's lunch up and start her afternoon nap a little earlier. She'll sleep better when she's not going to wake up hungry. *Be patient. As the baby moves to the new schedule there will be some inconsistencies. She may be more cranky or want to get to bed or get up earlier.

*Try a quiet activity, like reading books, during what used to be nap time in the morning.

*As always, try not to listen or compare to your friends. Every baby is different!

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