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midday naps

  1. #1
    kellyst is offline Registered User
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    Angry midday naps

    need to vent... i've been trying to set up a more rigid schedule for my 14mth old ever since she was born. i work full-time and baby is taken care of by helper and my MIL. she had a pretty good schedule going with feeding and evening bedtime, but had never gotten around to setting up a good, consistent time with midday nap. that is why midday naps are always such a struggle.

    this week, her schedule started really getting out of hand with us taking her out, not getting back in time etc. which i felt all along has really been the adults' fault. she never had a schedule that she can nap to. the most annoying thing is when my MIL keeps taking her out and coming back like 30mins to an hour late for her food or sleep. the helper feels that my baby needs the schedule to but does not dare to say no to MIL when she does things like that.. and when they're out and they're home late, there's really nothing she can do about it.

    the other thing is that i can't enroll the baby into any classes, coz she might be sleepy at almost all of the class times, i can't book her into anything without her having a schedule. so i put my foot down yesterday and figured out that the best time for her activites would be to nap between noon-2pm after lunch. i announced that, we tried it for the first day (i had to tell everybody that she is on 'nap training' and she can't go out.)

    now my husband says that he doesn't like this nap time coz we usually have family lunches on Sunday and this way we can't go to any lunches. (it's really my MIL complaining thru him)... i just felt like how selfish is that, now i think i found a good schedule for the baby, we want her to change it because it interferes with their lunch schedule.

    my MIL loves taking her out... and i've always felt she has been ignorant of the schedules we set. i don't think she sees it, but they don't understand how it is bad for the baby. she just thinks 1-2hr here and there is nothing, and i think it's tough for the baby. i just can't help but feel that it's so selfish of her to want to take the baby out just to play and ignore the fact that the baby would be much more comfortable with a set schedule.

    we're gonna discuss this noon time nap thing.. but i'd like some advice on how you schedule nap times. i wanted to stand firm on it, coz i feel it is best for the baby, and everybody, including my mom, is just telling me to relax...that the baby'll sleep when she's sleepy.. but she doesn't, she just gets all cranky and unhappy and crash after a few hours. plus the fact that she really doesn't sleep as well at night if she doesn't sleep well within the day (well-documented).

    sorry this is so long, but very frustrated

  2. #2
    HKfornow is offline Registered User
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    Really feel for you, sometimes it's tough fighting an uphill battle when no one seems to be supporting you. However, you are the mom, and it is your responsibility to speak up for YOUR baby. When my son was younger, having him take a nap was real hard, but around 8 months old, he adjusted to having 2 naps a day and down to one nap around 2.

    Since you're hesitant about signing your baby up for classes for fear that she will be sleepy, perhaps you should sign her up for the classes, and if she is too sleepy for it, so be it, but make sure you tell MIL & hubby, too bad baby did not enjoy the class coz she did not take her nap & was too tired. Or if it's a morning class, then tell them that baby is too tired & need to recharge first, then if they want to take her out after the nap it's fine.

    Your helper is obviously not going to stand up to your MIL, but if you tell her it's her job to ensure that baby takes a nap, maybe she can tell MIL that "oh my boss says that baby has to nap at XX, so can you take her out later so I won't get in trouble."

    I have to admit, I schedule things around my son's nap times, and I basically tell people, from X to X son is taking a nap, and from X time he is going to bed, and If they tell me oh but he can stay up later, he's a big boy now, etc., then I say, "then I guess I won't be joining you, perhaps another time when it's more convenient" and leave it at that.

    Good luck.
    Last edited by HKfornow; 12-06-2006 at 10:43 PM.

  3. #3
    barbwong_130 is offline Registered User
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    I think you have two problems in your household. The first being that you are a more scheduled person than your MIL. It sounds as though you like a schedule and know where you are with one but not all people are like that – in fact about 45% of us much prefer to be very easy going and flexible about almost everything but especially about mealtimes and bedtimes.

    The second is the cultural difference. You clearly believe the well documented “she really doesn't sleep as well at night if she doesn't sleep well within the day.” But actually this is just one cultural way of sleeping (the North American culture). It was much more common in the Chinese culture to let babies fall asleep when they wanted. This often resulted in an afternoon nap when the weather was very hot in the afternoon and a late bedtime.

    I don’t think your baby NEEDS a schedule to be happy and healthy but you may need to have one so that you can be happy and healthy. But likewise your MIL may think that a baby NEEDS to be flexible to fit in with the family lifestyle, or should I say her lifestyle.

    Best wishes,
    Barb

  4. #4
    LLL_Sarah is offline Registered User
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    My daughter loved activities, even if she was tired. She’d be well behaved during the activity but murder on the way home! Mostly when this was the case she’s fall asleep in the taxi.

    The one thing I really liked about her starting pre-school was she’s be away for the morning and then sleep really well in the afternoon. Even if she was really too tired on the Monday after a holiday to fully enjoy the school by that Friday she was in a routine again.

    I agree with HKfornow – why not sign her up for an activity and I’m sure very quickly she will adjust to its timetable.

    SARAH

  5. #5
    kellyst is offline Registered User
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    thanks all for fast responses.. much appreciated. this newsgroups always helps to keep me sane. you're right Barb, it might be that i need the schedule more than the baby. i didn't quite thought about it as a 'Chinese' cultural way of thinking before i read your posting. you're probably right, since basically all of my family and relatives (all Chinese) seems to think babies don't really need such rigid schedule. my grandmother says she'll sleep when she's tired. anyways... will need to go thru some trials and discussions. wish me luck.

    thanks all!!

  6. #6
    capital is offline Banned
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    I am a lot like you and I think that scheduled naps are nery important, and early bedtimes as well, as I think that myy children are more irritalbe if they do not nap, more difficult behavior, and I feel that if you are tired all the time you can not learn as well. I place a very high emphasis on getting enough rest, it is also very important for your immune system.We do often go out to eat arounf lunch time on the weekends as well, and it does interfer with the nap, but I find since the children mostly nap at the right time it is less distruptive, and only affects that day.
    My suggestion would be to compromise by saying for 2 weeks it is going to be the new nap schedule ( to get the baby into the routine, and show everyone how different lefe is with a well rested baby), and then after that 2 week time period, be okay with have the nap distruped once a week for the weekend dinner. I think the time of day for your nap is perfect. That is what time mine would go down, soemtime between 12 and 1:00. Mine children also go to bed at 07:00 pm. Another strategy would be to sign up your child for a morning class so tht they could be back in time to have lunch and then nap. I found that if I did not get home in time for lunch, then my one year old would fall asleep in the car for 10 minutes, and that would ruin the nap. So you have to figure out what your window of opportunity to get home is.

  7. #7
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    carang is offline Registered User
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    personally, i like having an adapatable child. we've never been rigid about his nap time. nor have we insisted that he be at home in a darkened room. the great thing about being so flexible is that my son can sleep anywhere, anytime. his usual naptime is 11am until he wakes up usually 1-1.5 hours. yesterday, he slept for 2 hours. not such a big deal.

    however, most of the time, when i want to take him out, i like to leave in the morning and return later inthe afternoon. so, i'd be on the ferry by around 10:20 or 10:40am and then get to town around 11am. sometimes, i'm going on somewhere else, like ocean park or stanley. so, i get on the bus. he's so flexible, that he falls asleep on the bus and will continue to sleep after we get off the bus and i am able to put him back into his pram. he can then sleep as long as he likes.

    for me, this ability is fantastic. i enjoy NOT having my life planned around his nap time. but we ARE lucky as he usually likes to sleep at around the same time everyday and it doesn't matter where he is, so i can still plan activities for him.

    good luck!

  8. #8
    kellyst is offline Registered User
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    thanks Capital and all for advice. makes me feel more like it's not all or nothing, that way i won't feel like a total nap time nazi. i asked a colleague who brings her baby to TutorTime about her schedule and she said she just skips that nap on that day of the weekend when she goes, and the baby just crashes after class. but it's fine, as it's only once in a week.
    thanks again! great advice.

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