Earlier I posted about the need to lower the boom on certain behaviors from my 3-year-old son. On a related topic, we recently started a sleep rehab program for him. You see, over the last few months, he started to take naps later in the afternoon. This led to him staying up later at night (sometimes we would still hear him awake at 9:30 p.m.). This was all fine and good, but…. I bet many of you parents know where this is going.
He would rarely, RARELY, sleep late enough in the morning to make this whole schedule feasible. And we all know what effect lack of sleep has on a child!
So, we now put him down for a nap by 1:30 p.m. (rather than by 2-3 p.m.) and have lights out at bedtime around 7:30 p.m. I can tell this has made a difference in his behavior and demeanor already. Even if he takes an hour to fall asleep at night, he is still asleep by 8:30 p.m. This means that if he wakes up at 6 a.m., it won’t ruin his whole day (and everyone else’s day, for that matter).
It is a drag to have to have him in bed by 7:30 p.m., if we want to be out and about doing anything in the evening. But this child simply won’t sleep late in the morning — more than once every few months or so, that is. This is what we have been struggling to accept ever since he was a young toddler. We know other kids who aren’t so affected by losing sleep, and/or they are more likely to sleep later in the morning if they get to bed late. Hopefully hubby and I will finally quit trying to fight our child’s natural tendencies, and just get him to bed on time as often as we possibly can.