A lot of the nap struggles with my younger son, now 8 months old, that I have written about in the past have lessened. There are still days when I feel I need to pray to the nap gods to get things to work out, and the sleep patterns chart (http://www.babycenter.com/0_chart-track-your-babys-sleep_8030.bc) still fills up with Xs some days — an X is my way of noting a “failed nap attempt.” Overall, though, I generally can count on the time around lunchtime and late afternoon as being nap-free zones where I can plan a trip to the store or the park.
Our big struggle with Mark nowadays is his tendency to wake up around 4:30 a.m. (for a feeding, I guess) and then not go back to sleep, even though he’s clearly not rested. This makes for a rough ride until 8-9 a.m, when he will actually take a nap; he is wiped out by 7:30 a.m., typically, but will not nap then. We have tried putting him to bed earlier and later than his 6 p.m.-ish bedtime, with no clear success. If you, dear reader, have any suggestions, please let me know!
We are still working to find a schedule/rhythm that works for my almost-4-year-old, Adam. For a time, I was convinced that his afternoon nap was becoming a thing of the past, but my opinion has changed. Lately he has been ripe for a nap at 3 p.m., and my sense is that I should be putting him down earlier (which I have long wanted and tried to do, with virtually no success). It seems he does need his afternoon nap, but the downside is that when he does nap, he isn’t ready to fall asleep for the night until about 9 p.m. — far too late for my tastes.