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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

16 months routine

I'm not sure if this is of much interest to anyone, but we are struggling to move to a normal one nap schedule. Melody no longer does well taking 2 naps but is still struggling to be okay with one. All summer our routine has been pretty non-existent. I didn't mean for things to get so hap-hazard- they just sort of did. When I realized it was starting to take its toll on Melody (I was no longer anticipating her needs, but reacting to them which created much more frustration than usual for everyone), I decided to implement some change. For the last week and a half or so I have been really trying to stick to a plan. Here's what our routine looks like now when I am at home with Melody.

7:00 am Melody wakes up and does her "Mommy, come get me!" cry

7:30 am I finally go get her. Melody drinks a sippy cup of milk.

8:00 am Breakfast

8:30 am Play time/we might watch TV

9:00 am Melody has room time while Mommy showers

9:20 am Mommy finishes getting ready while Melody plays in the room with me -or-we play together with me in my bathrobe (just tellin' it like it is)

10:00 am Snack time (so hopefully her belly stays full during nap tme.)

10:20 or 10:30 am Reading time in Melody's room

Between 10:30 and 11:00 am Nap

1:30 pm Wake up and drink a sippy cup of milk

2:00 pm Lunch

2:30 pm Play time with Mommy, TV time or Errands

5:30 pm Melody Dinner time

6:15 pm Bath time (if needed)

6:45 pm Start Bed time routine

7:00 pm Melody bed time

The in between 2 naps and one phase has been a little difficult (the crankiness from being over tired drives me nuts), but this morning I had to remind myself of the fact that Melody is only 16 months old. A lot of kids don't drop the 2nd nap until they are 18 months, and although she is very tall and very smart for her age, she is not as old as she seems. Having a nap earlier in the day (while a little inconvenient) is perfectly acceptable and no reason for me to be frustrated with her.

For the last 10 days, Melody has done well on this routine taking 3 hour naps and is only cranky at specific times of the day instead of all day long. I had hoped by implementing more structure we would discover she is more ready to push that nap time back a little. Unfortunately, she's not but like I said above, it really isn't a big deal.

My other goals for Melody when I started this routine were to implement room time for 20-30 minutes every day and to get her on a more predictable routine. That is the big success here. For the most part, she is really enjoying room time. I also really can see a difference in her level of calm and contentedness with a more predictable routine.

My brain also seems to have gotten a break since I feel free to think about other things related to her needs besides when/if/how much she will eat or sleep now that our days have some structure. I am able to see beyond her basic needs now, like how she could use more active play (our house is small- not much room to run around!) and that she could use a wider array of healthy toddler-like foods to eat. (There will be more posts on food later!).

I also have come to enjoy her 3 hour naps when previously Melody would only nap for two hours at the most. It gives me the much needed chance to decompress, write and take care of myself, our home, etc. In general, we are both much happier with this routine. As I write this post a day ahead of time though, tomorrow is my first day back keeping kids so I am wondering how Melody will do with that! I am hoping that another benefit of our routine will be that Melody adjusts well to me (us) going back to work.

I will be sure to let you know how it goes!

Love, Rachel

PS. I am well aware that the best part about this post is the pictures. :)


  1. take a deep breath :) It's ok. Dominic was taking 2 naps a day up until....I dunno. A month or so ago. I forget. Long enough ago to where one nap seems normal but short enough to where I still pine for it lol. He is just now 19 months. So he was def napping twice a day most days until 18ish months. Gianna swapped to one nap sometime shortly after a year old. There is no rule that says a kid has to swap to one nap a day by a certain time.

    We transition out of a nap when they don't seem to need it anymore. Really crabby and fussy means a nap. I try to get the kid to sleep for 20 mins, if it seems they won't go down, then I abandon and figure, they needed the quiet snuggles/nursing/rocking time and we'll catch the next nap. Heck. I had Gianna take a nap today and she hasn't napped in...ages. I think she fell asleep once during naptime at school this past year. And there may have been a few other occasions when we had her take one. We were up v.late with friends last night (I won't say what time she went to bed) and she was soooo grouchy this afternoon, so we had cuddles and I rubbed her back until she fell asleep. She woke up a new woman :)

    One thing you might be sure to add to your routine is outside time. I find both my kiddos sleep better when they have had lots of active time, outside if possible. And I am happier, too...must be the fresh air and the Vitamin D.

    Also, what is "room time"? V. curious :)

  2. Hey Anne!

    I love having a mommy-friend to think things through with me :) Melody is great at falling asleep, it's just at a weird time for our day right now (sleeping through lunch to me is weird:) ) and it doesn't mesh well with the other kids I watch. But it is going well to let her nap then (especially when we are at home by ourselves). I think I have embraced that this is just where we are right now:)

    Outside time is my downfall- Going outside means I have to look semi-presentable (our neighborhood is high in foot-traffic, near a university), so even in our yard, I feel self-conscious if I am unshowered and looking gross. (not sure who I'm trying to impress! haha). We also don't have much to do at our house in the yard yet (i.e. we have grass and that's it.) Melody loves outside time though- and she could definitely use more of it, so I will be thinking how to add that in!

    Room time is where the baby/child plays independently in a (Baby-proofed) room alone with toys for some amount of time without Mom or others around. Some people shut the door (but that makes me want to have a panic attack not being able to see her!), but I have a baby gate so I can peek in and check on her when she doesn't know I'm looking.

    Room time or "independent play time" is supposed to help kids increase focus and attention span since they learn to play by themselves without distraction. I think one of the most important parts about it is that the child understands that a parent is determining when to have alone time v. kids that play alone well on their own initiative (which is also good-just not quite the same idea). So they are learning lots of skills in small doses: obedience, independence, attention, focus, how to be alone with themselves, etc. And it gives mom a chance to get something done! (for me it is a shower since I'm not a morning person)

    For some kids it is harder than others, but Melody is doing really well with it. One day when she gives up naps, I will probably have her play in her room while other babies sleep (hoping there will be more one day:) ).


  3. P.S. Younger babies can have "room time" equivalent in a pack-n-play or a crib with toys

  4. V. interesting! I think it's fascinating how many different approaches there are for parenting :)

    Fun and easy things outside....bubbles, sidewalk chalk, a friend of mine draws a track on her driveway and has her kiddos race around it....Buckets of water are a big hit around here, esp. when it's hot. Pouring, splashing, stirring, dumping, etc while the kids are in their bathing suits is fun and entertaining. Putting on sunglasses (incognito lol) and taking a nature walk (do you see the birds? look at the clouds!) where is that cat going? etc) I feel you though...there def days when I don't feel like doing the little bit of work involved in going outside. But once I get out there, I'm usually glad lol

  5. Thanks for all the easy outside ideas! I will have to try some with Melody soon!