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August 24, 2012

Schedule Woes

Two weeks in, and the girls are enjoying school so much.  They seem to love playing with the other kids, singing new songs, and the activities they do make for plenty of new pretend play fodder.  They are much more attune to the days of the week now.  Our former markers were “the garbage truck comes on Mondays” and “Daddy is home on Saturdays and Sundays”.  Now they are acutely aware of Tuesdays and Thursdays, too.

The only negative to date is that we’re still trying to find our groove with the girls’ school-day schedule.

Our daily schedule has been running along these lines:

6:30:      get up
7:30:      eat breakfast
9:30:      snack
11:30:    eat lunch
12:15:    snuggle on the couch to read books before nap
1:00:      nap
2:30:      up from nap / eat snack
5:30:      eat supper
6:45:      start bedtime routine
7:15:      girls in bed

Since the girls were born, I have stuck to a schedule.  It’s VERY rare that we deviate from what we do every day…what works for us.

The girls’ school starts at 9:00.  That allows us plenty of time to snuggle and play as usual in the mornings.  The issue is that they don’t finish until 12:00.  We come straight home, and I have lunch waiting…but it’s still usually about 1:00 when we are finishing our meal.

The girls are SO TIRED at the end of school.  SO…VERY…TIRED. 

We make it through lunch, and settle down with our books, and they still seem so utterly exhausted.

But…they’re STRUGGLING to settle down for nap time, especially Baby A. 

Based on our occasional nap challenges over the past couple of years, I believe my girls to be pretty sensitive to time frames.  If I miss their nap window by too much, it’s not a good thing.  I think they get a second wind, and all bets are off.

Yesterday we had a really efficient lunch (the girls seemed to inhale their food).  We read a handful of books, and they asked to go for nap.  We were actually only a few minutes late to our usual schedule.

But y’all…it was bad.  B-A-D. 

After about 15 minutes of silence, Baby A started calling me…about her blanket…she needed potty…she wanted to sleep with me (which is not an option).  Then Baby B was begging her sister to be quiet.  Sissy!  Be quiet!  We need to sleep!  Please!!!

I’ll spare the ugly details of the next hour, but our time-out chair got lots of use.

The rest of the afternoon was painful.  The girls were so utterly exhausted, and that’s not good for anyone.  We had a quick bath and started bedtime at 6:30.  They were lights out at 6:45, and I didn’t hear one peep until 6:30 on the dot this morning.


I’ve hurried to adhere to our usual schedule, and that doesn’t seem to do the trick.

My next tact is to try to give them that 45-minute play / snuggle time after lunch, recognizing we’ll be going for our nap considerably later than usual.


This was one of my biggest reservations in them starting school.  To date, I’ve been able to structure our days according to their schedule.  I hate seeing my babies so uncomfortable.



Amanda said...

If I remember correctly we moved our nap time to 2pm-3:00/30 at that age. They still did their normal bedtime. But we weren't in school and it was too long before nap was over on our house. The stress of forcing nap time was worse than no naps. Good luck.

Amanda said...

If I remember correctly we moved our nap time to 2pm-3:00/30 at that age. They still did their normal bedtime. But we weren't in school and it was too long before nap was over on our house. The stress of forcing nap time was worse than no naps. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

yuck. you know i despise bedtime/nap struggles. with a passion. this sucks. maybe it will just take a little bit to get into a routine?

i find that on school days my kids are so mentally wound up that they need tome to settle, despite the fact that they are physically exhausted!

good luck, mama.

Marcia (123 blog) said...

This is why I call parenting a science experiment :)

So my kids go sleep at about 1 with Sibonile (I don't know how she does it - maybe lunch much earlier) but it NEVER works with us. More around two.

I find definitely when we've been out and we get back, they need at least 30 minutes' house time to settle before we can even think of naps, even if it's past their "time".

Today, they went to sleep at 2:20 (late even for me) but they slept well.

I think don't rush but still put them down and maybe read a story while they're in their beds?

And you may have to push bedtime later.... if you're hell-bent on them having that 1.5 hour nap. We are and our kids are now going to sleep at 7:30 - 7:45. Although the other night I was tired so they were LIGHTS out by 7:20 (it was a miracle)

championm2000 said...

Hmmm....trying to remember what daycare first did to Em and Drew... I remember them being super, super tired as well. We ultimately adjusted. I think you might have the right idea about moving snuggle/book time to after the nap. Can't hurt to try!

Eric, Marilyn, and Elliott said...

Please don't flip out, but they are about the age that Elliott stopped taking a nap altogether. We started giving him a little extra sleep at night and adding a little more quiet time in the afternoon to make up some of the difference. Good luck!

Liz said...

Hi Mandy! Our boys just started a 5 day preschool schedule from 10am-2pm and I'm struggling with getting them UP from nap at a decent time so they're not wide awake late at night.
For us I'm toying with the idea of skipping naps and see what happens.

I think for your girls it's a good idea to give them some down time after school and lunch to play a little like you mentioned. See how that goes and maybe it will help them go down for nap.

Best of luck to you on this transition!

Barbara Manatee said...

Our schedule is changing a lot here, too. not so much in nap time but wake up time. Our summer schedule was relaxed...wake up beween 7 & 8 most days. Well, with my school change, I have to be to work an hour earlier than last year so I have to leave the house between 6:30 & 6:45 with Adam to be to work by 7am. Meaning the kids have to be up by 6am and that just gives us time to get dressed and grab a snack to go.

I hate that rush out the door but I hate the thought of waking them up any earlier even more...

2 days so far and they've done ok but I know it'll hit in a few days when they are all tired and its caught up with them. Hopefully it'll mean either (a) more frequent naps for Adam at daycare or (b) quick to go to bed at night insead of staying awake playing forever...But I'm most worried about J&S who won't get naps and will be in all day Kdg this year. I fear some grumpy kids ahead...