Days out are followed by interrupted sleep, what am I missing?

Siska - posted on 07/06/2011 ( 3 moms have responded )

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Hi all mommies.
I am a stay at home mom to 18month old son. We spend most days at home where I try and stimulate him as best as I can in the morning. After lunch he has a 2-3hour nap and then at night he goes to bed between 7-8pm and sleeps through most nights until 8am. I take him out to a children's play place or for a playdate once/twice a week. On those days I make sure not to overstimulate and keep the outings short, approximately 2hrs, shich I was told was appropriate for his age. On those days we return home, have lunch and then he does not want to have his usual afternoon nap. I have tried everything, he will just stand in his cot and talk or cry for up to 2hours before I eventually give up on the nap. I then put him to bed his usual time or slightly earlier, depending on how tired he is. He then wakes anything from every 30mins to 2hours throughout the night. He wakes up crying. When I leave him he cries for a while and then goes back to sleep until the next time he wakes. If I go to him he lies there crying, half asleep and calms down once I pat him. This goes on for the entire night and needless to say I am a zombie by the morning.
After his 2nd birthday I want to send him to half day playschool, but fear we will never sleep again. What am I missing? Anyone else have the same problem?

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3 Comments

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Amanda - posted on 07/06/2011

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I honestly wouldn't worry about him being 'overstimulated'. I know all kids are different but all four of my kids always did better on days we were out and doing things than the days we just stay home. I would let him be your gauge of how he is feeling and doing in each situation. If he is having fun and playing well then stay out til you are ready to go. Don't give yourself a time limit (unless really necessary ie it's time to get home to make lunch/supper). And if he starts acting up and getting cranky then you'll know it's time to go home. That's what works/worked for us! And I agree with the routine. My kids thrive off having a set daily routine-for the most part!

Siska - posted on 07/06/2011

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Thanks Jane. My worry was more that he was getting overstimulated during our outings and therefore he keeps waking from dreams about the day's events.
I already do let him play to his heart's desire, but maybe next time I will keep him out for longer and see if that makes a diffirence. With all things it's all about trial and error. By the time I figure this one out I will have another phase to figure out.

Jane - posted on 07/06/2011

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i think you may want to try letting him be stimulated on the days you are out. it seems like he's getting frustrated after your time out of the house b/c he may not be getting his excitement and energy out when he has the opportunity. some days are not going to be ideal, i've found that keeping on a routine is better than keeping on a schedule. he will love playschool. kids are always changing and we need to adjust w/them. it's not for very long that thing last w/llittle ones; they sleep thru the night and then they start teething, they're great eaters and then one day they're not, etc. get my drift? nothing lasts forever so don't expect things to be the same for very long w/little ones. they are changing at astounding rates, we have to try to respond as best we can. no reason for him to be unsettled all night, better to see if letting him "go" when you are out benefits you both.
when you are out, as long as he his not acting badly, hitting anyone, etc, let him have his fun. i think sometimes we have an idea in our heads about what is good behavior but basically, if the kids are happy and laughing, then they are okay and well behaved.

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