I am one of those parents that believes with every fiber of my being that kids need lots of sleep. Lots of it. They need lots of time for their little brains to catalog all the new information they're exposed to daily. S was always amenable to that belief. And T agrees with it, but he can't seem to agree with it in any sort of organized, predictable way.
He generally takes two good, long naps during the day. Somewhere between 2-3 hours. Only there is no way to know what time those naps are going to happen. The first one always happens about an hour and 45 minutes after he wakes up in the morning, but sometimes he wakes up at 530, and sometimes he wakes up at 730. Then sometimes, after the morning nap, he can stay awake for a little over 2 hours, but usually it's another hour and 45 before he needs another nap. Most days he even takes a third little catnap in the late afternoon. And he's fussy by 6pm.
So back this all up with me. If he wakes up at 530, he's ready for a nap before 730 in the morning. That's ridiculous, and needing a nap that early tells me one thing: that he needed to sleep longer before he woke up in the first place. But sometimes he just can't get himself to stay asleep. And that's what I don't get.
Let's continue our exploration of a 530 start time. If he takes a nap by 730, then he's usually ready for the second nap by noon. And that nap is over by 3. The child is apparently incapable of being awake for longer than 2 hours, so that makes him fussy by 5 at the latest. Then what do you do?? Do you let him take a third nap at 5, or do you sacrifice your sanity by keeping him awake until at least 6?
Then there's his inability to self-soothe. So some nights we're upstairs with him a half-dozen times, but other nights, he's blissfully calm for about 6 hours. His issue is that if he's unswaddled he body jerks himself awake and/or smacks himself in the face and wakes up. He tries constantly to get his hands to his mouth, but he can't keep them there, which makes him mad. So, we keep him swaddled and he fights. I ordered a Halo Swaddler, and I am hoping that helps...but maybe he needs to be unswaddled and get used to it.
I am quite beside myself honestly. He sleeps enough. I can wrap my head around a 6am-6pm evening from him until he gets older and we are comfortable moving his bedtime back to 7...then 8. (Please note that we will be utterly incapable of any sense of a social life as long as T has to be in bed at 6pm. We'll have to divide-and-conquer.) I just need a little consistency. Maybe I'm expecting too much.
Someone, please, give me some advice. Or a valium. Or a nanny.