Today, my mom went with us to Toddler Time at the Library. She got to experience the joy and craziness of a bunch of 18 month olds - almost 4 year olds singing, dancing, and (occasionally) listening to the book the librarian's reading. Katie Anne got to play the jingle bells today AND pet Squeak the Mouse Puppet, so it was a big day and a good one for Gigi to see. The theme of today's class was "Time to Sleep", and the books were all about going to bed. For our craft, we made an "I'm sleeping!" sign to hang on Katie Anne's door. She had a great time, and Gigi was able to snap a few good pictures of us working on her project.
"Time to Sleep" was a timely theme for us, because Katie Anne is having some sleep problems since we came back from vacation. Last night, getting her to bed was a disaster... she didn't fall asleep until around 10:00 pm, and that's not like her at all. It was a total battle, with her screaming for almost an hour, yelling out all kind of ploys to get us to come back in the room: "I've got to potty!!" ; "I lost my paci!!" ; "I need to be changed!! I pooped!!" ; "I need a drink!!" ; "My bed's wet with tee-tee!!" ; "My foot stuck!! Wahhh!!" ... the only won that was true was that her foot was stuck in the crib slats from trying to climb out of the bed. We were exhausted by the time she finally laid down (under threat of getting a spanking if she yelled any more) and went to sleep.
She's always been super-easy to put to bed, but for the last few nights of our vacation and the few nights we've been home, she's been hard to put down and has been waking frequently. On vacation, we chalked it up to an unfamiliar (and non-crib) bed, unfamiliar room/noises, overtired from late nights of going out to eat, etc. At home, we thought maybe it was that she's ready for a big-girl bed at home (and she is, and we're working on it), but we also think that the true source of the sleep disturbance is ... the dreaded too-long nap.
So sad for me, because I love the too-long nap. On the days when she conks out for three or four hours, I can get SO much done. However, I think we're paying the price for those extra daytime sleep hours at night. At the beach, she would wear herself out in the morning and sleep from lunch to dinnertime. I wasn't going to restrict her naps on vacation because I didn't want her to be irritable when we went out in the evenings, but I think those long naps - combined with the one hour time change - messed her up. Now, since we've gotten home, she's continuing the long nap trend with a four hour nap on Sunday and Monday. Both nights, she was totally wide awake long past her normal bedtime of 8:00.
So, today, I went with the plan Saunders and I dreamed up this morning, and I only let her sleep two hours. I put her down at 1:04, and I woke her up at 3:07. It is so hard and feels so unnatural to wake up a peacefully sleeping toddler! But, it did work out well for bedtime... she was easy to put to bed, went right to sleep at about 8:20, and we haven't heard a peep from her (and its 10:30). So, looks like my glory days of super-long naps were short lived! Hopefully this strategy, combined with a room remodel (that I'm SOOOO looking forward to... Googling new bedding as I upload pictures for this post) will help our little angelic sleeper go back to her old habits.