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Erratic

Owen has been on a fairly predictable schedule since he was about two weeks old. Sure, it has changed as he has gotten older and it does vary a fair amount. For example, some days he is desperate for his morning nap 90 minutes after he gets up and some days I have to force him down after three hours. Some days he sleeps for 30 minutes, some days (although not bloody often) he sleeps two hours. Some days this is just fine, and some days it is a royal pain in the ass. But for the most part, I can guess when he'll be sleeping and when he'll be up and can plan our days to avoid most exhaustion or starvation induced melt-downs.

However, Mia starts preschool next week, and with our various other activities, it means that Owen's schedule is about to be trashed. Two days a week we drop Mia off at 9:00 and Owen can't nap until after that. One day a week we have a program at 10:00 and Owen needs to be up by 9:30 at the absolute latest. One day a week Mia and I have somewhere to be at 9:00 so Owen needs to be napping by 8:30 or deal with a Daddy-directed nap, which is Not Popular.

I am a big believer in schedules for older babies and I feel bad that I am going to do this to him, but there isn't another option. Have any of you had any success running two different schedules that vary by an hour or more? I would love to hear your tips.

Comments (9)

Henry's older than Owen, but this summer his morning nap was all screwy: we had various summer lessons that happened on some days and not others, combined with my mom taking some of the kids on some days and not others, combined with a flexible wake-up time that meant we were sometimes up at 5:30 and sometimes not up until nearly 8:00.

What happened was this: You know how currently you play it by ear based on how tired he is and how long he sleeps? It keeps being like that, but with more variables. After awhile, you start thinking, "Hm. Let's see. If we're going to leave at 9:30, he needs to be awake at 9:15, and so he'd need to go down for a nap by 8:30 or he'll just be crabby---but it's 8:20 now and he is WIDE AWAKE, so I guess we'll skip the nap today." Or else it'll be some other combination and he'll take a short nap but you'll have to wake him, or he'll have time to nap for an hour but he'll wake up in 45 minutes anyway.

The first month it will be hell and then he'll be used to the new schedule. The only we we try to compensate for it is to change their bedtime the night before by half an hour to an hour. Miss A had swim class at 12:15 every Sat. this summer- right smack in the middle of nap. So we kept her up an hour later at night, woke her up an hour later in the morning, delayed morning snack until 11, and didn't feed her lunch until after swim. MWF she's in daycare and they have a completely different schedule than when she's at home. After the first month she got used to it and it wasn't a big deal until this week when everything changed. As long as the routine and the order is the same, he'll probably adjust to the timing. I know, not the best advice but that's all I got.

The first month it will be hell and then he'll be used to the new schedule. The only we we try to compensate for it is to change their bedtime the night before by half an hour to an hour. Miss A had swim class at 12:15 every Sat. this summer- right smack in the middle of nap. So we kept her up an hour later at night, woke her up an hour later in the morning, delayed morning snack until 11, and didn't feed her lunch until after swim. MWF she's in daycare and they have a completely different schedule than when she's at home. After the first month she got used to it and it wasn't a big deal until this week when everything changed. As long as the routine and the order is the same, he'll probably adjust to the timing. I know, not the best advice but that's all I got.

The twins were older than Owen when Raisin started preschool, but we had a similar problem. I think the previous commenters are right; Owen will quickly adjust.

I think it's more about routine than schedule -- the schedule may vary from day to day, but the routine will still focus on what each kid needs. If Owen's nap isn't working on some days, maybe he'll nap longer in the afternoon those days, or go to bed early.

Good luck, and don't feel bad. A mom's gotta do what a mom's gotta do.

Coincidentally, today I have been stressing about my 3 year old being on a schedule. For the past 3 years we've been using family members for day care, it has it's good points and it has its bad point, which I have unfortunetely found out the hard way.
Next week Jordan starts preschool as well and I'm hoping that for the most part this will put him on a better schedule/routine.
I think routines can change, I think they have to change due to life. It ok for them to change, I think once you figure out the new routine with Mia going to school Owen will fall in line just fine.
Good Luck!

Oh this happens to us all the time, it seems, especially since I keep birthing children 19-20 months apart.

In a few weeks, Lady is going to start preschool on roughly the same schedule Mia will. I've spent a few weeks working on pushing Mister's nap back far enough that he can nap either while Lady is at school, OR wait until we pick her up and nap after she gets home. I anticipate the first few weeks of this will lead to a Sleeping Mister in the Car, so I just plan on transitioning him right to his crib, OR this will lead to a nap strike the likes of which we haven't seen since we stuck Lady in her big girl bed. Either way, I'm going to try and not be sooooooo concerned because two and a half kids later, I've learned that things eventually even themselves out.

For added points, I'm going to have to figure out Baby's feeding schedule which will have to fit somewhere in here. Hmmmm.

We're about to face the same problem, as Monkey will head of to preschool as of next week too. Roo is more flexible about her schedule as Monkey ever was, so I'm hoping it will be no big thing.

I guess I'm just hopelessly unorganised compaired to the rest of you, but number 5 baby in particular has often just slept in the pram or car or just toughed it out. (spent the first 6 months snacking and crashing in the sling anyhow)

Not always, and now she's at just one after lunch nap we're usually at home for it - but it can happen... If we're out and about she often crashes out early and wakes up for a late lunch. Doesn't seem to trash the evenings any more but she is older now.

(was 1 a couple of days ago. 1!!! my littleist baby! sobs!)

i have the same problem. my 3yo goes back to preschool next week, 3 mornings a week. one of those days she also has ballet in the afternoon. and she has to be picked up just when my 7 1/2 month old seems to be taking her afternoon nap (and is *finally* on a schedule, altho, like you do with owen, i define that loosely). i also believe in having one, but we have no choice, either. wish us luck.

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