Announcing the Winner of the Bedtime Wars: Hint, it’s Not Us.

There has been a battle going on for months – I can’t even truly recall when it began- with Jasper refusing to go to sleep in his own bed.   We put up a good fight for a while, but when I was away at Imaging Jasper slept all three nights in bed with Jeff and he hasn’t really returned to his own bed since.  At least not for more than a brief three or four hour stretch.

Truth be told, neither of us really care if he sleeps in bed with us or not, but the problem is that no one gets much sleep when squirmy worm is around.. even less so with all three of us squeezed into a full size bed. All four or five if you count Bear and Wheezy.

Simultaneously there has been a debate about whether or not we can fit a King size bed into our modestly sized bedroom.  We CAN fit the bed, but there won’t be much if any room for things like night tables etc. But last night we finally decided that if we were going to spend our sleeping hours with floppy fish, we might as well have a bed that puts as much distance between us as possible, so I think that King size Tempurpedic will be making an appearance this weekend.

I think it’s safe to say that Jasper was the Victor in that particular battle.

In other sleeping (or nonsleeping) news…  we are considering abolishing naptime out of necessity.  Yes, crazy isn’t it? If you’d told me I’d be voluntarily keeping Jasper from napping I’d have told you it must be a cold day in hell.

But the problem is that he is NOT TIRED until 10pm when he naps. Yes, you heard me right, 10PM!  Trying to get him to fall asleep is like herding cats.. he’s wide awake, nary a yawn or heavy eye lid in sight.   Last Friday when I picked him up from daycare he hadn’t napped at all, and since he hasn’t napped more than 1 hour, so I think he’s pretty much ready to give it up anyway.

We tested out my theory this past Sunday.  We had lots of errands to run which we normally would have tried squeezing around naptime but we decided to just forgo nap altogether and see if we’d live to tell about it…

And you know what? He was FINE. Even by 7 or 8pm there were not giant meltdowns or tantrums. And he went down much more easily at around 8:30.  But, (and this is a big but..) be woke up both Saturday and Sunday at 8am, a full 1.5-2 hours later than usual, so he was extra well rested.

So I’m thinking now that nap will depend on wake up time and evening plans.  If he wakes up unusually early, or we know we need him to be on excellent behavior (like we want to take him out to a restaurant for dinner etc) we will attempt the nap. Otherwise, we’ll skip nap in favor of decent bedtime.

This thing called “flexibility” is totally new territory for me, so we’ll have to see how it goes.

I’m wondering if any of you have experienced this extended wakefulness where bedtime creeped back later and later? I so, did you eliminate nap to compensate?

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Crystal says:

Yes – Fantastic show, and this one’s a doozy!! Watch for it I think when the grandparents come over to babysit – it’s right there on the floor up against the island.

ariana says:

Crystal, I do!! I LOVE that show… I haven’t seen that episode yet because I usually watch on Hulu a week late or so, but now I will make sure to look for the kitchen!! :)

Crystal says:

Totally off topic – do you watch the NBC show Parenthood? When catching up on the DVR last night I spotted Jasper’s red kitchenette in one of the shots! Julia’s daughter has it in her mom’s kitchen. It made me giggle so thought I’d share :)

chantal says:

Annora has given up her nap, too. We tried to implement quiet time in her room but she just cries and cries as though she’s being punished. It only worked once and she fell asleep on her floor while playing, but every time since then has been a disaster. The flip side is that she goes to bed easily between 7-7:30 and sleeps until 8 or so in the morning, and we’re up by then anyway because of the baby. My only problem is figuring out what to do with her in the afternoons to keep her busy – I soooo miss having that time to myself!

On days he seems to need a nap he goes to bed at 8:30. On days that he doesn’t need one he goes to bed at 7. Either way he wakes up just before 7 in the morning. When he napped every day he was also pushing his bedtime until very late. But when we first tried to skip naps all together he would be exhausted some days. Taking it one day at a time works best for us.

Sarah says:

Oh, your posts about sleeping have been hard to read! My Jasper is a year younger than your Jasper and we’ve had all the same problems with sleep, every step of the way. And I’d say we just lost the bedtime wars, too. We can at least start the night with him in his crib, but by 11 or 12 he’s in bed with us. Kicking and flipping much of the time. But I just can’t fight about it anymore! This is the only way he actually wakes up at a proper hour (that’s 5:30 AM, folks! instead of a beastly 4:30) and happy. But I kept hoping that by the time he was 2 everything would magically get fixed? I’m sorry to hear the war is being waged with you guys, hopefully the king-sized bed improves matters :)

Love the blog!

Kimberly says:

Oh, and I giggled at your comment about this new attempt at flexibility… you can do it! :)

Kimberly says:

I love, love, LOVE my CA King Tempurpedic… best mattress EVER. BUT… measure your room before you buy. A California King may be better for your room as it’s 4 inches narrower and longer than a standard (or Eastern) King… which is more square. We have the CA King because of Tommy’s height (not that it matters anymore since it’s just me and little Matthew in the bed, LOL) but it might work better for you to be able to fit night tables or whatever you need in there. It’s still going to be SIGNIFICANTLY larger than your full size.
Full = 54″ wide x 75″ long
CA King = 72″ wide x 84″ long
Eastern/Standard King = 76″ wide x 80″ long

Yay for you! You will love your new bed. :)

Joelle says:

It is so nice to know we are not alone in the bed time battle! We just brought a baby boy home who will only sleep on top of or next to me in addition to our daughter who will only sleep “in mommy bed”.
So…we just bought a king size bed to accommodate the kids. This is one battle I’m okay losing if it means sleep for me.

ariana says:

Kelsey, Jasper just switched recently to the “preschool” room at daycare. In the toddler room, everyone naps for at least 1.5 hours.. usually more. In the preschool room, I took a peek at the napsheet yesterday and it seemed like only 1/3 of the kids actually nap. They do have to have “quite time” if they don’t want to sleep.

He’s been napping about 1 hour there, I’m not sure yet if I will tell them not to “let” him nap because I generally think he gets more worn out during his daycare days! I was talking about on the weekends, but I think he will naturally stop napping at daycare all together given that he’s shortening them so much.

Kelsey says:

With Jasper in school during the day, do you have the option to eliminate naps? Our school has nap time for the kids up until they leave for Kindergarten.

ariana says:

Well I’m glad I’m not the only one fighting the bedtime wars..

@JB, I knew what you meant! I guess it’s worth it if we get a new awesome bed out of it?

@Molly, I’ve heard that too, but I’d forgotten. Damn.. I HATE chemical smells they make me ill.

@Alexandria – you are so right.. he’s always ON TOP OF MY HEAD!!

Alexandria says:

I have to tell you that I don’t think a king size bed will help. We recently got a king size bed and our son creeps in bed with us around 3 AM and despite their being an entire ocean between me & my husband he still chooses to lay above our heads with his feet kicking us or feet on one of us and head on the other. It is really a major pain in the ass so for us I really need to figure out how to get him to stay in his bed. I’m not looking forward to broken ribs.

GiGi says:

I hope this new flex schedule works for you!

BTW … you’ll love your temperpedic! we’ve had ours for about 5 years and will never EVER consider a different kind of mattress. ENJOY!

Molly says:

Great to read the napping post/responses – my 2 year old has been trying to give up naps lately, but I’m still forcing them. I’m expecting that won’t be successful for much longer…

And – we JUST switched from a Queen to a King Tempurpedic because our son joins us every night from about midnight till he wakes up (which I love, but we needed more room!!!). The King has been GREAT… much improvement. But have you had a tempurpedic before? the new bed smell was overwhelming and kind of freaked me out (outgassing, etc). I wish we had slept in the other room and aired it our for a week before sleeping on it…

jbhat says:

What is a bedroom sized Tempurpedic (above)? Sorry for the whoops. I meant to say a king-sized Tempurpedic coming into your bedroom, of course. Duh, me.


jbhat says:

You buried the lead, my friend. A King coming into your bedroom sized Tempurpedic is big news! Good for you guys!

If I recall, our kiddo stopped napping sometime between ages 3 and 4. He had transitioned out of the toddler room and into the pre-school room at his school. The younger pre-schoolers were encouraged to nap, but our kiddo was more interested in doing what the big kids did, and didn’t want to be lumped with “the nappers.” I don’t really remember the lack of a nap being an issue at bedtimes or otherwise. He’s always gone down pretty well, but alas, in his own bed…which in hindsight is sort of a bummer, because I could have used his presence in our bed as my ace in the hole for upgrading from a queen to a king. Dang it!


Melissa McIntosh says:

We only stopped naps when my oldest turned 4, but I find that she still needs one on occasion or if I just have her sleep an hour or less, she is fine to go to bed at regular time. Anything over an hour and she can stay up late. My two year old still needs to nap and sleeps two or more hours a day. I wanted to also mention that we had the same issue with my oldest daughter. We moved her to a crib from our room at 9 months and by 18 months she was refusing to sleep in her crib so back in bed she went. Well it put a real stress on our relationship because of the lack of sleep my husband was getting plus all those kicks (she only seemed to kick him). So at 2 years old, we moved her to a twin bed and for awhile there had to lay with her until she fell asleep. We eventually got down to laying with her for a few minutes to not at all. Of course, at 4 years old she will ask us to lay with her for a few minutes or if she can fall asleep in our bed but our arguing and stress of when she slept with us full time is gone. PS: We also considered getting a bigger bed (we have a queen) but then we decided it was best to just buy a twin bed and move her out.

Sarah says:

Yes. My son is 2.5 and about 8 months ago his bedtime started getting pushed later and later. The longer he napped, the later he fell asleep at night. I WOH and just could not take the late bedtimes. Sure I love him, and want to spend time with him. But not at 9:30 at night.

We tried lots of things, but the only thing that gets us a reasonable bedtime (meaning goes to sleep easily, and takes less than one hour from start to asleep) is to skip the nap. If he naps, he is wide awake until at least 10 pm. :(

vedjen says:

Yes, we are in the thick of this too with our 26 month old. We’re still forcing her down for a nap but sometimes it doesn’t happen until 3 – 4 o’clock (typically because I also can’t get the 5 month old down) but once it’s that late she doesn’t go to bed until after 9pm. Mommy and daddy desperately miss their personal and couple time. So . . . I have no advice on the napping situation but I definitely agree with upgrading to a larger size mattress even at the expense of night tables. We’re still sleeping with both of ours (but in separate beds as the youngest is still a bit small to be sleeping next to the oldest, oh ho hum) but having the extra room to roll away from your sleeping rolling toddler is blissful.

hannah says:

my DD is about the same age as jasper and my problem is almost the opposite of yours with the same net effect. her bedtime has been creeping later and later recently but i suspect that it’s because she loves napping so much. she naps from 1:00 to about 4:00 every afternoon. no wonder she’s not tired when her 8:00 bedtime rolls around. fortunately she will stay in her room by herself in the dark even if she doesn’t actually fall asleep for an hour or more after we’ve put her to bed. but then she still wakes up super early around 6:00… so she’s tired and needing a nap by 1:00… but your post got me thinking that if maybe i can at least shorten her nap she might either go to sleep earlier or sleep in later (or ideally both)!

anne laney says:

ashton is 25months almost 26months and we are going through the nap issue too. when he naps he’s up until almost 11pm in his crib (we can hear him talking from bedtime[8:30pm] till then). yesterday i kept him up on purpose and he was fine for the most part but i wasn’t LMAO i was EXHAUSTED! lmao. not sure what we will do yet. jealous about your new bed!

Wendy Kelly says:

With our 33 month old son, when we skipped the once a day nap on the weekends, he didn’t go to bed that much earlier. He actually, slept worse…it was almost as if he was too overstimulated at bedtime. He still is in his crib though and LOVES it. I have a feeling when he switches to a bed, the naps will come to an end ;o\ His general M-F schedule is 10 hours of sleep a night with a 2-3 hour nap. I say get the king size bed and all get some much needed rest!

Pam says:

I have a two year old and I just recently moved her from two naps a day (she still seemed like she needed it) to one nap, which has been much longer & she seems better rested.

The moral of the story, you do what works best for your family and your child. Oh, and I have a friend whose son is almost three and alot of times he doesn’t nap but will go to bed around 8ish.

Heather Dost says:

We eliminated naps shortly after my little boy turned two. It made bed time so much easier. Also you will love your king size Tempurpedic. We have one it and it is especially wonderful when we have little ones that want to crawl into bed with us.