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Struggling with routine…

Today was probably one of the hardest ‘mum days’ I’ve ever had. 

 I will rewind and give you some background to our latest issues…

-Also after looking at the above photo you might think this is going to be a lovely blog post with lots of lovely outdoorsy photographs…it isn’t! It’s a ranty Mum post I’m just throwing in one of the nice photo’s I got today before Amelia took a turn into meltdown city.

Lately Amelia’s sleep routine has just not been right. Her previous routine was her having a sleep in the middle of the day at 12pm lasting up to two hours then going off to bed around 7:30 no problems. But it started taking her longer and longer to get off to sleep. She was no trouble at all just sat playing on her bed and looking out the window as unfortunately the placement of her bed is right under the window so everytime a car goes by she has to look to see it. Then she would eventually nod off but it was taking her longer and longer to fall to sleeper sometimes resulting in her getting overtired and upset. It got to the point where she was still awake by 11pm then sleeping in until 10am which you might think you lucky thing your getting a lay in but were usually up and have plans and her getting up that late just completely throws her whole day out. 

So I decided to cut the day time nap out which meant she was literally ready for bed by 5pm and an absolute terror all evening. It worked for the first night then the next day came with no nap and we had a really busy day and still she was wide awake by nearly 10pm. I honestly can’t understand why she isn’t just so exhausted that she just crashes but she isn’t. It starts with her usual playing with her soft toys on her bed, looking out the window then I go in to lay her down one to many times and then I can’t leave. Amelia’s hysterical unless I’m sat on her bed and then she starts playing again so I obviously have to leave but then she’s upset?! It’s a lose lose situation really and one I’m really struggling with. 

Amelia’s always had quite a structured routine that I’ve really enjoyed having but I feel a bit lost right now. I’ve tried every option; the shorter nap, no nap, normal length nap yet she just seems to be missing her window each time. If she naps she’s not tired enough if she doesn’t she’s overtired. 

Last night (Sunday night) I ended up having to leave Amelia in the end to scream herself to sleep. It was almost 10:30pm and I’d been in and out of her bedroom, I’d laid down with her, cuddled her, given her a drink but in the end I just had to leave her. She was hysterical and it’s so so hard having to do that but in under 5 minutes she was asleep. She was up normal time this morning (Monday morning) but was in a foul mood as the weekend of not enough sleep was catching up on her. 

We went to meet some friends in the afternoon and I could tell Amelia was feeling a bit twitchy. She played nicely but was having little tempers when I had to get her to walk in the same direction and little things that others may not notice but as parents you pick up on these traits a little quicker. After she had her icecream she just completely lost it. Full on meltdown occurred, I was trying to get her dressed out of her wet things but she was just flinging herself around, hitting and screaming so I ended up carrying her back to the car soaking wet battling to get her in the car seat and going home. This meltdown was in front of I don’t even know how many people and I do feel like I handle Amelia’s tempers quite well but it is so hard. Amelia has quite a fierce temper anyway (not sure where she get’s that one from….) but when she’s hitting me, throwing her head back into me and just generally trying to do anything to hurt me it’s really hard to keep your cool. It’s almost worse as she’s getting to talk more as in between screams there’s usually a “NO HOME, NO CAR, NO MUMMY” thrown in there for good measure.  Honestly I got in the car and had a little cry as I just hate those episodes. I get so stressed out and almost don’t remember it afterwards as it’s such a battle. It was the result of a toddler who  hasn’t been getting enough sleep and is unfortunately struggling with the right routine at the moment. 

Tonight (Monday evening) she just looked exhausted and spent most of the evening in and out of little tempers so I gave in and she was in bed by 6:30pm and asleep by 6:45pm. 

Tonight has felt really good to actually not be in and out of her bedroom but I don’t think it’s going to last. Each day I’m really in two minds as to what to do sleep wise whether to let her have a nap or not to bother so if anyone has any advice please let me know? Amelia is very nearly 23months is that to early for her not to have a daytime nap? But then if she doesn’t have the nap she’s in a bad mood all afternoon/evening.

I’m stuck in no mans land with no routine after exhausting all my options?! So fellow Mum’s/Dad’s I need your help!

Thanks for reading!xx

ALICE & AMELIA STICK PEOPLE

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21 Comments

  1. 6th July 2015 / 8:22 pm

    wow, I could’ve written this myself!!Our children sound like twins in everyway!! Ive tried the cutting down nap/leaving when she wants to play…..with the same results!!My friend recommended the gentle sleeping book, but ophelia would run circles around me!! And it says about not imposing our expectations that they should sleep so and so amounts…er that’s all good and well if u don’t have a job to go to (and be awake for!!).

    • aliceyoung8
      Author
      6th July 2015 / 8:49 pm

      Always nice to hear from someone in a similar situation. I’m not that into parenting books but I might have to invest in one that talks about tantrums and sleep!! Yeh exactly I don’t really want to up and waiting for Amelia to wake up at 11am! Thank you so much for your comment and good luck to you. Someone above suggested maybe a nap a couple times a week and not every day. P.s I love the name Ophelia! xx

  2. 6th July 2015 / 8:23 pm

    You poor thing. Its so hard when they are like that. We have had a bad day with M. She has been in timeout twice and not in a good mood. Due to her not going to bed till gone 9pm last night and up at normal time. She collapsed tonight.
    I don’t really know what to say lovely, I know little ones that have dropped their nap before 2, so she may not need one. M took about 3 weeks to get used to not having a nap. Maybe just persevere with no naps, and when she gets tired go into a relaxed bedtime routine. I don’t know what else to say. Just keep your chin up and remember you are an amazing Mum, and its all just phases and it doesn’t last long! 🙂 xxx

    • aliceyoung8
      Author
      6th July 2015 / 8:51 pm

      It really catches up with them when they are small and unfortunately Amelia just shows it through a temper she’s not one for cuddles! Hope they both get enough sleep tonight and are in better moods tomorrow. Changing routine is always a hard one, just like you had with M. Might just have to keep persevering just bad timing as we are likely to be busier over the summer period with days out etc! Thanks for your comment lovely xxx

  3. Gemma
    6th July 2015 / 8:39 pm

    Have you tried just 2/3 naps a week instead of every day? I’m afraid a lot of toddlers drop naps between 18 months & 2.5 years. And that hour between tea & bed is called the witching hour and is a nightmare for all Mums!! I’d say it gets easier but really you just end up better at dealing with it eventually! lol You are doing an amazing job doing this on your own as normally you would go home & hand her over to Daddy & say ‘your turn, I’m at my wits end!’ so wel done you! x

    • aliceyoung8
      Author
      6th July 2015 / 8:47 pm

      Yeh that’s an idea just a nap on certain days maybe. But again how do you judge which days?! Such a tough one. I am really fortunate that I have my parents around but I never want to dump a tantruming toddler on them so yes it can be harder sometimes being on my own but I’m used to it. I have heard of the ‘witching hour’ before lol! Gah these toddlers. Thank you so much for your comment and support xxx

      • Gemma
        6th July 2015 / 9:18 pm

        you could try every other day for naps to begin with then every 2 days maybe. have a busy day so she didn’t get a chance to nap then a quite day following that to nap & catch up.
        But trust in yourself, nobody knows Amelia better than you so just trust what your doing as it will work out eventually. The light evenings are a pain too, always confused a child’s body clock! lol

        • Gemma
          6th July 2015 / 9:19 pm

          oh and just so you know, it’s 22.20 and my 18 month old is still awake! lol 😛

  4. Grace
    6th July 2015 / 9:00 pm

    It is really good to know you’re not the only one who’s child can be a nightmare at times!
    Oliver used to nap 12-2 but it’s now more like 2-4 (he then doesn’t have his usual bed time) so I tend to put him down at 1:30 and let him sleep no later than 3! Then he’ll go to bed at 7:45/8pm. He is 21 months. I am dreading when he drops his naps! We have the odd days and i am exhausted! Good luck!

    • aliceyoung8
      Author
      6th July 2015 / 9:06 pm

      Oh Amelia’s a complete nightmare lots of the time!! Especially at the moment. It’s really hard knowing when to go for the nap. Thats the problem I’m exhausted after doing all day with her. We tend to have full on days so by 7 i’m ready for her to go to sleep and not be up half the night with her and get no time to myself! Ideally I wouldn’t have wanted Amelia to drop her nap this early but seems its the only option! Thank you for your comment! xxx

  5. 6th July 2015 / 9:06 pm

    ahh, I could have written this myself! Emilia is a few months younger than your little lady I think but we went through a period of this recently!
    We still have hard days but a few things that have worked are letting her nap earlier (sometimes mid morning) and only letting her have 1-1.5hours or taking her out so she’ll nap in the buggy/car (she’ll nap for hours at home then go to bed super late!). On the days she refuses to nap or only has a short nap, I have a little box of quiet time items she can chill with in our bed such as books, crayons, stickers so she’s calm and resting even if she’s not asleep! I find the more rested she is in the day, the easier bedtime is.
    I do hope that it is a phase that passes for you both soon, it can be terribly hard can’t it! It’s just another phase and it too will pass, you’re doing amazing and I really admire you xx

    • aliceyoung8
      Author
      6th July 2015 / 9:13 pm

      Thank you I really appreciate your comment. It’s so so nice to hear I’m not the only one! I really like the idea of quiet time and will definitely give that a try tomorrow! I know it is just a phase but it’s really hard as i’m not sure which direction to push her in to help her get out of it! Thank you so much your really kind! xx

  6. 6th July 2015 / 9:54 pm

    Hi hun, please just remember you are not alone. My son is going through a similar problem and will be 3 next month. Naps are getting much later in the day but if I leave him he’ll fall asleep on the sofa while I’m cooking dinner. 🙁 We’ve had a couple of little meltdowns recently which I’ve put down to tiredness but I’m just trying to deal with each day as it comes. Please let me know if you come up with a miracle solution.xxx

  7. 7th July 2015 / 6:20 am

    Oh you poor thing. My Boo went through exactly the same thing-went from sleeping well to this and it is hard you feel like you get no time to yourself.
    You will hate me for this but I can’t remember what we did. I think I just persevered. I know after ‘bedtime’ I didn’t Make eye contact and tried not to speak and I do remember crawling from her room.
    The only consolation is it doesn’t last forever. Boo is 4 and a good sleeper now but we have her baby brother and I can feel it happening again you are not alone

  8. Donne
    7th July 2015 / 8:44 am

    Ahh Alice, don’t actually have any advice but I really feel for you both. I’m dreading the nap going but think you’re doing an amazing job. Someone once told me that even if your child goes to bed late, try make sure they wake up roughly at the same time every morning. So if she’s having a lie in, wake her up. She will be miserable the first few days but maybe it will help her get into a more natural routine. Give me a shout if you want a few hours to yourself on Friday xx

  9. 7th July 2015 / 11:25 am

    Oh Alice I just want to give you a massive hug and tell you you’re not alone! Indiana has the worst meltdowns and they’re especially bad now she’s talking more. She kicks, screams and refuses to get in the pram (not so fun when I’m trying to leave and she’s kicking my bump). It’s always down to being tired isn’t it. We’re in a routine at the moment where she naps at 9.30/10, then is up by lunch and then goes to bed by 7. The evenings can be rough where she’s been up all afternoon, but I’ve noticed she sleeps much better at night. I hope the phase passes and you get it worked out, always here if you need a chat 🙂 xxx

  10. 7th July 2015 / 1:05 pm

    Such a good post. Harry is only 10 months at the moment so doesn’t quite have the full on meltdowns yet. But he definitely lets us all know when he routine is not right. We have been back from holiday for 2 weeks now and really struggling getting back to our routine

  11. Siobhan
    7th July 2015 / 2:05 pm

    So glad you have written this blog. I am going through the same thing with my daughter Lilah at the minute – and felt like the only parent going through a stage like this. Lilah refuses to have naps in the day, goes to bed later than usual and wakes up normal time, in a horrid mood. Then the day is ruined – no matter how exciting our daily activities are! Loving all the feed back! Thanks x

  12. Stephanie
    7th July 2015 / 2:10 pm

    I’d try to stick to your normal routine if i were you as it sounds like a phase, my little one is the same age and shes also started to have tantrums and flinging herself around. I have noticed that when she has sugar she’s so much worse! Typically we don’t give any refined sugar but in the summer it’s nice to have ice-cream and she loves baking too. Has she got all her molars? When they are due to come through its harder for them to fall asleep!

  13. 9th July 2015 / 6:54 pm

    I could have written this myself!
    Evie has recently gone through a period where she only has a half an hour nap in the morning at around 10am and thats it. She’s up at 6am and goes to bed at 7pm. She tantrums and gets teasy because she’s so tired and to top it off she’s been up in the night every night for almost a month. We made the silly mistake of being so tired that we let her stay in our bed the first few nights. But we learnt the hard way that this made her so much worse. She seems extra clingy, extra uptight and extra naughty. She’s always been so good with routine and she’s always been so well behaved but the tantrums are so bad.

    It was really hard, but we combatted the bed time thing by still putting her to bed the same time (I took some convincing because she was so upset) and then when she’d cry and cry and cry I’d keep going into her room, lying her back down, kissing her goodnight and leaving the room. I’d do this repeatedly until she realised she wasn’t coming out of her bed. It definitely wasn’t easy in the middle of the night to do this but we’ve now had 5 nights of full sleep! Woo! The day naps are still an issue but I think that’s going to stay the same. The tantrums, we’re still working on how best to parent them. :-/ If it helps I think you’re really not alone in this. There is a light at the end of the tunnel! I hope Amelia gets back into her routine soon. It’s so hard to not have a mummy meltdown (i’ve had several) due to tiredness and frustration. xx

  14. Roxanne
    6th August 2015 / 8:55 pm

    Hi
    I’ve only just found your blog today but really enjoy your posts!
    I have nearly finished a book on children’s sleep ( I have a 6 and 4 year old and just had my little one nearly 7 weeks ago so reading up on sleep) but from what I read if they are cutting out daytime sleep at a young age then an earlier bedtime will be needed to avoid becoming overtired.
    X

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