Dealing with opposite nap schedules

I didn't think I'd have this problem so soon, but my boys tend to nap on exact opposite schedules. It doesn't happen every day because Abram's still not on a completely predictable schedule, but it happens often. For example, yesterday we all woke up around 7:30. Abram slept from 9:30-11:50, at which point I started trying to get Solomon down for his nap. He slept from 12:30-2:45, at which point I started trying to get Abram down for another nap. He slept from 3:10-4:10ish. By then, it was close to rush hour so I didn't want to go anywhere plus I knew DH wouldn't be home too late because he had to go out after dinner for an appointment with a client.

So I feel like it's impossible to leave the house with them napping opposite each other like this. We missed Solomon's story time yesterday (10:15 or 11:00... since Abram had been fussy all morning I definitely wasn't going to wake him for the 10:15 and I figured we'd do the 11:00 if he woke up on his own). When Abram was smaller/younger I was able to transfer him asleep from my wrap to the carseat and back again, but now I can't do so without waking him up. And he HATES the car so if I do wake him up I have to do it with plenty of time to nurse him and calm him down before putting him in the carseat. I so wish we lived in the city so we could just walk/subway everywhere without having to take him out of my wrap... but then that would be difficult with Sol I suppose.

Anyway, Sol and I go crazy if we're cooped up in the house all day - especially Sol. He was climbing the walls yesterday and it looked like a hurricane had passed through. But I don't want to sacrifice Abram's sleep either. And since he's SO miserable in the car, I hate to put him in there unless he's in a good mood to start with. If he's tired, he won't fall asleep in the car, just scream (unless I put him in 90% asleep already, then he'll fall asleep without crying, but it's not always possible to leave at exactly the right moment).

We're hoping to get a swingset this year and once the weather's better I can take Sol outside to play while Abram sleeps in my wrap. But in the meantime, I don't really know how to handle the situation. Any tips from experienced moms-of-two-nappers?
Faith, 3Aish redhead
Mama to two wild superheroes and a curly-headed baby boy
It does suck. Bath time during the day and riding around in a double stroller helped me.
hello.world.
It does suck. Bath time during the day and riding around in a double stroller helped me.
Originally Posted by webjockey
What did you do with Theo in the bath when he was tiny? I still just sponge-bath Abram... I generally don't bring them into the tub until they can sit up on their own.

Once the weather's nice enough we'll definitely be outside more often. We had a few nice days a couple weeks ago so we went for walks around the neighborhood with Abram in my wrap... though Sol's such a monkey he wanted to play in all the neighbors' yards, so I think getting a swingset will really help.
Faith, 3Aish redhead
Mama to two wild superheroes and a curly-headed baby boy
By the time I got to babies #3 and #4, my older kids had so much going on that it would have been impossible to always wait for the baby to wake up. I couldn't stop the world for naps, so I just took them anyway, and they slept in the car...or they didn't. It didn't really matter. Loud music kept them from crying too much in the car, they could never compete with cranked up music. They eventually adjusted to the car...they had to. They had no choice.

I did keep a designated naptime each day after lunch, (noon-2pm) where nothing was planned. I didn't have a long or difficult process for putting my kids down to nap though...I just stuck them in crib awake, put their music on and walked out, and they would go to sleep on their own.

As for getting out each day...I really did love my double jogging stroller. That thing enabled me to have an easy outdoor life, even with 2 babies close together. There was no place that thing couldn't go. Many naps were taken in it, and the toddler could get in and out at will and run around and play while the baby slept.
Theo rarely got baths. When Theo would be down, I would use it as bath time for Alexander. I also use the TV as a distraction. They both love the Create Channel for some reason. It doesn't matter if it's wood working or travel. Something about the swirly logo gets them all excited. Also maybe one of those intercom thingies so you can listen in on the little one while you play outside with Sol.

I also keep my kids up pretty late when I hear stories of other parents. They generally go to sleep around 9:30.
hello.world.
Theo rarely got baths. When Theo would be down, I would use it as bath time for Alexander. I also use the TV as a distraction. They both love the Create Channel for some reason. It doesn't matter if it's wood working or travel. Something about the swirly logo gets them all excited. Also maybe one of those intercom thingies so you can listen in on the little one while you play outside with Sol.

I also keep my kids up pretty late when I hear stories of other parents. They generally go to sleep around 9:30.
Originally Posted by webjockey
I'm just starting to put Abram "down" for his naps... usually he just sleeps in my wrap. I was doing well putting him down for a while, but when he got sick with RSV at 8 weeks old I just wore him all the time and I'm just starting again recently.

My kids stay up "late" too. 9:30 +/- is about normal for us as well.
Faith, 3Aish redhead
Mama to two wild superheroes and a curly-headed baby boy
I feel for you. Addison is just now taking one nap a day every few days. On the days she takes two..she is getting up both kids have lunch and then Chas is goes down. If I'm lucky...she goes back down for the last hour of his nap.

My problem right now is Chas is on a nap strike. He's 3 1/2...he is not allowed to have a nap strike...

Some days...we just forego Addison's second nap if it doesn't work. I just hope she catches a few zzzz's in the car.. I can't do this every day or she would become a nightmare.

Hang in there!

Last edited by inheritedcurls; 03-31-2010 at 08:04 PM. Reason: sp
I remember dealing with this and it was annoying.

What I would inevitably end up doing was cutting short baby's morning nap. If she got at least an hour long nap, she was usually good to go for a couple of hours, even though if left to her own devices she might have slept for longer.

So in your case, maybe let A nap from 9-10:30 and then head out for a morning outing. He should have slept long enough to be happy and might be more amenable to going down for an earlier afternoon nap. The afternoon naps still might not coincide, but at least you will all have gotten a little time out of the house in the mean time.

As the day gets longer, you might also find yourself going out more in the late afternoon, even if its just for a walk around the neighbourhood or to the playground, especially on those days where nothing is matching up schedule-wise and the whole day is spent feeding/napping. I get dinner made earlier in the day so that we can head out of the house at 4:30pm and walk back in as DH gets home, just before dinner time.

In our case, DS stopped napping by the time DD was 6 months old. That made the day quite tiring, but the positive side for us was that both kids started going to bed at the same time at night (around 7:30pm) and DH and I finally started having some time to ourselves in the evening.



Last edited by mad scientist; 03-31-2010 at 11:14 PM.
Thanks for the additional replies..... yeah Solomon occasionally has a napping strike himself. Some days he's fine with no nap and other days he starts melting down in the early evening. The problem with him is that he HAS to nap early enough if he's going to.... if he doesn't nap at "normal" time, then I can't let him nap later in the day or he'll be up later than our bedtime LOL. Can't go anywhere in the car late in the day for risk of him falling asleep, can't even nurse him too comfortably late in the day (sometimes I make him nurse standing up haha).

The other big problem is how much Abram hates the car, and it's worse if he's tired which is why I worry about waking him up from a nap. It's so bad that on the way to My Gym for Solly yesterday, I almost turned around and came home but I realized that we can't sacrifice all of Solomon's activities. I did discover that if I reach back and let Abram suck on my finger while I drive, that keeps him calm/quiet for about 10 minutes, so that's a big step.
Faith, 3Aish redhead
Mama to two wild superheroes and a curly-headed baby boy
What I did (well, still do) is just plan around the older one's schedule. If Dylan doesn't nap when he needs to or is woken up too early, everyone's day sucks. Ethan OTOH will sleep in the car during errands and on my back while we shop or go to a park. And even if he doesn't nap when he should, he's pretty easygoing about going to sleep, unlike Dylan who will party until 2 am.
*Poster formerly known as Bailey422*

Here's all you have to know about men and women: women are crazy, men are stupid. And the main reason women are crazy is that men are stupid. ~ George Carlin
What I did (well, still do) is just plan around the older one's schedule. If Dylan doesn't nap when he needs to or is woken up too early, everyone's day sucks. Ethan OTOH will sleep in the car during errands and on my back while we shop or go to a park. And even if he doesn't nap when he should, he's pretty easygoing about going to sleep, unlike Dylan who will party until 2 am.
Originally Posted by Kaia
We tend to put a higher priority on Sol's sleep too because, like you, if he doesn't get the sleep he needs at the right time then everyone's day is miserable. At Abram's age, if he has a nap get ruined he'll be cranky for a few hours and then make up for it.

If Ethan falls asleep on your back while shopping or something, do you just wake him up to put him back in the carseat? Now that it's nice out (and no coat) I want to start wearing A on my back for errands, but I'm so worried about him falling asleep on my back and needing to transfer him. Then again, I've been having a hard time transferring him asleep from a front carry too so I might as well go for comfort.
Faith, 3Aish redhead
Mama to two wild superheroes and a curly-headed baby boy
I don't wake him up on purpose, I just transfer him as needed. Sometimes he sleeps through the transfer in or out of the carseat, sometimes he doesn't. If he falls asleep in the car, I do attempt to do a carry that will be least likely to wake him, but otherwise I just do whatever and poor Ethan rolls with it.
*Poster formerly known as Bailey422*

Here's all you have to know about men and women: women are crazy, men are stupid. And the main reason women are crazy is that men are stupid. ~ George Carlin

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