Friday, February 24, 2012

The Unexpected Effect of Potty Training on Naptime

If you can believe it, until about a month ago, the boy would happily toddle upstairs for a nap nearly every day. Lucky, I know.  Unfortunately an unexpected side effect of potty training has been a sudden refusal to nap.  The little guy may be almost three, but he still needs a nap; he's exhausted and constantly has bags under his eyes.

For the first couple of weeks I alternated between putting him in his room (and allowing him to scream for 10-20 minutes until he fell asleep) and plopping him on the couch with a movie so he would veg out for an hour or so and unwind.  Unfortunately, he then started to outlast me with the screaming and I eventually stopped trying to get him to nap altogether.

A month of not napping is definitely catching up with him, the other day he told me 'I tired' at 10am.  He promptly laid down on the couch and asked for a blanket and 'a little tv'.  Unfortunately these days a rest on the couch is simply not having the desired effect.  He doesn't rest for long and his cranky, moody, tired self promptly returns.

All of this I could probably live with, but the boy is the type of child that needs his sleep.  Sadly, the combination of an overtired and overstimulated boy frequently results in night wakings, based on my readings (and the fact that I had them) I assume they are night terrors.  He screams and screams and is not particularly soothed by our presence; in fact the only thing that calms him is leaving his room.  Although we do sometimes let him watch a show on TV, we don't want that to become habit so we try to avoid it.

Lately he's been waking just as we are going to bed and we have been letting him sleep in our bed, something we have worked very hard to avoid.

We have NEVER let him sleep in our bed before and we certainly don't want that to become a habit, so this week I started forcing him to nap again.  It seems easier to get him to nap in the day then to try and get him back into his room in the middle of the night.  Fortunately both yesterday and today, the screaming lasted only 20 minutes before he fell asleep.  He obviously needs the nap, I had to wake him up from a pretty deep sleep at 3:30 after a two hour nap and he still went to bed without a fuss at 7pm.

Did potty training have any unexpected effects? Do your kids nap? Do you let your kids sleep in your bed? Do your kids wake with night terrors? How do you cope?