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    Emily Malone

    culinary arts grad. nutrition facts lover. vegetarian chef. marathon runner. country music maniac. failed dog trainer. barre fanatic. loving mama.

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    A Look Back.



Nap Wars.

I’m having a pity party today.  Care to join me?  It has been one of those weeks where no matter how hard I’ve tried to fit it all in and stay flexible, it feels like everything has blown up in my face.

How is it possible to have an alm0st-ten-month old, and still have days where you feel like you have absolutely no idea what you’re doing?  We’re having some serious nap wars over here.  In case you wondered, I am losing.

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Cullen’s naps are suddenly all over the place.  My predictable sleeper is now wired and cranky, which has left me tired and…also cranky.  Here’s what his napping looked like up until last week:

  • 6-6:30am- up for the day
  • 8:30-10:30ammorning nap
  • 2:00-3:30pm – afternoon nap
  • 6:45-7:00pm – bedtime

Obviously there is some give and take there, and I don’t try to hold him to any specific times or schedule, but he almost always falls into these patterns on his own.  I’m guessing that our current nap issues are caused by a few different changes he’s going through right now. 

For one, he just started sleeping through the night. I know, I know – sleeping through the night and now here I am complaining about naps! But he was never the “get up and stay up” type at night – just woke, cried, ate, and immediately went back to sleep.  So he’s not actually getting much more sleep now – it’s just more consistent.  It is also amazing.

He has also started walking.  And everything I heard was right – once they start they literally do not stop.  He is into everything.  He hates all of his toys, and is only entertained by trash cans, cords, phone charges, remotes, the toilet, the steps – you name it. 

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I know this is normal for his age.  I also know that we hang out with a lot of other babies, and I seem to be the only mom literally running in circles to keep up with a nine month old maniac. 

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A few days ago, after chasing him down the hall to chew on the toilet base (WHY?) 50 times, I finally drug out the pack n play and tossed him in with a few toys.  He was not amused.  (I think that was Wednesday, which was also the day I didn’t get a post written.  Now you know why!) 

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This was also the same day that he took zero naps.  ZERO.  Finally, somewhere around 7pm, we both crashed.  I spent the rest of the night in a fog wondering what the hell just happened. 

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Yesterday was a little bit better.  His morning nap was routine and predictable, and he even snuggle up on my chest for a bit before hitting the crib.  I’ll take it as an apology for the day before.

Capture

But today we are back to the nap wars. 

Now that he’s sleeping straight through the night, he’s waking earlier than he used to, which is fine (and understandable) since we’re both getting more consistent and restful sleep. But it seems that because of this he’s inching out his naps times, or even trying to just drop down to one?  (Please tell me it’s too early for that!)

This morning he got up at 6 – we played, ate breakfast, went for a walk, played some more, nursed, got a clean diaper – the works.  By 9am he was rubbing his eyes and giving me all the signs that he was, indeed, tired.  So we did our nap routine, I put him into his crib, and I walked out.

He stood at the side of the crib alternating between screaming and chewing on his crib rail for about 45 minutes.  Meanwhile I paced the kitchen, slurped coffee, and stared at the monitor.  The whole “put him in the crib and walk out” thing doesn’t feel like a break to me.  I struggle to relax until I see he is actually asleep.

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Once a long while had passed and the crying had intensified, I went back in and rocked him for a bit.  He still seemed sleepy.  I put him back in and left again.  He crawled around the crib.  Played with a few hanging toys, practiced his walking from one end to the other…

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And just when I was literally ready to give up hope and move on with our day, I looked down and he was flat on his back – eyes closed.

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Ninety minutes after our original nap routine began, he was asleep.  And he’s continued to sleep as I’ve typed out this ridiculous rant.  So now what – when will his afternoon nap happen?  Will he take one?  Am I brave enough to attempt to leave the house?

All of this feels a little bit dramatic and absurd.  Just typing it out has made me feel a bit better.  I know that stuff with babies is always changing and unpredictability is the name of the game, but eventually it just wears me down.

I love that Cullen is so active and that he’s thriving so well, but all this activity doesn’t leave me time for much else.  We have baby-proofed out the wazoo, but he still manages to find little (dangerous) things to get into constantly.

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Eating the door stop – typical.

Casey’s work hours have stretched so that I’m now on my own from wake up to bedtime, so I count on those naps for my sanity.  When he skips them, I do crazy things like freak out on the internet. 

I’d really like to hire some help to give me a break and allow me to get a bit more work done, but I’m not sure when to tell them to come since his sleep times are jumping all over the place.  I keep putting it off for “one more week” in hopes that things will settle into some sort of predictable pattern.

And with that – this nap is over! 

Sorry for the dramatic pity party today.  And please understand – I have not lost perspective.  I know there are many, many worse things to be dealing with than an an active, healthy baby who is too excited about life to sleep.  I am lucky to be home with him to pull leaves out of his mouth and get big slobbery kisses.  It has just been a long week.

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Who knows what the rest of today will bring.  I’m going to stop guessing and just ride it out.  A happy weekend to you ALL!

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184 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Jenny H.     at 12:14 pm

You are doing great :)! Hang in there, hun!

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Chana     at 12:20 pm

This totally sounds like my boy. This is also around the age where we gave in to the nap wars and made him only take 1 nap in the afternoon. Wheww..it was such a relief. He slept through the night, was up by 6am, and was taking a nap from about 12:30-2:30/3pm.; then back to bed by 7pm. The worse part, was that now, as a parent, you only have 1 chance during the day to have a minute to get something done! It’s the one thing I’ve learned w/babies, the days are always un predictable! Keep your head up..this too shall pass! : )

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Angie Reply:

Yup, this is us too. Our was an early motor developer (crawling at 5 months, walking at 9!) and just constantly on the go. When we play with other kids and I see them sitting nicely and just playing I realize… we never really have that. My boy likes to move!

He also didn’t start sleeping through the night until 10 or 11 months (sadly with teething it’s still pretty inconsistent), and when that happened, we dropped to one nap. At first I thought it would be awful, and now I love it! We get out in the morning and do something, and then come home and eat lunch, and he’s out like a light by 12. He sleeps for about 3 hours, and then we go for a walk or start making dinner, and his bed time is at 7 sharp (sometimes 645).

All that to say, hang in there and you’re NOT alone! My gut would tell me to start fiddling with naps and maybe transitioning to one, but it honestly could just be a growth spurt and he’ll be back to normal in a week. Who knows with these kids. The second I feel like we’re finally in a groove with naps, sleeping at night, schedules- SOMETHING happens and it’s thrown up in the air yet again. Oy.

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Amy Reply:

Same! My very active son started fighting his afternoon nap around 9 months old. It took me about 6 weeks of fighting it (and lots of tears) to figure he was ready for one nap, which obviously had to be in the afternoon- 10:30am- 6:30pm made for a very cranky both of us. I pushed his morning nap little by little until it’s now about 12:30-2:30. He’s 20 months, so it’s varied some along the way. He has slept through the night since 3 months old and I never get him earlier than 7 am (usually sleeps 8pm- 6:30am).

Just like Angie, I appreciate the one nap schedule now. It’s much more flexible and he has always handled it well. I guess that’s a benefit of having an on-the-go sort of baby!

One thing I will suggest is that sometimes (even now) my son would go to his crib with a book or music on (he doesn’t usually sleep with either of these) if he’s having a cranky morning or let’s be honest, if I want 15 minutes to myself in the morning. Just make sure he doesn’t fall asleep at all or the afternoon nap is done!

Good luck. I hope you get some much-needed down time this weekend!

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Emily Malone Reply:

I guess the one nap does have it’s advantages. It’s hard to plan our days around him needing to be in the crib!

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Emily Malone Reply:

I am literally in AWE when I see other babies around his age just sitting and reading books, listening to stories, etc. I can’t even imagine!

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Christine Reply:

My youngest was an early mover and not into books at Cullen’s age, but when she was about a year or so, she started loving them. Now she sits for about 30 minutes and reads. I bet Cullen will like books someday soon.

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Katie     at 12:21 pm

I am sorry you’re in a rough patch but the picture of Cullen with the door stop in his mouth made me laugh out loud for a couple minutes because I thought I was the only one with a strange baby who does that!!!!! Priceless memories!!!!

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Maya Reply:

My daughter loves the doorstop too!! In our case the only doorstop props open the door leading to the room with kitty litter, so it’s doubly an issue. :-p

Hang in there. Emily… it sounds like you’re doing great! Cullen is going to be a super fun, athletic kid for sure!!

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Cali     at 12:22 pm

Eating the doorstop! Wow… I can see how you have to watch him every second :)

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Colleen     at 12:23 pm

Rant away. I hated those times – just when everything is going well they throw their arms up and say ‘no I don’t want a nap’. I remember too many screaming and kicking fists and my three year old had one on Sunday. She ended up falling asleep on the dog bed. I didn’t care, she was at least a sleep. Hang in there. you are definitely not alone. Step outside and take a big breath of fresh air.

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Jolene (Homespun Heritage)     at 12:23 pm

Aww…been there done that…My take on this…You will have to find a new normal and will have to be flexible on WHEN you put him down and actually, the way you handled the nap today was great! There was no drama or stressing Cullen out and he got his nap in. Your doing great and he will eventually fall into a new routine/pattern for naps. Stick with it and be flexible!

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Emily Malone Reply:

Thanks Jolene. :) There was drama on my end when I had to cancel our playdate plans and then cried into my keyboard for an hour, haha. Oh well – tomorrow is a new day!

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Kortney     at 12:24 pm

I know how you feel! With an almost 9 month old who is constantly busy and a husband who works out in the oil fields it can be extremely crazy and exhausting. My husband is out twelve days and home for 3 and a half. Lets just say I am DRAGGING by the end of 12 days. Just know that us mommies are all together in this crazy battle to raise our kids :)

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Maria     at 12:25 pm

I comment on here a lot—I think you are the ONLY blog I comment on actually, but it is fun because our babies are so close in age. My daughter started sleeping through the night a few weeks before Cullen (I told you to hold out hope), so they are sort of on the same path. Gabby’s morning nap has been pushed back further than it used to be, and actually, for the past 2 days, the morning nap has not happened at all, and instead we are getting a much longer afternoon nap. I heard that babies do drop their morning naps at some point, but I thought it didn’t happen until after they turned one. Anyway, you are not doing it wrong—their schedules are just slowly starting to transition from baby schedules to toddler schedules.

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Emily Malone Reply:

Keep me posted on Gabby – it’s like a window into the future! I love it! :) Hope you get better naps soon too. Can’t even think about the T-word. TOO SOON.

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Lindsay     at 12:25 pm

Thanks for your honesty and sharing. I have had a week very much like yours and it helps to know I am not alone! We can do it! :)

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Emily Malone Reply:

Hang in there!!

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Lissa     at 12:25 pm

First, yay for STTN!! :) That’s awesome. As for the nap wars …. Awww…poor mommy! Cute as he is, that has to be hard and a day with NO nap? I fear that!!! ;) I know when they start any major milestone (crawling, walking, etc) sleep patterns can be disrupted and maybe he IS (eeks!) ready for 1 long 3-hr nap a day? Can you try to push his morning nap back a little each day? My daughter went down to 1 nap at 1 year on.the.dot. But other kids drop the AM nap sooner. Maybe b/c he is an early walker and so curious now, it’s going to mean a naptime shift? I feel lucky bc daycare helped us drop down to 1 nap … she had no choice! But I know on days when we’re home together (Fridays, weekends) if she needs 2 naps I don’t sweat it … it’s a tough nut to crack, babies and naps! Good luck! You’re an awesome mama and I love your blog and Cullen is SOOO stinkin’ cute!

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Lizzzzzzzy     at 12:25 pm

My son is seven… and I tell you with all honesty and sincerity:

He is a boy.

I love my son with my entire being and he is my baby, but he did things at that age that neither of my two (older) daughters EVER did. (I heard myself saying last week, “do NOT wipe your boogers on your sister!” Seriously, how crazy is my kid?)

There’s nothing you can do at this point other than wonder if he’s teething, going through a growth spurt, or just trying to assert his independence. ;)

And feel free to vent. There are plenty of other mothers of boys who have been where you are — with high energy children.

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Emily Malone Reply:

This made me laugh out loud. I feel like you are so right. And he is ALL boy. Such a tough, fearless little guy.

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Sarah G Reply:

This post made me laugh out loud. It reminds me of my days with only my first born, a perfectly behaved, lap-sitting, precious girl. A friend with two boys told me they are completely different than girls, for example when her four-year-old asked her, with innocent and sincere interest, if he could pee in her hair. See what you have to look forward to Emily!

Thanks so much for posting. I now have a little boy Cullen’s age, and naps continue to stress me out and, yes, occasionally make me cry — with both of them! So glad I’m not the only one taking it all so seriously. *Love* your blog and watching Cullen grow up.

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Rachel Mc     at 12:25 pm

Have you tried putting him down before the obvious tired signs? I know with my 9 mo old, eye rubbing means he is overtired and he has a hard time going to sleep. If I put him down earlier, while not obviously tired but kind of quiet and happy, he usually rolls over and sleeps as soon as I lay him down.

You’ll figure it out! He’s done a lot of big things lately with STTN and walking, I bet his little brain is buzzing!

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Kimberly @ Healthy Strides     at 12:27 pm

Trust me, pity party deserved. I have done nothing but whine all week that my 13-month-old has decided that the early bird gets the worm. Wed=up at 5:15. Thurs=up at 5. Today=4:45. It’s ridiculous. I was so naive to think I could get him back down at 4:45 with a bit of milk. Instead, he was ready to play king of the throne with the toilet brush in one hand and the plunger in the other. He’s talking a lot lately and I’m wondering if his brain is just wired. I’m praying it passes, umm, tonight because I cannot teach BodyPump tomorrow the way I’m feeling today.

P.S. I think I hijacked your post. Hopefully, Cullen gets a better nap schedule.

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Angie Reply:

What is this obsession with the plunger! GROSS. My little boy runs right to it and loves it. I have to hide it now! So bizarre. Oh babies, you are ridiculous.

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Emily Malone Reply:

Haha I hid ours too!

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Emily Malone Reply:

King of the Throne, omg. Sad for you, but made me laugh. :) Hope you get some rest tonight!

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Shannon @ My Place In The Race     at 12:29 pm

The door stop pic is hilarious though :D You’re doing great!

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Tiffany     at 12:29 pm

My sister nannied for a family the last two summers. She was responsible for their one year old, just for the morning. Sometimes the mom didn’t even leave the house, she’d just get a shower and do the laundry and catch up on all her stuff. Other times she’d go to the gym, get groceries, just get out of the house. Sounds like that might be something to look into. Couple mornings a week, just a few hours to let you stay sane. Try looking at a local university, an education or psych major will probably make you feel better about leaving your child with them.

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Morgan     at 12:33 pm

Our daughter started fighting the morning nap, so I now keep her up until noon and she takes a 3 hour nap at that time. I know she’s tired by 10ish but not tired enough to actually fall asleep. If she does actually sleep, it’s only for about 20 minutes. I know what you mean about how you can’t relax until they are actually sleeping, even if you leave them alone in their room.

She’s extremely exhausted by noon and falls asleep easily without any fuss. Maybe this is something you could try?

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Sara     at 12:34 pm

My daughter didn’t learn to nap until she was 9 months old. She is a champ sleeper at night though sleeping through the night almost from birth, we had to wake her up to feed her until she was 6 weeks old, because she wasn’t gaining weight. I finally taught her to nap by strapping her into her infant car seat. I noticed the only days that she took really great naps (longer than 10 minutes) were when we were out and about and she fell asleep in the car seat. I would carefully bring her in and leave her in the carseat and she would nap for 2 hours. I don’t know if it would work for you, but being in the carseat helped her learn to settle herself down for the nap.

She’s now two and is constantly into everything… and only taking one nap a day. I take lots of deep breaths throughout the day.

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Emily Malone Reply:

The car seat nap worked for us when he was younger, but now it’s a no go. He wakes up the minute the car turns off!

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Lauren     at 12:35 pm

I hate to tell you this, but my son dropped his second nap around 9 months – the morning one. :( From that point on, he would only do one a day, a long one (thank goodness) from about 1-3 or 4. Now he is three and will still take that long nap…although occasionally it just doesn’t happen.

Good luck, I know it’s hard to keep your sanity sometimes!

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Emily     at 12:35 pm

Right there with you! :) Quinn will be 10 months old tomorrow and is growing and changing like crazy which I’ve come to realize accompanies crazy naps! Just remember to look back on all those other times you thought you’d pull your hair out and then everything worked out! You can do it!! (Talking to myself here too :))

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Emily     at 12:36 pm

I nannied for a little boy just this age last semester of college. Please go out and get some help! Taking care of that little one all day wears you out like crazy, and the nanny will understand their unpredictable schedule. Don’t feel like you have to take on these full days by yourself.

I also know that the boy I nannied for encountered these same napping problems. His parents solution? We rocked him to sleep in the stroller. Not traditional (and he was still doing it at 15 months!) but hey, it got him down twice a day.

Just do what works for you so you can get some sanity. As mentioned earlier, university’s are great resources.

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Lolly     at 12:37 pm

I would eliminate one nap and shoot for a slightly later bedtime. By the time mine were 10 months old, 2 naps a day were a no-go. I’d opt for one quality (hopefully long) nap brought on by a shorter night’s sleep.

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Jane     at 12:40 pm

Lol you and Casey need to get the book, Go the F to Sleep-at least it will make you laugh. It’s either that or cry, right? And the pic of him eating the door stop is too much!! How does he get in that position, and REALLY does that taste good? My sister sent me a picture today of her 11month old sons crib rail. It looked like a cat or rat had scratched it all over. Nope, James was biting it. WHY?! Laugh, deep breaths and laugh. And if it turns into tears, laugh some more.

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Clare Reply:

Oh, how I love that book :)

All three of mine were the babies climbing the bookshelves and jumping off the toy kitchen at mom’s group while all the others sat in a circle singing and clapping. It’s very hard work at that age BUT we now have three super-active, sporty children (ten, seven and five) who we can take hiking, biking, running, surfing, skiing….the fun part is coming so hang in there :)

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amy Reply:

YES to this!! The super active babies make for oh-so-fun kids (seriously, once they leave the phase where it seems like they’re trying to get hurt). For mine that was around age 3.

Sometimes moms need to vent, and changing nap schedules can really shake you up. But you’ve got this, Emily!

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Emily Malone Reply:

Man, what is with the trying to get hurt? I feel like Cullen is a human wrecking ball.

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Michele Reply:

Lol! My grandson (8 months) crawls right into walls and furniture. I think he thinks he can crawl through them.

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Emily Malone Reply:

This made me laugh out loud. That is totally me – chasing Cullen around while other babies sit and play nicely.

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Emily Malone Reply:

We have crib rail teething guards now because Cullen was destroying his!

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Claire     at 12:41 pm

I am right there with you Emily! My baby girl dropped to one nap at 10 months and has always has unpredictable, crazy nap schedules.

Hang in there! I totally feel you on being stressed out because you can no longer count on nap time for some alone time!

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Amelia     at 12:44 pm

This reminds me of when I was a nanny. Hearing you describe everything that Cullen does, combined with his age, sound EXACTLY like Grace was. Even though I am not a mom myself, I know exactly how long these days can be. My only reprieve was I actually got to go home without a little one at the end of the day. Hang in there! Rant all you want. It’s real life and your blog. :)

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Heather     at 12:52 pm

I’ve never actually commented before, but I just had to say – thank you for this post! I am not a mom, aside from to my dog, but I am at that age where many of my friends are new mothers. One of the things my friends often say is that as much as they love, adore, and cherish their babies through all of the times – good and less good – there are those times where they feel exactly like your post today. They’ve often mentioned, though, that many new parents don’t talk about that part (for various reasons), so then they feel alone in their frustration and unsure of what to do or whether or not it’s OK to vent. Thank you for sharing with us a totally normal, and reasonable, feeling that goes right along with all of the wonderful (and sometimes frustrating) things about parenting. I shared it with some of my friends, and they commented on how nice it was not to feel alone. Good luck with this new stage of excitement with the very adorable Cullen!

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Emily Malone Reply:

You are most welcome! It’s good to share the good and the bad. Motherhood can be so isolating, especially when you feel like you’re the only one who hasn’t figured it all out!

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Caitlin     at 12:56 pm

I nannied for several babies and I agree with the comment Emily made. The parents who employed me LOVED it because they could count on a time when they could get out of the house and get some work done (they were both academics). A sitter won’t mind if he is napping or not, and if it’s likelier not, a sitter will be fresh and ready for the challenge! It doesn’t mean you are giving up–you are just doing what is best for YOU, and by extension, Cullen. Good luck!!

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Janeen     at 1:02 pm

Good luck, mama! Have you tried other naptime soothing techniques? Bouncing on a yoga ball gently while holding him? Ask your mamas what they do for naps and you’ll probably hear all kinds of things. Moms will try almost anything to get that naptime/freetime for mama to happen!

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meghan     at 1:03 pm

Just a phase. For real. I have 2 boys (5 and almost 3) and a little girl on the way. His sleep and walking routines have changed, but they’ll even out. I think typically babies don’t completely give up the morning nap until between 12 and 15 months. At this age, my boys were both going to bed between 5:30 and 6:30pm (yes, sometimes 5:30!) which seems crazy, but it’s just how it goes sometimes. Sometimes an earlier bedtime will work to put that morning nap back in order. It will pass!

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meghan Reply:

As a matter of fact, 4 or 5 months ago I thought my near 3 year old was dropping his afternoon nap for good (devastating!) and POOF! a week later, he was back to sleeping 2-3 hours after lunch. Hang in there.

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Melissa     at 1:03 pm

Emily, I have a 2 1/2 year old son who was exactly like Cullen. To this day I have a rule: don’t change anything until you hit your breaking point and then give it a week. Every time I went to change something that was working in the past and I started my week after I had my breakdown day, it would always change by the time the week was up and I would be happy I didn’t change the schedule, routine or activity. I developed this after at Cullen’s exact age I dropped down to one nap for what you’re going through now and I paid the price. It was a phase rather than a need to make a big change. I implemented my little plan after that and I still use it. Just my two cents. You’re a FANTASTIC mom, a great woman, and we all need breaks. Even if I don’t feel like it in the stress of the moment, I force myself, my son, and the dog to all go outside for fresh air, regardless of the weather. (Most kids don’t drop a nap until at or after their first birthday and the sign is usually they stop sleeping during one of their naps each day.) Hang in there!

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Emily Malone Reply:

Sounds like good advice!

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Liz @ The Sixth Letter     at 1:08 pm

Love this post – and the picture of Cullen with the doorstop is to die for. Yes, this is a rant, but it’s a hilarious and honest one at that so I think it’s great. That’s what blogs are for! Keep on sharin and we’ll keep being here to tell you that you’re doing awesomely!

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Mary     at 1:08 pm

I think you’re probably right, he’s most likely having an off week and you’ll both figure it out in a few days. If the crazy continues though, my favorite resource for baby sleep help is the pediatric sleep center at my local hospital. Their website has really awesome handouts on all things baby/kid sleep related. Worth a look, they’ve saved my sanity more than once! http://www.stlukes-stl.com/services/sleep-medicine/services-pediatric.html

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eep     at 1:11 pm

Hire someone to come in and give you a break. If he sleeps during that time, great, if he doesn’t sleep, that’s great too. Even if you don’t leave the house, you need a break. Hire someone to come in at least twice a week, just to give yourself a mental and physical space. It gets to the point that I don’t want to be touched any more, and my babies are 5 and 2! Give yourself some space!

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Rachel     at 1:17 pm

is it wrong that i love that crying tantrum face?

he’s just too darn cute. and you’re doing a great job. 1. i can’t imagine a life with a baby quite yet and 2. i can’t imagine doing it without lots of family around to give me breaks. so be overwhelmed, and then enjoy the ride.

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Alison     at 1:23 pm

I’ve got nothing helpful to add as my daughters both dropped to one nap before their first birthdays. Out of pure curiousity, what does his onesie say in the last pic?

Hilariously cute pictures, hang in there! I wish I could say it gets easier, but it doesn’t… it just CHANGES.

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Emily Malone Reply:

It says “not a meat eater” :)

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Hayley     at 1:27 pm

Be careful with those doorstops! I looked over one day and my son had the white rubber part off the doorstop and in his mouth!!!
Also, my boys are almost 5 and 3 and i still have days like this, though not as often anymore :)

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Emily Malone Reply:

Oh he has totally eaten the white caps off too – totally terrifying! We have removed all the plastic caps and just left the wire springs, haha. Learned the hard way!

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Alison Reply:

You might want to check to make sure the spring part of the doorstop is securely attached to the wall. My son is 11 months now and I had to completely remove all the doorstops when he was 7 months after he unscrewed a couple of them from the wall! I know I’m late to this post and I didn’t read through all the comments, so sorry if someone has already suggested this.

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gillian     at 1:28 pm

those kind of days/weeks are the worst. my two cents is that during big developmental steps our daughter was totally out of wack with her sleeping. it seems unlikely he is giving up a nap this early so i’d stick with what an earlier commenter said and give it another week of putting him down in the morning when he seems sleepy. then maybe get on your treadmill to distract yourself :). our daugher is 2.5 and everytime she doesn’t take her afternoon nap we are SURE she’s about to drop it but it hasn’t happened. and even at this age i still start to feel anxious when i know she isn’t sleeping when she is ‘supposed’ to. hang in there. and vent away :)

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Scout     at 1:30 pm

agh sounds like a tough patch! May I recommend hiring a babysitter for 2 hours a day? I did that often in high school- just enough time for moms to shower, get there things together, and maybe even get a nap themselves. good luck!

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Scout Reply:

*their

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Alison     at 1:32 pm

I babysat for a little boy when I was in school and he was about Cullen’s age at the time. Because I didn’t have any classes on Monday afternoon I would go over around 11 when his nap was usually done. Sometimes I would sit there and do homework for up to an hour waiting for him to wake up. His Mom was doing online courses from home so she was working in another room. When he woke up, I would play with him and chase him for a few hours to give her a break. The amount of time varied with his mood and what they were doing that day. Since I had work to do the flexible schedule worked for me. So it can work!

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Christina     at 1:33 pm

That picture of him eating the doorstop is about the cutest thing ever.

Sorry you are having a rough go of napping right now. If only he knew how desperately he will be wanting naps when he is an adult, he wouldn’t be passing them up now!

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Emily Malone Reply:

RIGHT?

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Sarah     at 1:39 pm

Hi Emily,

I found your blog through KERF a few years ago. I used to write a food blog and pregnancy blog, though haven’t found the time to carve out for many months now. But I still follow all my favorites!

I really understand how you are feeling now, I’ve been in similar situations with my daughter Lyla who is 21 months now. Every baby is different (isn’t that the overused statement of the year? :) but Cullen could be moving towards 1 nap. Lyla began to exhibit similar behavior around 10 months and I was told both it could be time or that it was too early. She took her last two naps less than a month before she turned one, and didn’t look back. She has been taking one nap between 11-2pm, give or take, ever since. I have found that there can be struggle at nap time with just a little bit of change in the schedule, just a little of waking up too early or sleeping a little later. I’m a stickler for the schedule because of this, but only she and I know how challenging it can be! My husband is often gone very early and back very late too, so I know how you feel being the solo parent every day! It can be very challenging and I sometimes feel like a lobotomy patient at night! I try to get as much sleep as I can to repair my strength for the next day. The best I do is try to read the moods and work around what she needs as best I can; it seems like being inflexible but we are both happier for it. Cullen has also hit some milestones and it is the honest truth that that messes with sleep. I hope it settles down quickly. If he goes a few days refusing to nap until later, he might be moving himself to the one nap, but it should be a good-sized one so you can still get some time to relax. As much as I love my daughter and being with her, I NEED that break!

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Emily Malone Reply:

Thanks Sarah!

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MKL Reply:

I’ve found a tight schedule works really well for us too. For us even 5 mins can make the difference between her going right down or crying for 30 mins.

When we dropped down to 2 naps a day at 9 months we got some advice from our dr. He said the crib should be free of any toys or distractions. Dark and boring! She had never napped longer than 30 minutes until we bought thermal/blackout curtains and took out all the crib toys. Good luck!

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Sarah     at 1:42 pm

My son is 4 months old and a great sleeper in general. He’s started going from 8 pm to 5 am, which is awesome, but his naps have always been all over the place! Sometimes at 9, sometime 11. Sometimes 2 hours, sometimes 3. I find myself being grateful that he’s a great sleeper and also resentful that I have no idea how to plan my day. I feel your pain.

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Kim @ girlevolving     at 1:46 pm

Our little boy started walking about a month ago and right around when he started (for him it was right before) he was all over the place with sleeping, too. He was fighting his afternoon nap a lot. We’re in a schedule like this now and it’s been working well (if this helps):
5:30-6am up (whenever he wakes up)
10ish-11 nap (we wake him up after 45-60min. or he will not nap later)
2-3:30 or 4 or sometimes later – nap
7pm – bed

For us the rough sleeping patch lasted maybe a week and then ironed out as we helped him shorten one of his naps. I hope this helps you, too. I know you have the right perspective but man, in the moment it is SO hard and you are SO tired and just want a break!!

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Andrea     at 1:47 pm

Oh by- I’m sorry but chewing on the door stop? THAT’s hilarious. Definitely one for the photo montage at his wedding *someday <3… lol The insane heat wave we've been having does NOT help…it makes me cranky and wired. lol No A/C here either. It's not worth it for the little time we need it… (or IS it?)It's cwwwazy! I have no shade in my backyard until 8pm… I miss my partly cloudy 70° weather!!! I put off buying some high velocity box/drum fans and now there are NONE to be found. So far my only relief is small ice packs on the neck…I've started freezing damp washcloths too. lol they freeze a lot faster if they are sitting on a giant icepack already frozen (the mother ship). bah ha ha… I'm going to my libary- at least it has A/C… Stay cool!

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Emily Malone Reply:

I have wondered if the heat hasn’t been part of it!

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Lena     at 1:48 pm

My children would also do crazy day sleeps for about a week before they dropped a sleep. 3 to 2, or 2 to 1 day sleep. My daughter dropped to one day sleep at 12 months and my son dropped to one day sleep at 8 months and then it would be anywhere from 2.5 hours to 3,5 hours in length. It sounds like you are doing a great job, however raising a child/children is hard, mental draining and not very rewarding, however you still love them to bits. Keep smiling and I hope it all works itself out for you soon.

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Sarah     at 1:48 pm

My girls went to one nap each at about 6 months and then NO naps at 18 months. It just became less frustrating not to fight it after awhile, because those days I’d want them to go down so badly were just soul crushing.

Hang in there, hon!

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Emily Malone Reply:

Soul crushing, YES. I can’t imagine one nap at six months. I would need medication.

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Noelle     at 1:51 pm

Right around that time I was so stressed because my daughter would just travel all over the house, didn’t have any interest in toys and was just difficult in general. I think they get all amped up about walking and its hard to sleep or something. Who knows. But soon he’ll settle down, start playing with toys and sit there playing and its a lot easier. we’re at 18 months now and sometimes she’ll just sit on the couch with me and snuggle. They calm down, he’s just transitioning. It’ll get easier.

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Emily Malone Reply:

I feel like there is not enough money in the world to entertain him. I can’t afford a million new toys, but he hates everything he has! Glad to hear he’ll get over it eventually.

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Lara     at 1:59 pm

Oh gosh, I can only imagine your frustration! I know nothing about this stuff yet, but I will cross my fingers for you that this is just an oddball week for Little C, and he’ll reestablish a great routine very soon :)

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Stephanie     at 2:05 pm

You are pretty much living my exact life at this moment. As I am typing this my 9 month old is babbling away in his crib while he should be napping! He is also an early walker and it makes me feel so much better to hear that you feel frazzled sometimes too. These little guys are CONSTANTLY on the move and some days I feel like I have completed a marathon by 9am! How am I so tired and he is still going and going and going?! Anyway, you are not alone…my son hates his toys and is constantly in to something he shouldn’t be. Here’s to getting them to sleep… :-)

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Emily Malone Reply:

YES. Where does he get the energy for all of it? Certainly not from SLEEP!

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Amanda     at 2:07 pm

Claire just hit the 17month mark and her schedule looks almost like this, except she sleeps in until 8am and needs to nap by 10. She is recently pulling the nap wars on me, but I know she’s safe in her crib and I know she’s tired so I let her cry it out and eventually she naps. Its really really rough, but she is a much better behaved and happier baby when I make her stay up there in the long run. Even if she throws a fit the entire time, she at least got alone time and is able to decompress enough to enjoy her next playtime before nap or bed for the night.

I am still fighting the good fight with her younger sister though…she’ll be 6 months old next week and is only taking two 30 minute naps a day, doesn’t want to go to sleep at night and still wants to wake up by 6am…sigh.

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Katie     at 2:14 pm

I’m having the same issues, but my baby is 3 months old! He doesn’t take long naps, mostly 45 min – an hour, and his morning naps I can predict to a T. During the afternoon, it all goes to hell! I feel so crazy and on edge after 12 pm just not knowing what the day is going to be like, and if I’ll have a crying baby to deal with for the next few hours!

If you ever need a break, I’m over in Redmond and would love to have some mommy company for these long days!

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Emily Malone Reply:

Hi Katie! Cullen never took long naps until closer to 6-7 months old – all naps up until then were 30 minutes max. Don’t stress too much during those early months – they really can’t hang on a schedule quite yet. (Listen to me acting like I know what I’m talking about!) I’d be happy to get together!

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Katie Reply:

Holy moly you’re kidding! Sometimes I’m glad to have the 45 minute naps since they’re so frequent (every 75-90 minutes or so) but other times I’d love for him to sleep longer stretches so I can workout for longer than 20 minutes!

Let me know when you’re ready for a mommy date – we could explore the Eastside, or hang out at Greenlake and MightyO……two of my favorite spots too! :)

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Jessica     at 2:14 pm

Hugs to you! I have three daughters and I am VERY lucky that they each were pretty low-key babies. I have a friend with a son and his energy level was similar to what Cullen’s sounds like, and I was tired just thinking about having to watch a high-energy baby all day, every day.
Each of my kids transitioned to one nap between 9-12 months, but the good news is, the nap lengthened. For example, my 15 month old naps now once a day, for about 3 hours.
I dont really have any advice. On a rare occasion, I would resort to driving aimlessly just to convince a child to fall asleep, then sit quietly in the car and read a book so baby could sleep.
It can be SO challenging to be a mom of a 9 month old who doesnt want to sleep. I hope you have some easier days soon!!!
BTW, chewing on the doorstop and toilet base? You are going to have some great stories to embarrass his with in several years.

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Amy Ramos     at 2:15 pm

Hugs Mamma.
Hopefully the both of you can get out and have a much needed fresh air day or a stroll along the neighborhood.
I am not a parent (yet!), however, it maybe a growth spurt, teething or he just loves being awake and on the go, go, go!
Home tomorrow is better.

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Anne     at 2:26 pm

I don’t usually comment but this post I had to!
Now that your sister is gone it seems like you should get some help – plus Cullen is clearly a man on the move!!
It must be hard to have Casey working longer hours plus no more sister to help you during the rough spots. I think we all feel for you! (and I haven’t had kids yet!)
Hopefully Casey doesn’t have to work this weekend. Give mama a break!

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Tammy     at 2:30 pm

You are right in the thick of it with boys! I remember both of my boys going through this and usually it meant something was changing…. usually it was that they were transitioning to one nap. By 10 mos or so both my boys were staying up all morning and taking one larger nap in the afternoon. I think this might be what his little body is trying to do. That one nap though could be between 2 and 3 hours which was a great time for me to rest or get a lot done!

Hang in there – boys are active and crazy at this age! (well at every age, who am I kidding!) He will keep you young and runnin!

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Megan     at 2:37 pm

In a devilish way, that door stop picture is too cute. Love that he couldn’t be bothered to get all the way down on the floor to eat it.

As far as naps go, maybe A) this is just a one day thing; B) he is ready to drop a nap (Brittany at A Healthy Slice just wrote about that!) Or C) he’s able to stay up a little longer even when looking sleepy. My 7 month old does the same thing sometimes, and I’ve learned to at least try playing with her a while longer before putting her down.

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Caitie     at 2:44 pm

I think you should definitely hire a little help! I am a “mothers helper” for a family of 3 little girls and I go to the house from 3-6:30. The mom is still on maternity leave so she is almost always home unless she runs to the shops or something. But not only do I help her with the kids, but I get the girls dinner ready, do laundry (for the whole family, not just the kids!), and help with anything else that needs to be done (organizing stuff, etc.). Maybe you can find someone that doesnt mind doing a little housework as well so that if he is asleep during the hours which you want her to come over, there is other stuff to be done that would help out!

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Emily Malone Reply:

That is the hope!

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Megan     at 3:15 pm

Oh yes, sounds so familiar! My boys (one week older than Cullen) are just now starting to sleep through the night, but that means naptimes are a little inconsistent now too. I can tell they’re on the verge of dropping that morning nap, and we do well consistently for a few days and then they have a very tired day where they take 2 long naps. It really depends on our schedule too. I’m on the go with their older brother’s activities and most of the time expect them to nap in the stroller or car for the morning nap, but lately they’re staying up for it all and lasting until after lunch. Why not give the one nap a go and see if it doesn’t help?

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Emily Malone Reply:

One of my big struggles is that Cullen can’t seem to nap on the go. He will NOT nap in the stroller – drives me insane! Car seat is the only “go” option.

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Ella     at 3:23 pm

Hahha this is a hilarious post. Hilarious, but still painful! Mine is 6 months and trying to crawl. I am REALLY enjoying these last days when I can put him down and he stays where he is!

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Melissa     at 4:07 pm

As a Mama of two boys this sounds pretty much par for the course! Baby boys are a joy but the sure do keep you hoppin’! Just something to be on the look out for, though. A lot of times when my babies did this it was a precursor to getting sick. Good luck to you!

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Emily Malone Reply:

Oh gosh – hope not!

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Shanna, like Banana     at 4:21 pm

Did our babies conspire against us today? First all, Sawyer is wearing the exact same Gap striped onesie today that Cullen has on in the post ;)

I work M-Th and he naps great with the nanny. Fridays with me? Yeah right! He gave all the signs this AM he was tired..after 30 minutes, still not asleep. Gah! Didn’t take his afternoon nap until the car ride at 3p. When we returned home the dog woke him up. He happened to fall back asleep in his carseat that I placed in his room…hoping I get another 30 minutes at least!

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Emily Malone Reply:

Love that onesie! It’s my favorite! I threaten to KILL my dogs when they wake him up.

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Andrea     at 4:24 pm

Oh goodness, he is a boy just like my own :) I had to giggle when you said you were the only Mom running in circles at playdates because that was SO me! Actually I really had a rough time with toddlerhood. Now that my youngest is 2.5 we are really getting into the more fun (to me) preschooler time and I love my rambunctious boys who have larger than life personalities :) Never a dull moment, that is for sure.

I would tend to agree with the gals above who suggested consolidating naps, good luck!

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chelsey @ clean eating chelsey     at 4:27 pm

Sorry to hear you’ve had a rough week! Do you think he might be getting more teeth or just be having a hard time winding down because he’son the move so much now?

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Emma Suarez     at 4:50 pm

Pity party away, my dear.

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Emily Malone Reply:

:)

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Jan     at 4:56 pm

I’ve no advice to give, but I LOVE Cullen’s shirt in the last photo!

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Ally     at 6:23 pm

Oh I so feel you about not being able to relax or focus (or sleep) while our baby is in the crib but not sleeping. My son is 6 months old, and since my husband travels for work I totally feel you about how hard it can be when a nap is missed or only 20 minutes. There have been days I’ve spent more time trying to get my son to sleep than he’s actually slept. We’re crying it out right now with awesome results, and it’s a huge relief as sleep is so incredibly important for our little ones (and us).

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Emily Malone Reply:

Casey has to do some travel too, and it is sooo hard when you know no one is coming home at the end of the day. Hang in there!

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April     at 6:26 pm

I have no words except this post cracked me up! Not in a ‘na-na-na’ way, just very cute and adorable way…i am sure Cullen gave you a nap this afternoon, right?
I can TOTALLY relate to how you feel…sometimes we just gotta laugh:)

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Emily Malone Reply:

He DID nap this afternoon. :)

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Meagan     at 6:26 pm

Emily – I am in the area, I’d love to help out if you’d like :) I wouldn’t feel bad about this post – definitely necessary for you to type it out!!

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Miranda @ Working Mom Works Out     at 6:39 pm

My son is 6 years-old, but I still remember the nap wars. It’s not that it’s the end of the world. It’s just that your entire day is thrown around and you can’t make plans or rest or go to the bathroom. Hang in there. These wars were usually accompanied by a growth spurt or a major milestone like talking, walking, etc.

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Emily Malone Reply:

YES. Glad other people understand this. I know there are much bigger problems out there, but it sucks to feel so trapped by a totally unpredictable schedule.

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Leslie     at 6:46 pm

I feel your pain! Not only do we have nap wars we have bedtime battles. We started sleep training in June (a very gentle approach) and we were nearly out of the room with her falling asleep on her own. Then she got an ear infection and then she realized that sitting up and standing in her crib instead of sleeping was more fun. Sometimes she gets so tired she sits up and then leans over and falls asleep in a semi-sitting position. At least he’s still sleeping at night for you. Our girl is touch and go, some nights she’s a champ and other nights we’re up for a couple of hours having a midnight party. Despite my haze of sleep deprivation and working full time I can’t help but think about doing it all over again! They grow too fast.

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Emily Malone Reply:

We had a hard time when C first learned to stand in the crib. It’s so much better than laying down! Eventually the novelty wears off. :) I go back and forth about #2…

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Alex @ Raw Recovery     at 6:48 pm

I don’t think you should be so hard on yourself for sharing this! I don’t think you are having a pity party and it’s your blog so you’re allowed to share what you like. Sorry to hear that Cullen is boycotting naps and eating doorstops…I hope that next week is better!

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Leah @ DeLeahLicious     at 7:02 pm

It sounds like you are feeling alone and are lacking the help you need. I am sure Casey is supportive, but it would be totally different having him at home. I know that’s how I feel when my husband is gone at work for long stretches of time. We may be married and have that special someone in our life, but when they are at home, things just seem so much better, don’t they?? Hang in there girlfriend.

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Emily Malone Reply:

Work from home days are SO MUCH BETTER.

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Emily @ Perfection Isn't Happy     at 7:05 pm

He’s just so adorable, though! But I can see how that’d be very overwhelming! I used to babysit for a 15-month-old who had no consistent nap schedule, and I’m not going to lie, it was hard(I was also 15-years-old and had no way to get home after my mom dropped me off). Her mom worked from home, and most of the time I’d end up watching TV on the couch while the baby slept, or she’d send me home, and my mom would have to come back and pick me up. So from experience, I would wait to find a sitter until you’ve figured out his new schedule (although, you sound waaayy more consistent than the family I babysat for — she’d take her one and only nap at 4pm!). With that being said, don’t be too hard on yourself, I’m sure he’s just going through a new stage!

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Molly     at 7:18 pm

I’m not sure if I have commented before but I read often and always love your blog.
I used facbook as my venting mechanism and always found the greatest comfort, and advice, after my biggest rants. I have a few thoughts that you can take or leave…
I have a 2 1/2 year old and a 14 month old. Someone might have suggested this already…but my suggestion would be to loose the morning nap. I did this with my second at about 9 months so that I could get the two to nap at the same time and get a couple hours of sanity who;e they both slept. It might be hard the first couple of days (especially with his early wake time) but I would push him through until right after lunch and then put him down. A long afternoon nap might push bed time back a little bit but I would guess that this schedule might (eventually) get him to sleep in a little later (mine get up at 7:30) too. This might also work out well with hiring help. You could have someone arrive at 11:00, give him lunch and then put him down and you could come home (or re-emerge) around 3:00 or 4:00.
Hope that helps a little. I am sure things are a bit tougher with your sister gone and Casey working so much. Whether you give yourself credit or not know that I think you are an amazing and strong momma for everything that you tackle every day! Thank you for sharing the good and the bad with us!

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Lyndsay     at 7:45 pm

I am reading your post while nursing my son before he goes to bed for the night and literally snorted at the picture of Cullen eating the door stop waking my almost sleeping baby. That’s hilarious! Luca is 9 months but isn’t that mobile yet and still generally naps.

Hopefully things will settle down again soon.

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Sheri     at 8:39 pm

Yup eating the doorstop is typical in this house too..I had to remove them! He was crawling at 5 months and is now on the road to walking I am sure. He is pretty much down to one nap a day and that is in the morning from about 10:30 until 1:00pm the afternoon nap has pretty much been pushed aside to him being to busy to settle down! Which makes for a cranky evening before bed but bedtime is at about 7:30 pm and he sleeps thru the night until 8:00am most days so I really cannot complain. But he sure does keep me busy all day! No time to sit and work on my computer that is for sure. I liked the two naps a day for my sanity but you have to go with the flow!

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Emily Malone Reply:

We have removed most of our doorstops too. :)

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Marie R     at 8:40 pm

First of all, you’re doing a great job with Cullen! Don’t let a bad day or week get you down! Just an idea, but maybe he is just adjusting to your sister recently leaving (and you might be missing her and her extra set of hands too!). Also, you need to get some relief with Casey being gone all day- don’t delay on hiring a sitter! Even if it is just once or twice a week for an hour or two, I think it will really help. Being a mommy is hard work and you need a break, especially if Casey is working long hours! My husband only works until 5 and I sometimes find myself struggling during that last half hour before he gets home if it’s been a rough day or a long week. Honestly, sometimes I schedule an appt at my gym’s day care just so I can read a magazine on the treadmill for a bit and get a shower. My son loves going and I’ve made a few mom friends there so it’s a win-win. Good luck and enjoy your weekend!

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Emily Malone Reply:

Those final hours before dads get home are touuuuugh. I often wait outside sitting in our stoop – getting some fresh air and watching for Casey’s bus. :)

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Delishhh     at 9:26 pm

I am reading this and thinking you read my mind. Ella is a great sleeper at night, but nap times. . those are up and down, and her schedule is exactly like Cullen. Except i count a good nap 2 hours. There have been times where i will stay home and not leave the house just because i want my peace and i want her to have a good nap. If we are out and about and she get’s her 30 minutes snooze in the car then forget putting her down for the 2 hour nap. She just had a power nap and ready to party. Ella is 5 1/2 months old.

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Emily Malone Reply:

I FEAR the 20 minute power nap in the car, because like you said, it kills any chance of a real nap at home. And driving does not count as a break for mamas! I am also guilty of hiding at home just to get in a few good crib naps.

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Leslie Reply:

We call these disaster naps! I have been known to sit in the car in our driveway with my daughter sleeping in her car seat (this is usually when our afternoon nap fails and we know she really needs the sleep). I surf the net or read a book on my phone. I get nothing done but I do at least get a little downtime! I thought of you this morning when we had an epic nap battle… it took an hour for her to finally lay down and go to sleep. At one point I thought about throwing in the towel but I persevered and now she is sleeping.

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Amykinz @ Foodie 4 Healing     at 9:41 pm

Welcome to Mommyhood! haha! It’s really not funny when you’re in the throws of it; I totally understand. Is it possible that he’s cutting some teeth? That ALWAYS throws off my youngest’s naps. Here’s to hoping you get some sanity breaks soon. I feel your pain.

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Emily Malone Reply:

I don’t think so – his reaction to teeth isn’t usually quite like this. But you never know!

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Adrianne Reply:

I was surprised by this as well. With the first several teeth, you wouldn’t have even known my daughter was teething. But then the next couple really affected her (and by extension, me!). I’m not sure if it was just the location of the teeth or what, but we definitely experienced some teeth that were no problem and others that were horrible, so you just never know! Don’t rule it out, in other words:)

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Elisabeth     at 12:13 am

I’m not a mommy, but I definitely feel for you, Emily! Hopefully you can get a little help so that you can have some time for yourself. Hang in there & feel free to vent on the blog whenever you need to! :)

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Marie     at 4:32 am

Amen. Emily, thank you for being my favorite blogger. You tell us the good, bad, and the very tough / challenging. It helps. I think many of us moms love to bond knowing we are not in this alone. Knowing someone else’s husband is working 12 hour days, and some else’s baby obsesses about the nasty toilet – somehow just helps. Thank you for your great work!

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Laura @FoodSnobSTL     at 5:24 am

We have all been there. You aren’t alone! You are a great mom!

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Val     at 6:01 am

Your are such a good mom! Sadly you will have days like this and they are entirely exhausting and you should efinitley write about them and not feel bad. It happens to us all and they usually coincide with husband not beign around much. I’m pretty sure kids can sense when we are at our breaking points and intentional or not, they bring out all the stops! This too shall pass….unfortunatley you’ll probably still be tired :).

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Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers     at 6:04 am

To funny!! :) I love the eating the door stopper! lol Have a great weekend!!

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Maureen     at 6:12 am

I have four kids and I can tell you this: I feel your pain, sister. I’ve been through this at one time or another with every single one of them. When my first two were little and my oldest would refuse to nap I would put them both in the car, go to a drive through for some coffee- and hit the road. I’d just drive. And even they were both still awake when we got home, I at least got a half hour of stillness where I could just sit, drink coffee, listen to NPR and get my sanity back. While it’s not the greenest solution, it was a total lifesaver. Good luck!

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Meghan     at 6:22 am

The pic of the doorstop is pretty funny! Hope you get to relax this weekend some! :)

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Maryea @ Happy Healthy Mama     at 6:24 am

Oh, Emily, I feel for you. And don’t apologize for venting. I’m glad you have this outlet!

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Julie     at 6:51 am

Hang in there! I have four boys and from what I hear boys (and in my experience) just ARE more active and get into everything. A little bit of advice: go with the flow, keep doing what you’re doing and just realize that for now, every day will be a little different – hey you won’t get bored! :)For now tell yourself to just hang on until bedtime. It’s huge that he’s going to bed around 7pm and on days that naps don’t go well, tell yourself you can make it until 7. This stage will not last forever. I know it’s hard single-parenting it. I did it too, on really rough days I promised myself a glass of wine once the kids were in bed.
You’re doing great. Keep it up and be willing to let the to-do list go out the window.

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Anne Weber-Falk     at 6:57 am

It’s not too soon for one nap a day. He’s sleeping through the night now so it’s time for an adjustment. When my son was down to one nap I scheduled it for after lunch. Yes, it was MY decision, not his. There’s nothing wrong with that. They all adjust. Sure there were times he was cranky in the morning and if he really seemed to need that extra nap he would have it. But that extra nap was never as long as it used to be. Then I knew for sure that it was time for just one nap. It was tough at first but after a short while naptime worked itself out. Everything in his mouth? I remember that! That’s how babies “read” things. It’s true. Babies are very sensory and the mouth is very keen for sensory feelings. It’ll all be fine. Just remember to breath, have a good laugh, and know that it’s okay to cry once in a while. All are a great release.

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Anne Weber-Falk     at 7:12 am

Oh, almost forgot. I think getting some help during your week is a good idea. When do you feel most like you need “some time”? For me it was always in the morning. When my husband was off for work I would go out for a nature walk or would do some window shopping or just a drive to clear the air and my take care of my sanity. I also joined a women’s group, no kids allowed, that met twice a month for a few hours each evening. We were all mom’s that left full time employment to raise our families. In the group we covered adult topics of the times. Finances, politics, the workplace, etc. We called ourselves FEMALE (Formally Employed Mothers At the Leading Edge.) I loved this group. It’s important that you get some time for you.

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cary     at 7:24 am

Bless your heart! What a struggle. It does get better, and someday, when you have to remember, it will be hard to recall all of this craziness and difficulty.
I hate that so many people would be so quick to attack your sharing that you have to disclaim your struggles. It’s okay to feel upset, hopeless, and frazzled, even in spite of worse things being out there.
You are doing a great job.
I know it’s infuriating, but that door stop picture is TOO. FUNNY!

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Rhi     at 9:40 am

OH MAN. I am there with you. My little guy just turned 9-months and all he cares about is standing and sitting up in his crib. He WILL NOT LAY DOWN. Hoping it gets better for both of us soon!

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Adrianne     at 9:56 am

I feel for you, I really do! But all I could think while reading this was…”grrrr, not fair!” Two hours in the morning and another 1.5 hrs in the afternoon?!? I think that’s pretty standard, but my girl has NEVER napped that well. I looked back over her daycare sheets and she really never took 3 consistent naps a day and then when she went to 2, they were mostly in the hour range, topping off at 1.5 hrs on a good day for ONE of them, but never both. And now, at 11 months, she is transitioning to one nap a day and so far it’s only been lasting about an hour!!! What the heck?!

And today she woke up at 5:15. Not cool! Sorry, I just totally crashed your pity party with my own:( I hope things get worked out for you soon….and for me! :) It’s a good thing these kiddos are so cute!

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megan a.     at 10:38 am

I feel for you! and welcome to parenting ;-) My oldest also walked at 9 months, and yes, you are (one of) the only mom(s) chasing around a 9 month old. My daughter terrorized the other babies in her play group by toddling over to kiss them… scared them to death apprently to see a peer on her feet ;-) I proceeded to have 3 kids in 4 years (not planned, but happily graced by fertility, even in my post-35 age category!)so I know what I speak :-) My suggestion on thenapping is that you’ve entered the “keep him awake” zone – which, yes, means you are on the run and working hard every second he is awake. Push him to stay awake till mid-day and you may get a longer napy out of him, and for sure an earlier bed-time, at least till he adjusts. Hang in there!! You are doing GREAT- keep the sense of humor, there is no recipe for parenting! and every day will continue to change, just when you see a pattern, it will change again ;-) My girl who walked at 9 months also gave up naps entirely at 16 months!
My girls are now 9, 11 and 13… All I can say is the insanity of motherhood is a beautiful thing that you will look back on fondly… They grow up so fast- embrace every second!!

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Kel     at 1:14 pm

One day you can show Cullen this post! It was funny – as long as I was not there with you.

I bet his high activity will turn into an endurance athlete. Perhaps this is what mother’s go through before they start channeling energy into it?

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Samantha     at 2:07 pm

LOL. You rant away!

Frankly it sounds totally exhausting and I would be pooped too. It is amazing to me with all the books and our adult brains how much a baby can absolutely level the average intelligent adult. :)

Babies do love those darn door stops.

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Jessica Sinclair     at 5:05 pm

I consider you lucky that you are still getting two naps a day… both my kids,one girl and one boy, both cut out their morning naps at 6 months! It’ll even out once Cullen adjusts to his new mobility and energy consumption… though I know you want to pull your hair out, be patient. roll with the punches and Cullen will figure it out… just keep offering him the option, maybe he’ll go back to napping twice a day.

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Kate     at 7:26 pm

Don’t feel bad for being frustrated- it’s allowed :) I have a feeling that he’ll eventually fall into a new routine and become more predictable- maybe he just needs a little time to adjust. Be sure to give yourself some time to adjust too, momma! Even an hour or two a week can make a huge difference! Hang in there- you’re doing great!

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Sarah G     at 7:54 pm

I only read half the comments, so sorry if this is a repeat… Regarding your idea of getting a nanny, but not sure what time to have her come. DO IT. Bring her in when YOU want a break, not when you think Cullen needs it. At my MIL’s suggestion (BLESS HER SOUL) I finally caved and got some help to come first thing every morning. I actually hired two sisters, housekeepers who love babies. One cleans my kitchen and helps with big cleaning projects while other plays with kids. If baby is asleep, then she joins me and her sister — my laundry is folded and put away, dishwasher unloaded, kitchen cleaned behind me as I cook (often your recipes :), beds made, trash taken out, floors vacuumed… all that jazz. And I feel like I don’t deserve to be as happy as I am on those days! It doesn’t matter if my kids don’t cooperate the rest of the day — at least I had that time! And you know what I do? I cook dinner. That’s all. I take 1-2 hours to cook a nice big meal for that night and then I take the rest of the day to simply enjoy being with my kids. DO IT NOW! Hire help! Anyone who can afford it should do it. And you will enjoy Cullen just a little bit more when you have some scheduled time to yourself.

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Susan Fine     at 11:05 pm

You could hire a sleep expert… Soho Parenting in NYC is great, and they do phone conferencing. They will give you tons of ideas and also make you feel fine about these struggles (while helping you resolve them). There may well be something like Soho Parenting in Seattle. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he is ready for one nap — the two are consolidating — and that something like 12-3 might work. I also think that hiring good help is essential. It takes a village! My children love sitters, and we have had many over the eleven years that we’ve been parenting so far. I try to hire bright, energetic sitters who are ready to run around and seriously play with my two lively boys — they do tons of active things w the kids and have also have written books w them, read to them constantly, play boardgames, build w blocks, legos, etc. In hiring them, I approach the process just as I have at work, doing phone interviews with good questions, checking references, etc. You should have lots of good options in the Seattle area. I think one of the big challenges is to be clear about expectations re phone and texting, but it’s quite possible to find excellent people who will do the job wonderfully. We have also tried to pay as well as we can, which has worked well, and sitters have tended to stay w us for years. They become part of the family, and we stay in touch when they or we have moved away. And kids can learn so much from discovering that lots of different adults will love and care for them.

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Hilary     at 4:26 am

My son transitioned to one nap a day very early. And now at 26 mo, he takes a nap about twice a week. It’s hard! But with a 2 month old as well, we had to drop that nap so we could get him to bed early. And he sleeps through the night like a champ most of the time. I think it takes them a while to get used to the new sleeping schedule. Once they do, the become less cranky :)

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Liz     at 5:52 am

I hope it gets better soon! I always noticed that their naps suffered when they were learning a new skill, like walking. Hopefully, he’ll get back to his routine soon.
Also, I would try putting him down less than 2 hours after he wakes up in the morning. So if he wakes up at 6, then try a morning nap at 8. I know it seems nuts, but maybe that will help. Good luck and you will get through this.

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Mari     at 10:46 am

As always, just LOVE reading your stories!!!!

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Jenny     at 12:11 pm

One nap is really great once you get used to it! The one nap was always longer than one nap. I loved the daily freedom. You are doing great and he is adorable. It is frustrating when you are on your own most of the day. I have been there. Finding a babysitter or college student is a huge help. Even if they come when he is napping it gives you freedom! When I did that I felt such freedom even if it was to sleep, clean, exercise just to know I would have that time for sure.

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Ellen     at 2:20 pm

Wow, Emily, hire someone. I can’t believe you’ve gone this long without getting some help. Don’t feel guilty about wanting and needing some time. A work day from 6:00am to 7:00pm is a LONG day! Unfotunately, around 10 months my baby stopped having his second nap.

Try and keep perspective. Know this is only a stage and hopefully it will be short lived.

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OliePants     at 3:09 pm

We are going through something similar. We are sure it’s his teething (which is happening all at once it seems) and the 8-9 month old sleep regression? Really ours are just guesses which is all we can do at this point. His sleep has become so erratic and we are happy when naps for just 30 minutes the two times. And that seems to be inconsistent now too. I completely understand what you mean about those times for your sanity. I think now how wonderful those three hour naps were when he was younger.

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Jen     at 5:42 pm

I wish you never moved away. Then I promise you wouldn’t be the only mom chasing your crazy, active boy in circles. Hang in there! <3

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Anna H     at 6:30 pm

Hi, Emily!
I have a daughter that is Cullen’s age and my life sounds just like yours! I am asking myself all the same questions and going through all the same things as you. I’m sorry it’s so stressful sometimes, but just know that you’re not alone and you’re doing great!
I did one thing that has made my life so much easier and that was Babywise sleep training. Although, it sounds like you are doing the same things at naptime that Babywise says to do! You’re a great mother and try not to get too discouraged! Just remember, you do need some help sometimes, and some Mommy time, too!

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Julia     at 7:34 pm

I recommend baby gates. Also, try moving his afternoon nap down a couple hours to somewhere between 11 a.m.-1p.m. maybe? One of my friends has a super gate, which is a giant pen of sorts. It lets the baby feel like he’s with you while he’s safely contained. If you train Cullen on periods of time in the playpen he’ll get used to it. You can do two periods of time a day so you can get other things done. Don’t worry about perspective, no one who’s been through it can blame you for feeling the way you do. We’ve all felt the same way.

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Erin     at 9:01 pm

I had to laugh the day I read this post, since as I was reading it, my 18-month-old was having a no nap day, and screaming in his crib. You are generous to share your experiences so publicly – I really enjoy following your food and family.

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Jennifer     at 10:22 pm

As a nanny, the best advice I can give is just let him cry for a while (like it seems you are doing!) and use that time as your break. He is totally safe in his crib, so no worries! It’s awesome to have a video baby momnitor, I wish the babies I nannied had one! He may be teething again? Cullen is such a cutie :) and you are such a caring mother!! He’s very lucky!!

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Annie     at 7:28 am

Perhaps he needs a “real food” snack before his morning and afternoon naps. Once my little one started walking, I noticed he needed like a half banana or berries + a small bottle of milk before each nap to keep his belly full. Either way, hang in there!! You’re doing great! :-)

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Ashley     at 8:36 am

You are not alone!!!! Hang in there!!!! And thank you SOOO much for this post! It not only helps you to vent but it also helps other mamas way more than you know (including me!)

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Julie     at 9:08 am

Hi Emily,

I hope you don’t think I’m being insensitive, but this post totally cracked me up! Cullen is just too cute for words! Sounds like he’s all boy! :) Your sister left too soon, huh? Hang it there; it will get better.

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Sam     at 9:48 am

No worries! My son is the same way. At get-togethers, I am always the only mom chasing her (wonderful but exhausting) little guy around.

We went through nap wars, too. My little guy dropped down to one nap around a year old (coincidentally when he started walking), so you may already be at that point. Play with the naps a bit and see what happens.

I totally sympathize with you on depending on those naps to maintain your sanity. I wanted to cry when we dropped that second nap because naps are literally the only breaks we get from non-stop activity all. day. long, but we survived.

Good luck. :)

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shannon (the daily balance)     at 10:52 am

completely understand what you are going through, my dear. as a mama who is STILL trying to figure out sleep (it never ends, I tell you), here’s my take.

I have a very active 18 month old. Around Cullen’s age, Sawyer started “nap wars,” as well. I wasn’t as lucky with sleeping through the night (that didn’t come till 12 months), but he would have a few rare days with NO nap and then days where he would give me 45 minutes in the morning and maybe an hour in the afternoon.

It was like this for a good month or two before I was able to formally make the switch to one nap.

It wasn’t overnight, but a slow progression. I would keep him as active as possible in the morning, feed him an early lunch and then put him down for a nap. Most times, this worked like a charm, allowing him to nap for about 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Other times, it failed miserably.

We are now in a place where he takes one solid nap. Occasionally he’ll nod off in the morning to and from an activity. In this case, I actually wake him up after 10 minutes. If I let him sleep any longer, he won’t take an afternoon nap at all. And then want to go to bed at 5:30/6:00!

My struggle now is that he wants to wake up between 4:30- and 5:00 a.m. every morning. I kid you not. From what I’ve read (and I’ve spent HOURS researching), I believe we have a little lark on our hands and despite tons of trial and error, this will likely be my world for the next year or so. With careful calculation and getting his schedule down to an art, I am able to get him to sleep until 5:30ish and when god REALLY loves me, I get blessed with a 6:00 wake up.

What I would give to sleep in till 6 consistently.

It truly seems that as soon as one issue is resolved another pops up! My biggest advice to you would be to try and not get too worked up over it (I do), because as soon as you think you have a handle on it, it all changes. And keep a sense of humour (which it seem you do!). I will say, we’re only a few months ahead over here, but it truly goes by SO fast. They’ll be in their big boy beds before we know it!

p.s. sorry for the novel :)

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Kathy     at 12:19 pm

I can laugh because I’ve been there and done that and now I’m onto doing it again with the grandbaby. Though at the time I KNOW it is not funny. I spent many a day crying with my own two. And with a 3 yr old grandson, it doesn’t get better, sorry to say. They are just downright unpredictable. And BUSY!!! When my grandson leaves, I am totally exhausted beyond words. And as you say, he could care less about the toys and only wants what he is not allowed to have. My grandson naps “sometimes” – depends on how much sleep he has gotten or what he has been doing that day. Sometimes I will lay down beside him and tell him to sleep. If he sees me in the room, sometimes it helps. When he falls asleep I leave. Doesn’t always work though. The whole thing can be completely overwhelming, but the good days tend to make up for all the insanity. Some day it will get better. May be awhile, but at least every day isn’t like that. The door stop picture is hysterical. He’s just too cute to stay irritated with!!!

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Meg     at 12:22 pm

Emily, the picture of Cullen eating the door stopper just made me laugh. My daughter did the same thing. Don’t worry…babies learn eventually not to put everything in their mouths. As far as naps go, they usually drop the morning nap around this time, so maybe he just needs to adjust to an afternoon nap. You’ll be fine!

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Katie @ Pop Culture Cuisine     at 5:32 pm

I know I’m a little late to this party, but I completely feel for you. While we haven’t really been dealing with nap wars per se, I have an 11 m.o. who still needs 2-3 naps a day or we are in a total meltdown period all day. That being said, now that she is moving around constantly every moment she is awake, I find I am constantly chasing her and trying to prevent her from putting everything (most of it disgusting) into her mouth. I am way more exhausted and have way less time than I did when she was first born. And although I am loving each day more and getting to have real interaction with her, I also find I have more meltdowns myself too, I think that just comes with motherhood. It will get better for us all, I’m sure of it :)

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LoriV.     at 6:34 pm

I would go down to the afternoon nap and put him to bed later at night, say 8:00. He will have more time with Casey this way, too, and that’s important. Cullen will hopefully sleep later in the morning after going to bed later. And even though you might think you’ll miss that morning nap, you’ll probably feel more independence at knowing the morning is free and you can have play dates, runs errands, etc.

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Allie     at 10:25 pm

You might have already gotten this advice… Didn’t read through all the previous comments… But you are just going to have to go ahead an hire someone. No matter what you do, they will end up getting some days when he naps while they a there. As a nanny, the mothers who keep trying to change my schedule based on their babies napping schedule drive me crazy! I end up with the same amount of sleeping time no matter how they change my schedule! So just give in and hire someone so you have a break! Just ask them to do dishes/laundry/etc around the house for when Cullen does nap. They will get sleeping hours but they will also get the non stop screaming inconsolable hours as well :)

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Emily Malone Reply:

That is the plan!

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Steph     at 5:14 am

My son is 10 months old, so i totally feel your pain here, he was into everything before we put baby gates up, which saved us all. i know how tough it is to get things done, but i also hope you know how unbelievably lucky you are that you get to stay home. i would give ANYTHING to make that work for us, and the constant guilt i feel for having to leave him 5 days a week KILLS me. i love reading your blog and hearing about all the things we both go through, but reading this brought me to tears, bc i want so badly to be home with him to see all the new things hes doing daily, instead of hearing about them through others. i just hope you truly know how incredibly blessed you are to be able to have those experiences for yourself.

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Emily Malone Reply:

I definitely know how lucky I am, and I feel like I try to make that clear here pretty often (without becoming redundant). I am sorry you are having such a tough time. :(

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Daily Garnish » Blog Archive » 10 Months.     at 8:44 pm

[...] mentioned this in a previous post, but he has no interest in most of his toys anymore.  The only ones that he thinks are fun are [...]

OMG     at 4:44 am

Seriously! Enough complaining about your perfect life. You don’t have to work and your job is to raise your son. Try working full-time, having a husband gone on business throughout the week and having no family in a 2,000 mile radius. You are being selfish and just want time to run. Bring your sister back.

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Emily Malone Reply:

Omg, come on. Whether you respect it or not, I DO actually work. This blog generates an income from advertising, and I have several other regular outside projects. I write for other sites with real deadlines, goals, expectations, etc. It is absolutely work, and I don’t need to justify it to you. And for what it’s worth, my husband also travels for work and my family lives 3,000 miles away. I’m sorry you are clearly very unhappy in your own situation, and I wish you the best in raising your child. It’s too bad you are using your time to attack other moms instead of finding moms to lean on for support.

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Susan Bee Reply:

Wow, someone says something you don’t like you’re immediately attacking them. Unhappy in her own situation? I hear this person explain her life-situation, but don’t hear any complaints. It sounds to me like she’s telling your her reality and, even though it’s probably not perfect, she’s dealing with it…that’s what you need to do. I only came across your a few hours ago and already I’ve seen two different days where you’re having a “pity party”….one time where you got lost going to a party and the other where you can’t seem to get your kid to follow your schedule. I noticed you said you write for other sites with “real deadlines”….so this blog has no deadlines, then drop it, pay attention to your child, he’s only got one childhood, don’t take that away from him. Put your energy towards learning how to cope with the challenges that are thrown your way every day, the same challenges most of us consider normal.

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Emily Malone Reply:

I don’t feel like I attacked her, although I did feel a bit attacked myself. You just found the blog, so you’re basing your opinion off a few posts, which is fine. I encourage you to look around a bit more, and hopefully see that I am most definitely appreciating my son’s childhood. I don’t remember ever writing about getting lost going to a party, but I have to imagine that was at least a year ago.

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Shaunna@mamas13minutemile     at 2:10 pm

Hang in there girl! Feeling for you for sure :)

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Meredith     at 12:11 pm

Hi there, this is an older post and you’re probably onto other things but I wanted to thank you for your honest thoughts. I can relate to everything here, and I really needed this today.
Many thanks!

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Emily Malone Reply:

Hope your little one is sleeping well today! :)

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