|Our 2.5-year-old teenager at 11 a.m. on a Tuesday.|
That's right, hell has completely frozen over. But let me explain...
We have a fantastic sleeper (not trying to rub it in, but... we do). Recently, Linna's been taking a 2-3 hour nap around 3 p.m., and she sleeps in until about 10 a.m. Yes, she is our dream child. However, with this long, late, afternoon nap, came a late (very late) bedtime. For the past few months, we haven't been starting Linna's bedtime routine until about 10 p.m., and she usually doesn't fall asleep until 11 p.m. (sometimes later).
*** SIDE NOTE: I now know what it's like to be "THAT" parent... The parent who is judged by other parents for having a toddler out after 10 p.m. It's cool though, judgers. I just smile, knowing we'll be sleeping in on Saturday until 10 a.m. :)
This late bedtime-routine has worked for our little family of three. Papa Saigh doesn't get home from work until after 7:30 p.m., and since he leaves for work in the morning LONG before Linna wakes up, Linna's long afternoon nap and late bedtime gave the two of them some quality time together. This sleep schedule also gave us the flexibility to go out for dinners as a family, without the dreaded toddler-meltdown at 6 p.m. However, Linna's long afternoon naps and late bedtime, mean NO peace and quiet for me and my husband at night. So, in the last couple weeks we decided to drop Linna's afternoon nap. Dun, dun, duuuuuuuuun.
While I miss my quiet, late afternoons when Linna used to nap, I now get to experience these hours of peace and quiet with my husband. Linna's bedtime is now 7/7:30 p.m., and she is OUT by the time her head hits the pillow. The hardest part about even considering dropping Linna's afternoon nap, was the thought of "losing" my late-morning sleeper (I know, I know... we have it SO rough. I promise I don't hate you for secretly hoping our next kid is an awful sleeper). BUT, Linna is still sleeping until 9 or 10 a.m.
We're now about two weeks into the dropped afternoon nap routine, and it's working for all three of us. I know my husband loves spending time with Linna after work, but let's be real... he wants some quiet down-time too. He's trying his best to get home before 7:30 p.m., so he can at least read a book to Linna and say goodnight. I think this routine makes him more excited about taking Linna out on "father/daughter dates" on the weekend.
Since we ARE horribly selfish parents, we still have Linna take an afternoon nap if we want to go out for dinner, or do something as a family later in the evening. She's a pretty flexible kid, and still loves her sleep (she's like a 2.5-year-old teenager). As long as she's getting enough sleep (11 to 14 hours is recommended at this age) to function without a million meltdowns during the day, everyone is happy.