Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Sleep schedules

We’ve been pretty lucky in not having many issues with sleep, besides difficulty with daytime naps until River started to walk. But every so often, River's schedule changes a bit and we wonder, Is this normal?

For a long time now, he’s been going to bed at 8/8:30 and getting up between 7:30 and 8. But recently, he’s been happily chatting to himself in bed for up to two hours after we put him down. And sometimes he’s getting up as early as 6:30.

Several friends who have experienced sleep problems with their children recommended the SleepyPlanet website for guidance and assistance. In the process of passing on those suggestions to a sleep-deprived friend and parent of a 4-month old, I found this sleep schedule on their site. It's pretty much in line with what we’ve experienced, especially at night, and I think the sleep has been a big factor in his generally cheerful, easy-going disposition.

It’s interesting to see that going forward, we should prepare ourselves for earlier wakeups (in the 6:30-7 range). And that perhaps we should make more of an effort to have him in bed by 8 (it’s often 8:30, especially when he has napped 3 hours until 6 p.m.).

I was also glad to see the recommendation that children not be moved from a crib to a bed before age 3, unless they are climbing out of the crib. My instinct was to keep him in the crib as long as possible. For me, the main reason to move him will be when he is capable of pulling down his pants and going potty on his own. At that point, I wouldn’t want to prevent him being able to go. But until then, I think the crib provides safety, security and comfort, and minimizes distractions and entertainment that could detract from sleep.

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