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  1. Doing the same thing every day may be boring to grown-ups, but for toddlers predictable routines lower stress, increase confidence and even make them feel smarter.

    Routines give little children a sense of security, a feeling of being smart and a sense of time. And they’re important for toddlers at every stage! I want to suggest you one of the best child specialist in India. Dr. Dinesh Singhal is the best child vaccination in Delhi

    • Janelle Reid says:

      @Dr. Dinesh – Thank you for stopping by and for your comment!

  2. Debbye says:

    @ Mahua Mandal- I work from home too, and do find that i feel a bit lonely or “out of touch” because of my 15 month old who NEEDS consistent and rigid schedules. I try to get out when I know he will not fall asleep in the car, in between naps, and in between work. On those days that travel or outings during naptime is inevitable, will put him to bed a little earlier to make up for a short nap in the car.

    @ Whitney- Thanks for sharing, and I have dealt with the same thing with my family! 4th of July warranted many comments from party goers scoffing at us leaving the party at 7:30, but even 30 minutes past bedtime means my little one will not sleep easily!

    @ Kathy- At least the comments are unvoiced in your circle! 🙂
    Yoe are obviously NOT alone in needing to stick to schedules, and in the end i think it pays off for all of us!!!

  3. Kathy says:

    These comments were great to read. My 2 1/2 year-old son is on a fairly fixed sleep schedule (although bedtime has been getting later and later the past 2-3 weeks) and I KNOW that there have been unvoiced thoughts from people (friends, family, co-workers) about how rigid I am with it, but he is just a nightmare if he gets overtired. However, it works. He sleeps through the night and has yet to skip a nap (it’s coming soon, I’m sure of it) while many of my friends who are far more flexible about sleep are still up at night and/or wondering if their two-year-olds are already dropping their naps. I was also recently at a party when two kids (4-6) arrived after my son left to go home and sleep. They were totally spun-up and so tired they were falling over themselves. On a few special occasions I’ve let him stay up late (or hoped that he’d fall asleep in the car), however, I have yet to find one that warrants the pain that is inflicted on us the next day, so more and more often, we just leave early. It’s only a few more years (unless we decide to go for number 2).

  4. Whitney says:

    Ugh, I just got back from a vacation with my in-laws, and this is one of my big battles! They are of the philosophy that children should not change their parents’ schedules or lifestyle. They take out young children and keep them up until their heads fall with tiredness. I’m talking about starting dinner at 8:15 pm, 2.5 year olds up until 1 am on a regular basis. The 2.5 year old was a wreck much of the time, clearly tired and constantly crying. Our 3.5 year old is in the process of dropping naps and fighting sleep. He is inconsistent and when in this kind of environment, gets less and less sleep. We were more lax on this vacation this time around so that he could enjoy his cousins (he rarely has time with them). His behavior suffered incredibly, and he is an overtired mess! I can’t wait to get him back to a schedule. Dropping from 1 to 0 naps is rough, though!!

    I know I am criticized by this family for being “rigid” as I never made it to the dinner because I was in the room with my sleeping child/ren (the 9 month old down by 7:30 each night). I am still rigid with my 9 month old, which means sleeping in a quiet, dark room for naps, usually about 2 hours after he wakes up, but watching tired signs. The trip involved two travel days where he had to nap on the go, and it was pretty disastrous! However, he does quite well sleeping in an ergo carrier with a nursing cover over the top to block out light and the white noise application on my iphone blasting in his ears!

    In their case, it’s not only the parents who have to deal with the consequences of the lack of napping or having any sort of consistent sleep time. Everyone around the crying child also has to deal with it (oh, did I mention they are also of the philosophy of ignoring crying children?)!

    Anyway, thanks for this post.

    • Andrea says:

      Whitney- what you are doing is completely right. You are the parent and you are the one loosing sleep and your hair over cranky children that won’t sleep and cry if they are overtired. If I were you I would choose not to fight the battle at all since my sanity and the well being of my children trumps everything else and I would not travel with the in-laws. Reality is harsh but parenting is harder. What your in-laws think-that’s their problem. Do what’s best for you and your kids. Bravo mama.

  5. Mahua Mandal says:

    I am also fairly rigid with my 11 month old – not that he has to go down at the exact same time for his two naps and at bedtime every single day, but he needs to get down for them within a small window of time (generally 15 minutes). He really cannot miss even one nap – he starts screaming and crying and is a real mess. I am that Mom who misses numerous get-togethers and turns down many invitations. At this point I’ve stopped trying to explain, “Well, if he misses his nap, the rest of the day is shot, and then I’ll be up a lot in the night. No, he won’t sleep at the party. No, if he does fall asleep in the car (IF) it’s actually worse because he’ll wake up as soon as we get home (or before) and won’t fall back asleep, but also won’t be refreshed….” and on and on. I would love to hear from other work-at-home Moms (including Nicole) who are in the same boat regarding having to stay home for all (or the majority of) naps – what do you go to get out of the house a little bit? I find that after weeks of being really dedicated to my son’s sleep schedule (b/c he needs it, but also b/c – in the end – it’s easier on the whole family) I start getting stir-crazy and sluggish (and a bit depressed). Any tips on saving your sanity? My son *finally* got on a schedule of 3 naps at 7 months and transitioned to 2 naps at 9 1/2 months – so I’d be surprised if he transitions to 1 nap any time soon!

  6. Claudette says:

    My 4 year old has been on a rigid schedule since he was 6 months old (with adaptations along the way). If we did not follow the schedule then he was more likely to wake up in the middle of the night for 2-3 hours at one time or to wake up before 5 am. We are now trying to figure out a schedule for our 7 month old son and so far he has the early bedtime of 7 pm (starting the routine by 6:15 pm). I come from a large family (6 siblings) and all of them cannot believe how rigid we are – even the ones with children. I can often tell that their children are overtired with unnecessary tantrums etc. and yet our boys are very content. They don’t seem to get it and the family often joke that all the family events are based on our boys schedules. Our family get togethers used to be dinner at 7, but since our first son came along dinner is at 5 so we can be out of there by 6:30 at the latest. I have to admit that I am very tired of hearing the comments from both sides of the family but I would rather have a well rested and well behaved child then stick around to hear their children burn out and the parents start to loose patience.

  7. Marcia says:

    @Renae: It was basically trial and error. My daughter was 8-9 months old before I had figured out what times she tended to get tired and just started putting her down at about those same times. It was a fight initially but eventually she actually started napping when put down without too much of a fight. The tough part is just when we got it figured out, she got older and her napping habits changed. Even though we are on a “rigid” schedule, she doesn’t always nap at the same times still and we still have to cancel plans because of her being tired and melting down.

  8. Vivienne says:

    @Renae: I have NO idea! All I wanted was for the child to sleep longer than 20 minutes at a time and he fell into this. But to get him to do that I had to get him to fall asleep during the day without nursing him. that meant some tears for a few days and a very strungout mommy but then he just fell into a routine (it’s not by the clock, it’s based on wake up time. So when he wakes up in the morning, I know what time he’ll be napping and can plan my day. it’s a 30 min-45 min swing)
    and can I just say–those are the worst tired signs ever!! it should be against baby-law to do that to a parent!! 🙂 good luck

  9. Renae says:

    Ohh I would LOVE love LOVE to have my 8 month old on a rigid schedule, it would make appointments and visits so much easier, I am tired of cancelling things because my little man needs to nap. He has two naps a day and I have tried and tried to get him into a schedule but he is the type of baby that if I put him down even 15 mins late then he becomes overtired quickly and will only do a 20-30min cat nap before waking up even more tired. So to try and get him into a schedule I was keeping him awake till the next scheduled nap but this meant that the second sleep was also a little catnap. After days of this I end up with a very overtired and wired baby in my house. So for me I just have to go with what he wants which means I spend all day trying to workout tired signs (which by the way are smiling, laughing and babbling loudly…very hard for me to determine). This morning he was only up for an hour and a half before going down for his first nap! So tell me friends on a rigid schedule…how on earth did you do it?

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