I think it was around May or so, when the babies were around six months, that their nice schedule of 3-4 45 minute naps a day dissolved. What was good was they started occasionally taking longer naps, sometimes an hour, sometimes an hour and a half, and very occasionally two hours. What was bad was that there was no rhyme or reason to the naps. Even worse was that the naps almost never occurred fully at the same time.
They started waking up earlier too, around 6-630 (instead of 7-730). They would take a 45 minute nap around 830 or 9, eat at 10, sleep for an hour or more sometime after that, eat at 1pm, take a nap sometime in the afternoon for an hour to hour and a half, eat around 4 (sometimes they would sleep through and eat later), sometimes a short nap around 5, and last bottle at 630.
So they were still eating every three hours or so, but I started to notice that those naps overlapped feeding times often enough. So for the last month or so (?) I’ve been doing more of a ‘demand’ feeding time frame–basically waiting for them to start getting cranky and clearly hungry. Interestingly there was flexibility in the two afternoon feedings but not the others. No matter when they had the second to last bottle, at 630 or so they always get super upset and hungry and needing dinner.
Also, the fourth mini-nap became even more important. If they didn’t get enough rest, the last two hours of the day were always rough because they were so tired/cranky. I would try to put them down around 5pm for a little catnap, but most of the time they refused to sleep.
It was nice to occasionally have a long quiet time by myself (on the days I was home with them), but we were also trapped at home. During the week I didn’t bother trying to even plan outings because of the erratic nap schedule. On weekends, we’ve still been doing at least one outing after their lunch bottle, even though it often interrupts or prevents naps.
Last week the babies suddenly decided that they wanted some regularity again and put themselves on a new schedule. It’s also nice because there are big windows to do regularly scheduled ‘meals’ of solids.
Wake up: 6/630
Breakfast solids: 8ish
Second bottle: 930ish
Morning Nap: 10ish-11ish (sometimes an hour and a half)
Lunch solids: 12ish
Lunch bottle: 130ish
Afternoon Nap: 2ish-4ish
“Snack” bottle: 430
Dinner solids: 530
Dinner bottle: 630
Two naps a day! And they’re back to being mostly simultaneous. Sometimes there’s an overlap; one will go down up to half an hour after the other one. And it seems like one or both of them have been waking up a little bit/for a little while during the afternoon nap.
Two to four pm had been our ‘outing time’ for the last number of months, and now that will need to change a bit, I think. Since that’s now such a major nap for the day we should keep it as sacred as possible. We’ll have to use the 11am-2pm window to get out and about, which also means they’ll have to eat while out and about, which is not easy or fun or quick.
Again, this all happened last week. So I’m hoping that A) it sticks and B) those little pips get ironed out. Already I like looking at the day knowing what’s going to happen. I hope to start getting out a little more, for walks and maybe some playdates again.