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I remember when a friend didn't come to my son's first birthday party because it would interfere with her toddler's naptime. I thought it was the lamest and most inflexible excuse in the world. But when you're really counting on your kids getting their proper rest and not driving you batty, you may find yourself turning down some invitations. It was really convenient for me—I kept being invited to family things at 5:30, which used to be my son's late napping time, and not disrupting his schedule was a modestly more acceptable excuse than "But I don't want to drive an hour each way just to see you people." If the invitation's tempting enough, you'll screw with those babies' schedules in a second. Not such a fun party? Stay home with the kids.

Remember "The Girlfriend's Guide to ___" books? We totally have to get working on "The Asshole's Guide to Parenting."

Babies are purpose-built to be part of nomadic culture. I used to go fishing with my daughter sleeping or burbling against my chest. She's too big for that now, but we've got another on the way.


You can either do what you are doing and just figure out how to work in their schedule, but even though you have a pretty decent schedule (we do too) that every now and then they wake up earlier or the blessed LATER and then it's a little off, or on weekends you have to go shopping or something and then they're also a little off.

They're rather good at adjusting for a day or two, sleeping in different beds, eating different foods.

I'll never EVER forget the stupid typed out schedule my brother's girlfriend had for their baby, even with diaper changes on it. And a WEEK later I went to their house and there were about 30 billion written in and crossed out changes. NO ONE needs to be on a schedule that strict.

I am a schedule NUT, so heaven help the person who screws with ours! HAHA

Actually, with #2 I have learned that they are pretty resilient creatures. They'll bounce back to their regularly scheduled program sooner than you will!

I remember thinking that my sister in law was completely nuts for scheduling everything around her baby/toddler schedule. Then I had mine. Now I completely understand. Our house motto is "don't mess with nap/bed time!"

Of course, we do mess with it, fairly often, but there's always a balancing of whether the activity in question is worth the possibility of a cranky overtired child; a nap delayed or taken in the car is basically a nap missed for my daughter. I do find my second child is a lot more flexible than the first; not sure if that's temperament or birth order at work. I've also discovered the hard way how important it is to have snacks available for them; they simply can't wait to eat for long.

I will say it gets easier when they make the switch to one nap a day. Suddenly you'll have a morning time that's free and an afternoon/early evening time, too.

I'm with the poster who says to pick and choose when to stay home for naps and when to go to a party/event based on how much you want to be at the party. You can always leave the party if the babes get too cranky but sometimes they really have fun (as do you because other people watch the kids while you socialize) and then they go to sleep the second you put them in the car. Worst case they will be cranky and have 1 or 2 bad nights but if the party is good enough it's worth it. If the host/hostess are boors or just boring you can gracefully decline the invite.

I have exactly the same problem. On weekends when the babes are home with me i hesitate to take them anywhere b/c they will invariable miss something... either a nap, or, a feeding of solids or playtime, or whatever.
I just go with the flow and only do things i really want to do and see people i really want to see. My girlfriend is so anal retentive about not messing with her son's schedule she actually scheduled his 1 year birthday party around his naptime so we all had to have lunch at 11:00 a.m. and be out the door by 12:30 so that the baby prince could go lie down!

I used to be really critical of THOSE MOMS who were so anal about nap/bed times. I said my kids would be soooo easy and I'd take them along and they'd nap in the car, or fall asleep on the floor.....

Ha. ha.

Then I had colicboy. Who even my mother threw up her hands and admitted "you kids were never like this about sleep". I mean, God Forbid I miss a nap or bedtime with this one as a baby. It would be up all night screaming in horrible fits, the kind of screaming those AP moms assume we all listen to for hours when we do CIO. That kind of screaming. And it wouldn't just last one night. Nope. Two or even 3 nights to get back on track. Hardly anything at all was worth that. Maybe 1 or 2 things his entire first 18 months of life.

Now that he's 2.5 years, he can occasionally miss his nap, or go to bed an hour later without having screaming fits. He will, invariably, have a bad night in which I must go in and give him a milk sippy cup at some point and then sternly tell him to shush and sleep. He will wake up several times and I will have to listen to him moan/sing/talk/cry for at least 20 min each time before he goes back down. However, it only lasts one night and then we are back on track.

It's really about the kids. If you have a colicboy, or an Adam, you turn into the ANAL MOM. If you have a Kate or similar, you are the mom who can let her kid just crash in the car.

I can completely understand you not wanting to rock the boat! However, when we go do something special, like a friend's BBQ, going to Grandma and Grandpa's etc, they are much more flexible. They are entertained by the new people, the new place, and all. So, they may be able to be tweaked in their napping a bit. Good luck!

I have always been a fly by the seat of my pants kind of girl...but my husband relies more on routine. Partly because of this, and more because it seems to work for our son, we try as much as possible to keep him to a set routine. He wakes when he feels like it, (usually between 6-7 lately), breakfast, playtime/tv, snack, playtime, lunch, nap (usually 1.5 - 2 hours), snack, playtime, dinner, bath, pajamas, stories/brush teeth, in bed by 7:30 - 8:00. (He will be 21 months on Monday)

I'm so tempted sometimes to just pick up and go shopping, etc...but we pay a price if he doesn't get his nap (and it's a 1/2 hour drive each way to any good stores here). I can definitely relate to your temptation to just stay home though, since I give in to that more often than not. But it did get a little better once he transitioned to one nap instead of two (not long after he turned 1 year)...so you do have that to look forward to! :)

Just chiming in again to say DITTO to colicmommy! I think that unless you have a colicboy, or an Adam, or a Christopher in my case, it's easy to think that parents who stick to a schedule are just being anal (though Nopenname's brother's girlfriend sure sounds like she is :).

I only wish that our next (crossing fingers) child will be as portable as TC's. :)

We have fairly flexible babies. Their naptimes are different every single day, no matter what we do. So excepting taking them out around 11am-12pm, anything pretty much goes. If you stay home, they might be awake anyway. They do tend to sleep in the middle of the day, though, and if they don't, my they are cranky later on. If we really need to go somewhere, though, we just do it. They are easy to get back on schedule. I know not all babies are like that.

Most people who think you are crazy will be parents of singletons. We never went ANYWHERE that would disrupt our twins' routine. Just too much chance for too many meltdowns. And what people with singletons NEVER understand is that when you are out with twins, no one gets a break. Mom AND Dad are both on duty the whole time.

And yes, I have a singleton so I know whereof I speak. We take her everywhere with no worries. Luckily the twins are past that stage where they need a nap and everything on schedule.

I was the opposite with my Twins.. very flexible! I never really had a routine to speak to.. I demand fed, slept and played. Whatever they wanted, when they wanted it. I was lucky, they were VERY laid back babies!

I have never driven, so we walked everywhere, Twins in their huge stroller. If they started to get fussy, I fed them.. wherever we were. They would sleep in their stroller, and, when they were awake, they loved the interaction with other people.. Twins get ALOT of attention!

It was harder when they were very little, they are so dependent upon their needs being fulfilled, but as they hit 3 months +, we were off!

We now have another baby due, in March.. one this time, and he/she will have to be even more flexible than Ned and Cecilia were as little ones!

Ive never been a routine person, even now we are all very relaxed about when things happen. There is a rough schedule. The Twins are in preschool 2 days a week, and they are my killer days! Strict timetables to meet, I hate it! In 2007 they will be at school, and then Ill have to re-adjust how I live my life completely! But for the moment, Hubby and I like a more relaxed Family life.

You remember the outings you had with your Babies when they were little, the fun days of doing completely different things. They never suffer from losing sleep, or breaking routine, and always have a great time being adored, or seeing new things. I think its great to expose them to completely 'new' days, too.. days where the routine is out the window! It makes their little minds work overtime.. lots of new stimulus. And creates great memories for your family.


I think a lot of flexibility/scheduling issues come down to how much the parents can stand. The baby tends to be fine but I feel like I am dying a slow death on one of her off days. We have been traveling alot with our daughter (7 months today!) and she is always in a great mood no matter what the situation. Truly an amazing little traveler. HOWEVER, once she gets off schedule, we cannot get her back to sleep. She is too excited or something. And once you know that missing an afternoon nap also means getting up 5 or 6 times during the night, you do start making harsh choices about what social events are worth it, and which ones don't make the cut. I can only imagine how hellish it can get when you have twins.

I chose to put my life on hold a bit when my kids where little to keep them in routine. I mean really it is such a short amount of time in the big picture. Now my youngest is two i am far more flexible.

Hi Tertia, I was just thinking the same thing about my Charlie (8 months old yesterday). Between his morning nap and afternoon nap, it seems like there is never a good time to go anywhere or do anything. But without those naps, he is a PITA, so I really hesitate to mess with them. I am starting to notice, though, that both naps are getting shorter. I think it is just a few months more until he will be out of the morning nap entirely, which will free up most of the morning and early afternoon.

For the most part, I keep him on his schedule, but if something cool comes up, I blow off one of the naps but not both, and I make sure not to do that more than once in a while.

Before we know it, these kids won't be napping at all and we'll be wishing they would!!

Colicmommy speaks for me. I was DEFINITELY going to be the parent whose kid could sleep anywhere, anytime. Then I met my kid. HA.

I'm lucky in that he will nap in the car, so if I can plan to have one leg or the other of the drive hit at naptime and I don't mind driving around aimlessly for a while, I can get out with him. But there's never been anything I wanted to do enough to actually intentionally skip a nap. (The accidental times have been WAY more than enough.)

He's nearly a year old, and I'm very much looking forward to the day he goes to one nap!

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