1 June 2009

Crashed out afternoons

Yes, that topic again. We are all so HORRIBLE just after lunch. The children are tired and whiney. I am tired and grumpy. But I can't get my head around what to do about it!!

This is what I've tried:
- Having lunch early, playing outside and then coming in for a snack before nap.
- Having wind-down time with a story followed by nap.
- Having outdoor time THEN wind-down time followed by nap.
- Drinking chamomile tea with honey.
- Napping in a darkened room.
- Not insisting they lie down or stay quiet as long as they stay on their mats.
- Napping upstairs in separate rooms.
- Lying on a mat WITH them and closing MY eyes (this resulted in me falling asleep first and them trashing the house).
- Napping as soon as we've had lunch, using most of the above tactics.

They are SO TIRED. They are so tired that today, Morgan fell asleep on the toilet and fell off it. She's unhurt. But perked right back up into run-around-and-whine mode. They are so tired that they cry every time anything happens (like the cat going outside, or the baby going to sleep, or me getting them the wrong drink). I am so tired I feel on the verge of throwing a massive tantrum myself!

Totally out of ideas. It seems like the choice is to give up on the idea of a nap and just put up with everyone being out of sorts all afternoon, or the naptime fiasco frustration that comes from trying to fix it. *sigh*

So tired I forgot to add to the list of things we've tried:
- Lavender oil in a burner.
- Doing yoga just before naptime.
- *Whispering* to lie back down any time they get up.
- Adding rescue remedy to their chamomile tea.
- Warm milk *instead* of their chamomile tea.
- Yelling at everyone until they lie down and pretend they are asleep.

That last one is probably my least successful afternoon... Um, today...


  1. No idea if it would work or not but would you be able to put together a quiet/calm time box of things. That way your older girls could sit quietly with that while you and your beautiful baby get chance for some quiet time.

  2. Gosh I know about these... and its hard enough with one. Hope you find something that works for you and some respite soon. xx

  3. I think I only ever managed two asleep at once in the day very rarely. Would a quiet time before lunch help to catch the tiredness before it gets to that awful stage? Having said that, it has taken my lot all week to recover from the previous weekend, and they're older!

  4. That sounds really tough (hugs) It's harder when they wont nap in the day than when they wont go to sleep at night almost, because when kiddies dont want to go to bed they atleast knacker themselves up and sleep where they drop eventually. At nap time though, they seem to just go on and on and on... No ideas to make it better but you definately have my sympathy. A small amount of chloroform on a rag perhaps? Or tiny straight jackets ;)

  5. Have you tried, all lying down together and listening to a story cd? Or a RelaxKids meditations cd? Or, the last resort, playing 'sleeping lions'! The kids often see right through that one, but it sometimes works. I hated that transitional time with each child when one nap was too much and they couldn't get to sleep, but no naps was too little and they were awful all day and fell asleep in their tea. We have our awful times just before tea and I alternate between trying *really hard to avert it* and just losing it and shouting. Hope you fgind a solution or else the phase passes...

  6. Oh no! I really feel for you! It is hard, I really remember needing sleep with each of my newborns in the afternoons.

    One thing that has helped us here with the afternoon slump is taking away sugars in the morning. For us this means fruit sugars too. This has really stopped the fluctuating moods casued by unstable blodd sugars. Also topping up with protein rich foods keeps energy levels balanced. For me I have discovered this to be vital! I am not sure of your family's diet, so whatever proteins you choose, it might be nice to beef up a bit in the mornings and at lunch . A big slump after lunch would suggest a low in blood sugars. What about making some cookies with molasses instead for added minerals if a sweet hit is needed?

    How about setting up a tent for the girls in the garden that they could play/nap in whilst you are indoors with the door open? Would you be comfortable with that? Is there a good relative who might take the girls to the park straight after lucnh for an hour every other day, then when they do get back they might want to rest. A half hour of somehting on TV is not the end of the world at this point, I mean, Rowan is so small and you are still in that PP phase of needing more rest I think. It won't be forever but it might be good to acknowledge that it is fine for now.

    I hope something here helps!


  7. Ok so I know you blogged about not watching DVD's but.....well, just maybe that right now it would be a good solution so that you can be *all smiles and happy* for the other 10/12 they are up?
    I went through a phase of buying videos of old TV classics like The Borrowers, Swallows and Amazons, Railway Children, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Han Christian Anderson, Trumpton, Dogtanion, Mr Ben!!!!! ALL my boys love them!!! From 3 through to 14...we all still have a family viewing of them sometimes!
    Sometimes, just the knowing that you all should be reting is enough to make you all restless!!
    Out of my 4 I've had two sleepers and two non sleepers (unless they were in a car).
    Hang in there and go with the flow...this sunshine and heat won't last!!

  8. Oooooh tough one. We have quiet time after lunch - Isobel naps and Megan and I read stories/have a massage/do yoga/do quiet colouring etc. Then Megan usually plays outside whilst I have a nice relaxing cup of tea before we gear up for the afternoon. Sometimes it works, sometuimes it doesn't. What really saves my sanity is days where I can catch up, e.g. Daddy takes Meg swimming on Satursday morning so Isobel and I can lie in, it makes the cranky afternoons in the week easier to deal with :-)

  9. You know what? I feel so much better just for having ranted. ;) I forget, especially with things working so smoothly around here, that it's OK for things to not ALWAYS work out how I want them to - I've been problem solving their behaviour and not letting myself think that I might just have to live with imperfections...

    And it is definately a sign that I only recently had a baby that all the suggestions and support made me cry...

    Thankyou for the ideas!

  10. Hullo there :O)
    My smalls stopped day time sleeping just gone 6 months,yup 6 months. My sisters youngest was 1 & half & still having an hour nap after lunch,I was wracked with disbelief & jelousey lol!!I remember one day afte trying *everything* thinking this is so crap,if they dont want to nap,they dont want to nap! I cant make them do it :oS
    After that,it got easier,I took all my signals from them & thats something that still happens,some days I can see they need to really have a quiet day,it might be puzzles & drawing in the morning,in the afternoon a film we all snuggle up to watch. We have a very physical busy life here & sometimes it needs balance with a do nothing day lol! yet the next day we might walk 3 miles in the morning then be up & down in garden all afternoon & then walk up to do the pigs afte tea before bath etc.
    I found once dropping the day sleeping mine were ready for bed at 6pm & went through till 7am which I coudnt gumble about lol no matter how frazzled some days got me.
    Gosh I look back now & those days went so fast :o)

    Everyday will be different,thats the thing to remember,keep a rough frame work for meals etc but fit what you can into how the day presents itself
    GTM x x x


Penny for your thoughts? :)