Please, someone help me. DS is 17.5 months old and since he dropped to 1 nap at about 16 months, his sleep has gone to crap. He has never been a great sleeper, and he is very inconsistent, so it's always been hard to get him on a schedule. I expected there to be an adjustment period when transitioning to one nap, but this is just getting ridiculous and it is not getting any better. First, he's been waking up between 4-5 a.m. every morning. Second, he rarely will take a nap longer than an hour. I have always tried schedule naps/bedtime around standard wake times for his age (5-6 hours of wake time right now), but it does mean that his schedule can vary greatly from day to day. I try to keep his mealtimes and other activities as close to a fixed schedule as I can. We have had a solid bedtime routine since the day he was born, and the problem with him has never been falling asleep, it's staying asleep. I know he is capable of soothing himself to sleep because he does it at night, but during naps he just wakes up after about an hour crying and even if I go in to soothe him he will not fall back asleep. This morning he was up at 4:30 a.m., I put him down for a nap at 10:30 a.m., and he was up at 11:30 screaming. So, what, now I'm supposed to put him to bed at 5? A few weeks ago a friend suggested just making him stick to fixed schedule, regardless of wake times and forcing him to adjust, well, that didn't work either. And then in addition to the early morning wake-ups and the short naps, he was SO cranky and miserable all day because he was overtired. I am at a complete loss, and feel like an idiot for not being able to figure this out. No one else I know has had these problems with their toddlers
So, what do I do, keep to fixed schedule or continue to be flexible and work with wake times putting him to bed earlier and earlier? It really doesn't seem to matter whether I put him to bed earlier or later, he's up around 4 a.m. regardless.