They say sleep is a good thing
Ever since Benton was little we have tried to keep him on a schedule. I personally feel that most babies, and adults for that matter, do better when their schedules are somewhat consistent. As they grow older they become a little more flexible, which is nice, but still sticking to a routine is good.
All kids are different. Some kids sleep a lot and some need little sleep. Then there are some kids that seem to be fine with whatever they get no matter how routine it is or isn't. Well we have known for a long time that Benton is not one of those kids. After a good friend of mine babysat him for a weekend she said that he goes and goes and goes and then he is done and it is time for sleep. In fact I was out one evening and didn't have Benton with me and someone asked where he was. When I said that he and Dallin stayed home because it was Benton's bed time they kind of started teasing me that I wouldn't keep him out late. My friend immediately piped up and said not Benton, when that kid is ready for bed he is ready! I had to laugh a little, but it is so true. (yes we do keep him out for special occasions, we are not super uptight about it. Its just when you have to pick between a happy Benton and staying out late we tend to pick a happy Benton.)
Benton has recently started throwing more and more tantrums. It was driving me crazy! We were trying to do everything right and not give in and to ignore him but they seemed to still increase. I thought that maybe some of it was teething. Then I realized that we had been spending most evenings outside in the backyard while Dallin worked on the shed. Benton loved it, I hated it. I love being outside with him but not when every second he is trying to pick up a nail gun, staple gun, climb a ladder, or PURPOSELY step on nails that are sticking straight up. I was telling him no about every 30 seconds. Ok it wasn't quite that bad but it was a lot more than normal. So maybe his increased tantrums were because he was often in an environment where he couldn't do a lot of things, but still wanted to.
As I kept thinking about it I thought they might be caused from hunger. No I do no starve my child, but sometimes a snack gets pushed out a little bit and he might get cranky. I know I have waited too long to give him a snack when he is cranky. My last thought was that they could be caused from his current sleep schedule. I thought it was fine but maybe it had room for improvement. I usually put him down for a nap between 11 and 12 and he would sleep for 2 hours. Then he would go to sleep by 8 and wake up at 8. Sounds fine right?
In an attempt to crack down on these tantrums we decided to make a few changes. First Dallin finished the shed so he wouldn't have to be in a place that I had to tell him no all the time. Secondly I started giving him more snacks in between meals. And lastly we worked on his sleep schedule. We decided to push his nap out until 12:30 or 1 so he was waking up later in the afternoon (the time that he normally reached his crankiest) and we moved up his bedtime to about 7:20. He still takes a 2 hour nap and sleeps until 8 and the difference is amazing! I would have never thought that just changing the time of sleep by an hour or two would make such a difference. He hardly ever throws fits now. No he is not perfect and still has his moments, but they seem to be more under control. I am a much happier mama and he a happier Benton. So in conclusion, sleep is a good thing. And sleep at the right times is a great thing!