Thursday, July 19, 2012

for the love of nap.

Dear friends, I am in denial.

Methinks Choi Boy might be showing signs that he is no longer in need of naps… and I just can’t bear to think that might be true... Say it ain’t so!!

Since he came home at 15 months, CB has always been a great napper, napping between 1.5 to 3 hours every afternoon. He napped well at daycare and on the weekends and breaks at home, too. And outside of the home when we were away on vacation, too! The great thing was that he was never incredibly rigid about when he needed to nap (though at daycare, naptime was definitely a set time), but depending on our plans for the day, we would put him down somewhere between 12:30 and 1:45 and he would fall asleep within minutes. And an even better bonus was that his afternoon nap never affected his bedtime.

Well. For the three weeks, since I’ve been home with him once school got out, his napping and sleep schedule have been subpar. No, actually, I lie. It’s been bad.

I’d put him down for a nap between 12:30-1, depending on what time we were done with lunch, and for the next 1-2 HOURS, he’d be having a party in his crib. Singing, dancing, jumping, telling stories, bossing around his stuffed animals, screaming... basically, anything but sleeping. And then, just about when I’d had enough and was going to get him out of his crib, he’d pass out and be solidly asleep for the next 2-3 hours. Which means he wasn’t getting up until after 4, sometimes almost 5!

So, you can imagine how awesome bedtime has been, too. We’ve been trying to get him in bed at his regular bedtime of 8 to keep things consistent, but again, for 1-2 HOURS after we put him down, he doesn’t fall asleep! As I write this, it’s 9:30pm and he’s been in his bed for an hour and half and is currently singing The Wiggles’ “Hot Potato.” Awesome.

On top of all that, his wake-up time has stayed fairly consistent, so I know he’s tired during the day, but he won’t fall asleep! And what makes me nutty is that he displays all his normal “I’m sleepy” signs and gets super whiny at what should be naptime, but it’s like I put him in his crib and suddenly he’s Insta-party Guy!



I don’t want to force CB to nap if he doesn’t need to (but let’s be honest, momma looooves that mid-day break). On the other hand, I don’t want him to be overly tired and out of whack for the late afternoon and evening.

And it’s funny how quickly this changed once he was out of daycare! I swear, peer pressure is very powerful…

When we were on vacation, we played around with this a bit. We didn’t force him to nap, but kind of just played it by ear. Some days, he was fast asleep by 1:30pm for a nap and other days he didn’t nap at all. And the earliest he fell asleep, even on non-nap days was 8:45. At the end of the week, we didn’t end up with any answers…just more confused about what our little guy needed.

I know he technically needs about 12-14 hours of sleep per 24-hour cycle, so I’d be okay with cutting out his nap if it will up his normal 10.5-11-hours a night by an hour or two… Wishful thinking? Or maybe even just shortening his nap to 45 min-1 hour and then moving his bedtime to 8:30? I don’t know!

Actually this past week, we’ve gotten in this strange nap-every-other-day cycle…One day CB will take a nap and then he won’t be tired by bedtime, so he won’t fall asleep until 10-ish. Then he wakes up the next morning around 8, won’t nap because he’s not tired by mid-day and will then crash by 6:45pm, sleep for 12 hours, wake up at 6:45am and nap that day and start the cycle again. It’s not terrible, but I know we need to find something consistent, especially as he gets ready to start preschool in September!

I was reeeeeally hoping CB would nap until he was 4.5 years-old or so. Because, again, selfishly, that 2-hour break I get really helps me recharge and have some much needed me-time. And, perhaps these last 3 weeks have just been a fluke, but I know I need to take my cues from CB, and so far, it’s looking like the cues are starting to point to possibly phasing out his nap.


If we do end up nap-less, we *will* be instituting a quiet time during what would be nap time. That will probably require some “quiet-time training,” but we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.

When did your child stop napping? Or anyone else’s kiddos protesting naptime? Any tips or ideas you’re willing to share? Or do you just want to commiserate together?


  1. My son (who also came home at 15 months and is now 26 months) is doing that exact same thing. He's always been a rock star sleeper so it threw me for a loop. Note: We have never co-slept or had to stay in the room while we fell asleep.
    To curb this weird new behavior, I've taken a book and pillow and laid on his floor for 10 minutes or so. Whenever he sat up, made a noise and tried to get playful, I would shut it down instantly. "lay down, Daniel" "Be quiet Daniel" "Stop Moving DAniel"-these would all be said seconds after he moved. I would also remind him to close his eyes and keep them closed. While sitting up there until he fell asleep (it takes me about 10-15 minutes) is not how I want to spend his naptime-it's better that I take those 15 minutes to get him to sleep instead of him playing for 2 hours. I'm really hoping this is a summer thing and he goes back to his normal nap and bed routine once it starts getting dark earlier.

  2. Miles stopped at 3. He still needs the down time - books or TV or play in his room quietly. Honestly, I find the mid-day nap to kind of a drag since I'd rather be out and about with my kids to run home for the nap. I think quiet time is a great idea! I think the every other day nap isn't a bad compromise...

  3. :-) I was completely devastated when Mackenzie gave up her nap, to the point my friends thought I was crazy for loving it so much. But I did. Now, we do a quiet time, and on days when she actually does fall asleep her bedtime is completely messed up. We keep the light on, and she lays in bed with four books, for about 1.5 hours (and sometimes I can push it to two hours) At least she is resting and that seems to help with the tired whining that occurs in the late afternoon.
    Good luck!

  4. We are going through this right now! I think converting Kyle's crib into a toddler bed has helped because if he can't sleep, he just grabs his books and reads. Some days he falls asleep and some days he doesn't. My issue is that Emily still needs her 2 hour nap so I make Kyle stay in his room for quiet reading time so he doesn't disturb her.

  5. This is so hard! We finally forced S to mostly give up naps at the beginning of this year. Because while he would nap then stay up till 10 or 11, he was still getting up at the crack of dawn! Before, usually. But our kiddo is not normal in the sleep department. Just know I feel your pain...

  6. YES! Mine has a hoot in there as he's not in a crib. One day I found him asleep strapped onto his change-pad (it's on the floor so the straps are loose), once I found his diapers everywhere, once the wipes, and twice he's fallen asleep next to the door so I can't get in until he's up. If he naps late, he goes to bed late (once it was 11pm ELEVEN PM!), some days no naps, and other days he's tired in the morning as he only sleeps in 50% of the time. I'm thinking of getting blackout blinds as I wonder if it's all this sun we finally are getting. He's also getting teeth (molars) though so I'm hoping it could be that too. I'm not ready for no naps. I still need a nap half the time.

  7. Alex has been done for about a year - but on days when he needs a nap he will spontaneously fall asleep. I recommend "quiet times" in the afternoon - they can be beneficial for everyone...
    I actually like that Alex is done naps - now we can actually DO things in the afternoon rather than be limited to morning and late afternoon.

  8. My oldest gave up naps at just over 3. He was taking a long time in the afternoon to settle down (stay in bed!) and go to sleep. But, then he would be OUT for a good 3 hours or longer. Obviously that threw a decent bedtime out the window. So, I actually initiated no naps. Gasp! I gave up trying to get him to sleep one day and then lo and behold he was out like a light by 8pm that night. I definitely missed the nap (I STILL do!) but the easy bedtime and the return of some downtime in the evenings for my husband and I was worth it. It's tough not to get that break mid-day, but I eventually got used to it. Even now at almost 6 every once in awhile I will convince him to lay down with me and we'll nap together. And boy oh boy do I remember why I stopped that 3 years ago when midnight rolls around and he is still coming out of his room saying he can't sleep! :)

  9. Max still needs his nap. Of course it's still in the car so we obviously have other issues! But he's a rock star napping at school so you're right about the peer pressure :) Max usually naps 1:30 - 3 or 3:30. He's in bed by 7:30pm but usually tosses and turns and chats and sings for about 30 mins or so. Up by 5:30 ON THE DOT no matter what. Not sure I'm much help, but I totally sympathize. I never get the nap break myself since I'm stuck in the car and can't do anything but read/email ... which believe it or not is NOT relaxing. I'd rather clean the kitchen of do laundry and be productive. Luckily 3 days a week, it's someone else's problem. I hope things work out. Keep us posted....


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