Is Naptime Officially OVER?

 nap_holland-2

Every day, in approximately two hours, I get the equivalent of 10 hours of work done. That’s right, I cram about 10 hours of work into two hours of my day? Don’t believe me?

In those two small hours I can accomplish the following: laundry, dishes, and other random housecleaning, emails, blogging, designing, studying, vacuuming, food prep for lunch and for dinner(s), drinking copious amounts of coffee, working on our company site, work emails, and while I’m doing these things I’m usually on the phone on some “Very Important Phone Call” that cannot have a child squealing in the background, nor the music of Dora the Explorer playing.

These two small hours make up what is known as Naptime in my household. And I think it’s on its way out.

my first baby

Chanel, to this day, is a very scheduled person. If something is out of the normal spectrum of activities planned, it throws her off. If she stays up too late, she is so super cranky because she doesn’t sleep in. She needs to go to bed at the same time every day, and then she wakes up at the same time every day.

As an infant, she granted me with two naptimes per day – two hours in the morning, another hour or two in the afternoon – and it was glorious. Of course as a newbie parent, I didn’t fully recognize these golden hours for what they were, I think I must have taken them for granted. Sometimes we had to wake her up because she slept too much.

Every evening she would fall asleep between 7:00 and 7:30 pm, and every morning she awoke around 7:15 am. It was perfect.

Somewhere between 18 months and 2 years old we dropped the morning nap, and by 2.5 years she was rarely napping.

nap_chanel-1

my second baby

Holland hates to sleep. As a small infant he would have random naptimes throughout the day, as I struggled to put him on some sort of schedule, I realised he would not be coerced into falling asleep at the same time everyday. He fought it.

At 18 months old he was still waking up at night, sometimes three times in one night, usually to nurse, but more for comfort. Once I stopped breastfeeding him he finally began sleeping through the night – most nights.

Bed times have always been an issue. Some nights he would go down around 7:00 pm without a fight, most nights he wouldn’t be out until 8:00 pm, even 9:00 pm. Any little sound would wake him up and he does not like to be cuddled when he awakes from his slumber – he is an angry, screaming baby – mad that something woke him up.

Now, at 21 months old, he still sucks at napping. For almost 5 months I’ve been forcing him to have one nap, and by force I mean put him in his crib between 10 am and 11 am (if we’re home at that time), listen to him jabber on for 30 minutes (up to 90 minutes) until he naps for about two hours.

If he doesn’t nap at all, which sometimes happens because we’re out and about and he won’t sleep unless he’s in his crib or his stroller, by 6 pm he’s super cranky. He’s clingy and grouchy and cannot wait until he can finally get to sleep.

But on days where he does nap, I can’t get him to sleep at night.

nap_holland-1

bedtime routines

With my first baby we had a bedtime routine, which consisted of the norm: bathtime, storytime, cuddletime, bottle or nursing time, a quick lullabye, and shut eye. This routine would start somewhere between 6:45 and 7:00 pm, and by 7:45 pm she would be fast asleep. With our second, I attempted the same schedule. I know children thrive on schedules and routine and that it helps them relax and know what’s happening next.

Everything that worked with my first did not work with my second. It’s like the big joke of parenthood. You think you have it down pact, you’re ready for more kids, and then you feel like you’re back at square one again.

(I should mention that I do have friends whose children are very similar as well, who were both good sleepers and eaters and what-have-you, and the whole thing just pisses me off. HA.)

Holland has his bedtime routine, he knows what’s happening, he lies down with his bottle as I pat his head gently and sing him his lullabye. Sometimes he wants some extra kisses or hugs, but afterwards he lies down and shuts his eyes and I say good night. For the next 30 minutes Jay and I try to be silent spies. No loud noises. No music. TV is almost on mute. Anything to get this kid to sleep.

We might check on him a little while later, and he’s wide awake, building forts with his pillow and blankets, playing with toys that he’s managed to fish from outside his crib – and the kicker is that we walk in, he hears us, and he’ll cover his eyes with his hands, drop to the mattress and ‘play dead’ – as if we’ll think he’s asleep!

It’s very hard to discipline this boy, and be strict when he’s ‘faking sleep‘. It’s so cute and hilarious, but the other night he was up until 10 pm! He doesn’t cry and he doesn’t whine, he just plays in his crib or jumps on his mattress, but it’s still frustrating since he shows all signs of being tired and wanting to sleep, and then simply doesn’t.

Bedtime is always worse on days that he naps.

naptime_holland-3

So, does this mean that it’s the end of naptimes in my home? Am I to say goodbye to these glorious hours during the day that allow me to get work done, uninterrupted?

I am not going down without a fight.

I am hoping that this is just a phase.

I will continue to put him down for naps, walk outside with the stroller for as long as it takes, and rub his back and sing to him so he will go to sleep at night.

Because if he doesn’t nap – when will I get anything done??

Does or did your kid nap well? 
What about at bedtime? 
Is there anything to help a kid that has a hard time falling asleep?

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53 Comments

  1. February 18, 2014 / 5:36 pm

    My son is three. He just gave up his nap about 4 months ago. I totally used to get so much done! Now I wait until bed time. I steal 2 hours at night from 8-10 or even 11 for my blog. I miss nap!

    Erica
    We Three Crabs

    • February 19, 2014 / 7:10 am

      Yes, I am starting to do that too, but some nights I am just too tired!

  2. February 18, 2014 / 5:56 pm

    My first two napped well. My last three did not.
    They take about 15 minutes to an hour to fall asleep at night
    I had to remove gluten, dairy and eggs from my diet to help my kids sleep better.

    • February 19, 2014 / 2:01 pm

      I’ve read about this, but have trouble implementing it because of how picky eaters they are to begin with!

  3. February 18, 2014 / 7:06 pm

    I feel your pain. It is such a hard time when they start not needing a nap but you need them to need a nap. 🙂 If your son is happy to be quietly playing in his bed couldn’t you just let that stand for now? Maybe cut your expectations back on the amount of time you’ll have, but if he gave you an hour of peace in the crib AND went to bed easier at night, that would be a good thing, right?

  4. February 18, 2014 / 7:11 pm

    I enjoyed naptime when my kids were little. After thy grew out of naps we called it quiet time. They could listen to books on tape (does that sound old?), color, read, whatever as long as it was calm.

    Mine are all teens now, so I miss those days. My how time flies!

  5. February 19, 2014 / 3:33 am

    Like you, my eldest napped well and went to sleep in the evenings well unril she was 2.5 and we had to cut out the daytime naps. My middle one was the same, so when the third one wasn’t I was all over the place. I thought all babies needed was a routine, and to have one that fought the routine and not sleep was hell… she’s now eight and I’m finally getting to sleep at night!

  6. February 19, 2014 / 8:03 am

    Visiting from The Girl Who Loves To Write! My son is 9 months old and he’s always been a bad napper, at least at home! When he goes to childcare he sleeps much better, but at home he just fights it to no end, and he’s still waking up at night sometimes!

    • February 19, 2014 / 2:02 pm

      It’s always funny to me how different kids can be when in social / daycare situations!

  7. February 19, 2014 / 8:13 am

    My oldest loved his schedules and his naps, my 2nd sounds just like yours. Nap times just stopped so early, and bed times were so late. That amount of energy in one small child just can’t be contained. As soon as she was old enough, I found a two-day-a-week preschool that she adores. She has so much fun and I can have a cup of coffee before I have her bundle of energy again. It also wears her out, so she sleeps at night.

  8. February 19, 2014 / 12:29 pm

    Your kids sound like my first two reversed. The fact that we had a second after our first is amazing. And then we had two more! I agree with previous comments about at least having a quiet time each day. I did that with my kids all the way to pre-teen age because with homeschooling everyone needs a break from each other. Good luck!

  9. February 20, 2014 / 3:13 am

    One of the lessons of parenthood, it seems, is that you have to be more stubborn than your kids haha. Our oldest now has this thing where he wakes up much earlier than he used to, like 6am, which cuts into what usually is the best working times (5:30-7). We’ve been trying to get him back into bed but it’s tough.

  10. February 20, 2014 / 6:50 am

    My child was (and still is) the world’s worst sleeper. She stopped napping at 2. At 13, she still doesn’t sleep well. Some kids just don’t. You just have to tell them that whether they nap or not, they still need downtime. Period.

  11. February 20, 2014 / 8:09 am

    I could say I am lucky not to have to worry about naps in order to get things done, but the fact is that I miss those days! Now though, my days are interrupted by a call from my daughter-in-law saying she is needing help with the triplets., and I love it.! I know you hear it all the time, and you do need to get things done, but the day will come sooner than you think, that you will miss the interruptions.

  12. February 20, 2014 / 12:31 pm

    I have a 9 month old who is a pretty crappy napper! LOL. He will pretty much only nap on us, and his naps are short cat naps, they’ve been this way for a long time! However, bedtime is normally a piece of cake! He goes to sleep between 7-8. He does wake up during the night, but he nurses and passes right back out. No getting up and thinking it’s time to play. He gets up for the day around 7. So I’ll take the night time sleeping any day!! There are many days though we wish he would be a better napper!

  13. February 20, 2014 / 1:27 pm

    No kids here yet, but with friends who have kids, I am dreading the naptime issues. I’ve been over at friends houses while they try to put their kids down for naps or bedtime and it is awful. Screams of “I’m thirsty” “I gotta go potty”, etc….until they finally give in an hour later and fall asleep. Not looking forward to that part of parenthood.

  14. February 20, 2014 / 1:57 pm

    Ha ha ha, I always though kids do nap until they are like 7 🙂 Or at least it sounds like it would be helpful for mothers 🙂

  15. February 20, 2014 / 3:03 pm

    My first was all about the routine too. He has always slept 8 to 8 and he officially gave up naps when he turned four and stopped going to preschool.

    My second fights sleep, but we’re working on it. I feel like I would know what to do if he were consistent–but he’s all over the place! He slept through the night starting at 6weeks, then changed his mind….

    • February 21, 2014 / 5:20 pm

      My second was the same!! He started sleeping through the night by about 3 months, but then a few weeks later he stopped and from 4 months to 18 months he awoke at night so often!!

  16. February 20, 2014 / 9:25 pm

    Ok, you officially just freaked me out! My little guy is 21 months old and is the greatest sleeper, and I am due with another little boy when he is 25 months. I pray he sleeps as well as his big bro, but now I am afraid. Very, very afraid!!

    • February 21, 2014 / 5:19 pm

      Don’t be afraid! Both your children might turn out to be angels!! 😉

  17. February 21, 2014 / 7:59 am

    Aaahhh! I miss naptime! I think that as our children get older, there should be a role reversal where WE get the nap and they do the chores 😉

  18. February 21, 2014 / 8:57 am

    With my son, we were able to continue having naptime after lunch until he started kindergarten. My daughter is almost 2 and a half and she still takes naps. She usually fights going down for a nap, but napping is essential for her because she is much happier throughout the day.

    • February 21, 2014 / 5:19 pm

      Lucky with your son!! I agree, I could just leave my son in his crib and let him play, but he definitely is so much happier with a nap which helps me believe that he still needs it at his age!

  19. February 22, 2014 / 6:50 am

    lol…I love your post. I do not have any children, BUT I have a nephew that I’m close to. His bedtime routine is crazy, and he resists sleep to the very last minute. He can literally sing to himself for hours. Anyhow, he is miraculously very punctual getting up in the morning with varying levels of crankiness, but nothing too bad.

    Your kids are very cute, but sorry, I think naptime for you is going bye-bye.

  20. February 22, 2014 / 8:44 am

    Ah naptimes for my kidlets are long gone 🙁 *Although* I’ve found that teens LOVE to nap, and are extremely difficult to wake up lol. Very different than they were not so many years ago!

  21. February 23, 2014 / 12:00 am

    Okay.. parenting gets me totally out of my zone. Cause I dont have any kids.. im not even married.. but im sure it will all make sense when I become a parent.

  22. February 23, 2014 / 5:49 am

    I don’t have any kids yet, but I see how much my sister struggles with bedtime, sometimes with my nephew- especially when I’m visiting them. That boy does not want to sleep! He just wants to stay up and play. So I started to pretend that I was going to bed too in order for him to finally go to sleep.

  23. February 23, 2014 / 12:57 pm

    Oh, you poor girl! I know that it can be really overwhelming when kids don’t nap or sleep well. Fortunately, both my kids (5 and 2 yrs old) currently sleep well and my 2 year old still naps. However, this has not always been the case. Both kids went through phases when they slept terribly and woke every few hours during the night. With my youngest, it was when he was around a year old and I thought it would never end. My only suggestion would be a consistent routine, which it sounds like you already have. I’ve heard using lavender bath wash & lotion can help too, because of its calming qualities. Also, you may want to try turning the TV off completely because the light actually stimulates the brain. I’m hoping for your sake that nap time isn’t over yet!

    • February 24, 2014 / 8:21 am

      I agree, turning off electronics helps get in the sleep zone as well 🙂

  24. February 23, 2014 / 2:20 pm

    My son just turned 3 and he is trying to give up naps! He maybe naps 2-3 times a week (although I put him in there every afternoon!) He usually just reads or quietly plays. I don’t mind so much that he’s not napping, as long as he has some quiet time throughout the day so Mommy can have some quiet time. I actually just bought a clock called a “tot clock.” It changes colors and you teach your kid that when the clock is blue, its bedtime. When its yellow (or whatever color-I don’t actually have it yet!), it is naptime or quiet time. When it’s green they are allowed to come out of thier room. We are about to move my son to a toddler bed so I am hoping it will help keep him in his bed at night and not be in my room at 6 am! Also, since he is trying to give up naps, I can send him in his room and tell him he can’t come out until it changes to yellow (unless he needs to potty). I am hoping that although we won’t be napping anymore, I will still have some quiet time to work!

    • February 24, 2014 / 8:22 am

      Good luck! I’ve heard of that clock, and most parents I know say it works really well, especially for that age group (3-4).

  25. February 23, 2014 / 4:21 pm

    None of my three kids ever really napped regularly. It was bad because I didn’t have that free time, but it was good because I never had to adjust to losing that time. I’ve had a few friends lately lamenting the loss of naptime. I imagine it’s a tough adjustment.

  26. February 23, 2014 / 6:43 pm

    I love love love this article. As I prepare for parenthood, I am always interested in learning about routines, struggles, and victories. I love how you took the time to explain everything. I am certainly looking forward to following you. Thanks so much.

  27. February 23, 2014 / 6:44 pm

    My 2 year-old used to take two 1-2 hour naps which gave me plenty of time to eat, shower, clean and even blog a bit. However, he has been inconsistent now that he is a toddler and sometimes naps once a day for 1-2 hours only. It’s harder for me now, being pregnancy and wanting to use that time to sleep or eat. I only hope he will keep napping for a little bit longer so I can get a break during the day!

    • February 24, 2014 / 8:27 am

      All I can say is good luck to you, hopefully you can find some help throughout the day to take a break, as well. I have a good friend who has a 2 year old and a 6 month old, and she’s lucky that her mom is around to help out!

  28. February 23, 2014 / 8:17 pm

    My son is just two and he rarely naps anymore, except occasionally he falls asleep around 5:PM and then wakes up at 7:PM fully rested. (lucky me…). I miss nap time! I’m thinking that one mom who works at home but still puts her kids in daycare might just have stumbled onto something! LOL! Maybe just one or two days a week in daycare would be enough to keep our sanity and get things done!
    Sheila
    SeeSheilaRun

    • February 24, 2014 / 8:29 am

      I think we’ll be looking into that option in the future as well, especially when my work schedule gets more demanding!

  29. February 24, 2014 / 10:48 am

    I love your kids names! I agree — I USUALLY get a lot done during naptime, but sometimes I waste time too. Ugh. My two kids (2 & 4) are good nappers, but the youngest took A LONG time getting there. Now we’re in a good routine..mostly! I hope they never give up naps!

  30. Lisa
    February 24, 2014 / 2:46 pm

    I was only able to get my oldest two to take naps at the same time less than a handful of times total…I wished for the days that I’d consistently have 2-3 hours a day when they’d both rest quietly at the same time…and those days never came. I’m not sure what the trick is, but I wish I could have figured it out back then!

  31. February 24, 2014 / 4:15 pm

    My daughter and her baby live at home with us. Baby takes a couple of naps a day, but I definitely noticed if the nap is late in the day, she has trouble getting to sleep at night.

  32. February 24, 2014 / 5:45 pm

    My first child slept like a dream! Once he could walk, he would actually run to his crib when we said it was nap or bedtime! At 10, he still goes to bed and falls asleep easily.

    Our 2nd child was so different! She had a terrible time going down to sleep. By the time she was almost 2, I was worn slick. She was finally diagnosed with a Sensory Processing Disorder and our ped recommended we try giving her Melatonin since kids with SPD sometimes don’t recognize their natural Melatonin. We’ve been giving her a small amount for about 6 years and it helps SO MUCH in the evenings.

    • March 5, 2014 / 4:58 pm

      That is so interesting. I looked into Melatonin as well, however our Doc wanted to check out other avenues first before doing that. I’m glad it’s worked for you 🙂

  33. February 25, 2014 / 8:28 am

    While I don’t have children, I do have a hubby that decides to become extraordinarily chatty when it is time to go to sleep. Soooo, I put on meditation instrumentals like the sound of ocean waves or Native American flutes, etc. It works like a charm! I hope it works for you little one!

  34. February 26, 2014 / 2:46 am

    Oh mercy, my son was so like yours when he was young. He slept rarely and when he did he slept badly. It was awful! He didn’t sleep through the night until he was six or seven. I wish I could say I utilized his naptimes to work, but I actually slept while he napped because I was so exhausted. I hope you find a good way to get some work time if Holland’s naps are a thing of the past. Good luck!

  35. February 26, 2014 / 2:11 pm

    I remember driving my eldest around in the car for 30 minutes to get him to fall asleep – then racing home and putting him in his cot so I could get some housework done while he had his nap. I got an hour EXACTLY with my first baby. My second son could sleep for 2-3 hours. But every baby is different.

    • March 5, 2014 / 4:56 pm

      LOL! That’s so cute, I did that a few times with my first as well to get a schedule going sometimes! Every kid is so different!

  36. February 27, 2014 / 8:23 am

    I have heard that kids are either good sleepers or good eaters, but not both. It’s been true for my kids! But it’s also true that what works with one kids probably won’t work with the next one… no fair!

    I too need my naptime to stay sane. My son kept napping through age 3 because I would do anything to get him to sleep: I would lay down with him every day and sing for 30 minutes if it meant I got my hour alone afterward! THere were several times that he tried to drop him nap early, but I’m a big believer in just powering through those times. Don’t treat naptime like an option… if they won’t naptime, they at least need some quiet alone time!

    • March 5, 2014 / 4:53 pm

      I don’t know about that! My son is a weirdo picky eater and hates sleep! lol!

  37. February 27, 2014 / 10:34 pm

    Mine (23 months and 3 months) sleep very well through the night and take good naps. We scheduled them from very early and it works well for them. We tries other methods at first, that did not do well. They both love going to bed and put themselves to sleep after a good cuddle, bath, story, etc…

    • March 5, 2014 / 4:55 pm

      That’s good! My first loved her schedule too, my second couldn’t do it! It was so frustrating…!

  38. Monica
    March 31, 2014 / 11:28 am

    That’s when 2 year old preschool came in handy for me;) haha!

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