Thursday, January 19, 2012

Vanishing Naps

Most parents I know dread the idea of their kids not taking naps anymore. It's true that having an hour-and-a-half-to-two hour break in the middle of day can be pretty nice, but as we reach the point where naps are not always a given, I am actually kind of glad.

 As you already know, A has never been a good sleeper. The first year of his life, he only cat-napped, 10-15 minutes at a time, 30 if we were lucky. If I wanted him to sleep more, I had to either hold him or drive around for 2 hours. Then I quit my full time job and started spending naps in his room.  That brought on longer naps, but it's not like I could tend to the house or do whatever I pleased... Eventually, A settled into the routine, and I have been able to leave him alone in his room for nap time for almost a year, however, he usually wakes up crying and stays cranky for at least a half-hour.

For the past few weeks, A has, from time to time, skipped his nap. I still take him upstairs, and we read for a bit, but if he's still not asleep after a few books and wants to get up, I let him (well, what are my options exactly? strap him to the bed?). On those days, he actually has played nicely and stayed in a good mood for most of the afternoon ( better than the after-nap meltdowns). The other major plus, is that bedtime is A LOT easier on those days. Just a few poems and he's fast asleep.. nothing like the hour-long ordeal during which I often fall asleep myself.

So the pluses of the vanishing nap?
- better mood
- easier bedtime

the minuses?
- not quite sure which day he'll sleep and which day he won't
- I am a little afraid of going anywhere on the no-nap day, for fear that the car will put him to sleep

All in all, I look forward to the day when naps have totally vanished, so there's no question about it and we can go about our business, do fun things, and stay out all day if we feel like it!

When did you child give up his/her nap? How did you deal with the transition?

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