Tuesday, March 9, 2010

When Naptime Becomes An Endangered Species

For some mysterious reason, two is the magic number at our house.  First SweetPea and now Lil Buddy hit age two and neither want to take naps anymore.  I suppose I should back up a little and explain that both kids, barring illness or teething, have been sleeping through the night since they were about two months old.  This fact alone should probably disqualify me from being able to whine about the whole nap thing.  It should...but it won't!

Shortly after Lil Buddy was born, SweetPea began fighting naptime.  I'd put her down in her bed and she'd toss and turn, refusing to stay still long enough to fall asleep.  I'd end up spending so much time trying to get her nap that when she finally did fall asleep, it wasn't long before it was time for her to wake up again or risk her not being tired at bedtime.  I was cranky for all the effort it took to get her to bed and she was cranky that I woke her up after such a short nap.  By the end of that summer, just after we moved into our newly built house, I gave up and let her ditch naps for good.  Here we are, two years later and Lil Buddy is starting to do the same.  When it hits that time of the afternoon, I walk him to his bedroom, read him a book or two, then lay him down in his bed.  On a good day, he'll turn over and drift off to sleep.  Then there are days like yesterday where I put him down...then two minutes later he's standing in the hallway shouting, "Hi!"...I take him back to bed and we repeat the drill over and over until I'm fuming and he's crying.  If I'm super lucky, he eventually gives up and passes out.  That's what happened yesterday.  It wasn't pretty.  He was so upset that I thought he might never stay down for the count and I was so frustrated I was ready to UPS him to his grandmother in Boston.  And then we have the days where the game gets old and I say "screw it" and let him skip the nap.

Now's the part when someone says to me, "Alyssa, maybe it's a sign they don't need naps anymore."  If only I could believe that.  OK, part of me wishes either or both of them would nap for selfish reasons.  I daydream of having an hour, maybe two, of peace and quiet in the afternoon.  Honestly, though, they both act like they need naps.  Lil Buddy is a grumpy monster by the end of the days where he doesn't have a nap.  SweetPea gets overly sensitive and weepy and looks like she's ready to pass out on her feet most days.  On the half days where they both go to school in the morning, I can pretty well guaranty that Lil Buddy will be out cold on the floor napping like all of his other classmates at pick up time.  Don't get me wrong, the teachers try their best (like I've asked them) to keep him awake, but while he's waiting, he almost always falls asleep at the table.  Then, as soon as I pick him up, he is bright and shiny awake...and if, as soon as we get home, I try to get him back into bed...even if he's only slept for 5 minutes at school, I almost always fail.  Then there's SweetPea who will refuse to even try to lay down for a nap if we ask, but if we put her in the car for a five minute drive and she passes out two minutes into it.  One look and anyone can see how tired they both look by about 2:00 pm.  We've even tried wearing them out, like this past Saturday where we spent four hours walking around (we don't use strollers anymore) and playing at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.  Both kids were completely worn out by the time we left (Lil Buddy was one big, crying, cranky mess) and fell asleep in the car for a whopping 30 minutes...then didn't want to go back to sleep once we got home.  I wish I could say that all the activity and short naps at least helped keep them in bed longer the next morning, but nope!  The two of them were up and wanting to play by 6:00 am on Sunday.

The signs are pointing to naptime coming to and end at our house.  I'm seriously not digging that option, but I'm at my whits end for alternatives.  It's beginning to look like the only person willing to take naps anymore is...ME!


  1. Right around both my kid's 2nd birthday is when they quit taking naps. All the books say they need it until they're at least 4. I'm like why don't you kids read the same books I do! Just yesterday I was at my older daughter's school to pick her up where she NEVER naps. She's been there about a year and on her daily progress report I think it's said she napped 3 times ever. I was talking to her teacher and it got to the nap subject, I had assumed some of the other kids had a difficult time sleeping as well. Apparently not, every single one of them sleep every single day, except for my daughter who hardly ever sleeps. ARG! On the bright side, if I want to take them out in the afternoon, I can, I don't have to worry about interrupting their naptime.

  2. Oh my kids take naps for selfish reasons; I need a freakin' break! Ryah has been fighting it for a while now, but she usually conks out after an hour. I know she needs a nap and Peri will flat out tell me she's tired, if she's missed one, and wants to take a nap. No matter what, we'll always have a designated quiet time, whether they choose to nap or not is up to them, but I get a two hour break, period.

  3. I feel your pain. Ladybug's trying to drop her nap, but on days she doesn't sleep she turns into the devil! And Buddy Boy tried it right around the same age. I powered through it with him though - forced the issue until he was 4...for selfish reasons. Now he has 'quiet time' in his room for 45 - 60 minutes every day. At first he objected, but now he's perfectly happy to play quietly or look at books. As for Ladybug, she still needs it - regardless of what she thinks.


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