Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The End of Naptime

I have seen it coming ever since mid-December. Andrew will be giving up his nap soon (which has been a nice daily bit of rest for me since August). It has been getting less and less likely that he will nurse to sleep around midday, especially if he has slept in past 7:00 a.m. Then, he might get sleepy and want to nap around 2:30 p.m. And if you have kids, or have cared for young children you know that afternoon naps lead to late bedtimes which lead to...insanity.

On the other hand, keeping a worn-out toddler awake when he really just wants to nap is no fun either. And it just seems wrong to keep a kid awake who wants to snooze. You must pick your poison in these cases and decide if a grumpy child now who will fall asleep early in the evening is easier to deal with (or fits better with the plans for the day) or a bit of rest now in return for, did I already mention, insanity as late at 10:00 p.m. later. A tough call.

I usually cannot alone (it is easier when there are others to help entice him to stay awake) keep Andrew from dozing off for just a while even when it is "past naptime". Plus, like last Friday, I might just hold him the whole time and stare at his irresistible face as he sleeps and breathe in the sweetness of his little self that is growing bigger so fast.

The payoff for no more naptime is the earlier bedtime, and often up to twelve hours of sleep for the child, and even the parents if they so choose. When Valerie gave up her nap it was like I suddenly had all this time in the evening to myself. It was great. The thing about the prospect of this happening again is that I know better now. Sure, more time for me, but also just another of Andrew's milestones met on his journey through childhood. And away from his mama. How do I survive this, my kids growing up?


  1. Mine's 7 months old this week and I already want the growing to STOP!! I want to just keep him all snuggly and wrapped up in feet pajamas melting into me at night.
    Grandma was right - I need a brick to put on his head and keep him from growing.

  2. Honestly, I wish I could tell you that it gets better. But, it doesn't -- it just changes to new routines, new worries, etc. I think I've enjoyed every stage (though I did particularly love naptime). But as my kids grew older (now 18, 16 and 11), I think the loss of control has been the hardest. It's fairly easy to get a little one to do something. It's so much harder when they have minds (and sometimes strong opinions) to do something. Throw in peer pressure, cars, school demands -- it's tough.

    Just keep enjoying those quiet moments when you can hold your babe in your arms and know he's safe and sound.

    Good luck!

  3. Love your blog! I know how you feel. My two year old is up till 9 or 10 most nights now, but without the nap the afternoon is miserable. I'll look forward to the earlier bedtimes again when the naps are done... Good luck!