Ahh, the nap. The best thing to happen to parents since…your kid was born. I was blessed with a good napper when Olivia was born. We enjoyed 2 and 3/4 years of naps until they stopped. I don’t know if it was something I did or just good genes that made her a good napper, but besides a few periods of regressions Liv’s naps and I had a great run.
And now it’s all over.
Our sleep history:
Best thing we ever did was sleep train Olivia. I know it’s controversial. Not every baby needs it, but she did. We’ve had stops and starts, but really it was the best thing for her and for us. I wrote about it in great detail before and we literally tried every under the sun when she was a baby before we did cry it out. We tried every no cry sleep solution, but nothing worked. We were commited to each method, but every kid is different and Olivia did not like them.
For naps, I always stuck to the same routine. I would put her down awake in the swing. She always napped in the swing and she would fall asleep on her own. I think that helped her when we ended up doing CIO. Go back and read the posts on sleep that I wrote a few years ago. It details exactly how we did it. If you want to read about our failed attempts at no cry sleep solutions, you can also read those.
So back to no napping.
For the past year or so, Liv was in tune with herself to know when she wanted to take a nap. She would tell us when she wanted to go to sleep. Sure, we had days where we had to remind her, but 6 out of 7 days she would tell us when she wanted to go to sleep. She was a little different in the fact that sometimes she would ask to take a nap at 11 am, instead of like 1 or 2 when most kids her age napped. But, we just let her guide us and it always worked out. The past 3-4 months she would sleep about 1.5 hours for her nap and she would continue to tell us. I remained super lax about it. One or two days a week she would say she wasn’t tired and she wouldn’t take a nap. That was cool with me, because otherwise honestly it was a huge fight. I tried making her nap a couple times when she didn’t want to. It resulted in a lot of tears and no nap anyway. Not worth it.
About a month before Mila was born, Liv’s sleep became all over the place. She was getting up again in the middle of the night and one of us would always end up in bed with her. We switched her to a big girl bed and sleep got a lot better, but she was still getting up at 6 and sometimes before…and going to bed after 8. Not ideal at all.
In the past month she has napped maybe 1-2 times a week. Again, all led by her. If she doesn’t nap, she just will have some quiet time on the couch, but really she’s not tired.
I used to dread the day that the nap would end…but now that it’s here..it’s not a big deal at all. I think this is like with many things with parenting. I dreaded potty training and then…not that big of a deal. The best part about no nap is that she is sleeping until at least 7 am again and going to bed at 7:30. She’s sleeping much better overall too. I didn’t realize how napping was affecting her night time sleep, until she gave up napping.Life after napping: what happens when your kid drops the nap Click To Tweet
If you’re in the same boat and on the brink of no naps, then don’t be afraid, just embrace it. Sometimes I may not get a break during the day because of Liv not napping, but I can just send her into the playroom to play alone for a bit, or to hang out with me and read some books for quiet time. I have to say, it’s really been a good thing for us.
Has your little kid given up his/her nap yet? How did it affect your family?
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