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Nap Loss Anxiety: What Do You Do When Kids Stop Napping?

Nap Loss Anxiety: What Do You Do When Kids Stop Napping?

For pretty much his whole life, Liam has been an epic napper. Epic to the tune of a consistent 2-3 hours each afternoon and I looooove it. During the week, his napping means I get to maximize the amount of awake time we get to spend with him after work (his napping means he goes to bed a bit later than most, a huge plus in my book). On the weekends, naptime gives us a solid chunk of time to get things done without feeling like we’ve squandered family time. From cleaning to errands to workouts, naptime has provided cover and made all the craziness that needs to fit into the weekend of a busy working family feel much more doable.

Toddler boy napping in carseatRecently, I’ve seen signs that our days of consistent marathon naps may soon be coming to an end. It started with a random Wednesday where he inexplicably wouldn’t sleep at school. Then he did the same thing at home the following weekend. So far, napless days are still aberrations but still, the thought of losing those naps has me rattled.

Liam clearly isn’t ready to completely lose the nap—the days he has skirted the nap he has been a BEAR in the afternoon. And I’m certainly not ready to lose the nap, but I do want to make sure I’m ready to transition to life without a nap whenever the day may come (I’m still hoping high school?).

So parents, how do you deal when naptime looks like it might be in jeopardy? Do you still insist on quiet time? And, more pragmatically, how in the world do you deal with getting stuff done once kids stop napping for good?

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One comment

  1. Kris-Ann, Progressive Mom

    Kris-Ann_ Progressive Mom April 16, 2014 at 9:52 am

    My initial reaction to the title of this post was “you lose your mind”. There isn’t really a formula for this stage other than to recognize that it stinks…but will pass. Both of my boys stopped napping on the weekend really early on…like 2 years old. It was miserable. They’d usually nap at the center, but no matter what we did, nothing worked at home. We would sometimes take a longer drive in the afternoon (like to a Target over 30 minutes away) because we knew at least one, if not both would fall asleep in the car. We even debated driving to see our families in CT (from MA) at times because we were so desperate. We tried a quiet rest time where you could read books etc. for an hour in your room but didn’t have to sleep. And, there were many a night, and there actually still are, that our boys go to bed at 6:30 p.m. or earlier on a weekend if they need to.

    Now though, on the other end of napping, they are ok. Sometimes we still force a nap on our almost 5 year old if we know we have something to do that afternoon or evening (a family party etc.) and he’s cranky. But without naps, there is more time in the day with your kids so you can tag team w/your husband to get chores/projects done or involve Liam a bit more than you do. Good luck.

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