One thing I’ve learned is that you need to wisely pick the battles you have with a toddler. For me, the nap battle was a losing one. So I ended them.
My friends thought I was crazy…WHAT?!? No more naps? [insert cry emoticon for several rows of text].
It wasn’t worth it anymore. Sometimes we’d do the no nap dance for almost two hours. Reagan was exhausted, she’d drift to sleep, I’d put her in her toddler bed, she’d wake up. Or, I’d put her down and then stand outside her door and put her back in bed every time she got up, which was every ten seconds. Too many tears and too much frustration. It wasn’t worth it. She won, I surrendered.
Our new plan of action is “quiet time” for about an hour or so, because mamma needs a moment. Reagan stays on one side of the baby gates with her toys and her very welcoming room, which begs for a certain little two and a half year old to take a nap. And I hide on the other side of the baby gates, in the kitchen eating fist fulls of trail mix, working to sell my listings or online shop (sorry Rob).
So far, Reagan has decided not to nap during the allotted “quiet time” but she has flirted with her bed and gotten in it, laid down and promptly gotten back out. She can’t say no to the freedom! I’ve had lots of suggestions to help me keep the nap going, but honestly, I don’t need them. The nap is now her choice, and it has to be for everyone’s sanity.
The day after the naps ended, my neighbor asked me to the local high school homecoming parade. I thought, sure…why not. It’s right when nap time used to be, but we don’t do those anymore. A parade sounds great.
Since naps are out…we MUST make sure the wine is stocked. Honestly, I can’t even believe the amount of sleeping she’s doing outside of her crib. It’s WAAAY more than was happening before for nap time, PLUS we’re getting stuff done!
And then there’s also trying to nap at 6 p.m. after a quick trip to the grocery store.
NOPE. It’s not nap time. You had that chance about five hours ago during quiet time.
Having optional nap time in our house has provided us with the freedom to continue on with our day and not be confined to the walls of our home for a nap that may or may not happen. It’s provided Reagan the freedom to make that choice. The other benefit to no naps is immediate sleep at bedtime. The less fighting and negotiating I have to do with a toddler the better. I understand making this choice isn’t for everyone. I certainly don’t have all the answers, but what I know is I’m a happier mommy with the optional napping and that makes for a happier everyone.