No More Naps?!?!
I am slightly petrified that we are about to say goodbye to our daily nap ritual. Let me explain.
Little MPB is no longer sleeping well at night – he has pretty much always been a good sleeper, so we know something is up.. He used to sleep from 7pm to 6:30am. A few months ago we switched his schedule to 7:30pm to 6:30am.
But, in the last few weeks, he’s no longer going to sleep at 7:30pm when it’s bed time. Instead, every night he lies in bed awake, sometimes talking, playing with his teddies, reading books, crying, etc. In fact, he’s no going to sleep as late as 9:30pm or even 10pm.
We’ve started to notice on days where he has a good nap (i.e. 1.5 to 2 hours), he does not sleep at night. As in, he just will not go to sleep. And on the opposite side of that, when he has a bad nap (i.e. 30 minutes), he goes to sleep at night much easier.
And, when he has a short nap on weekends, it’s not like he’s overly grouchy in the afternoon. He’s still pretty much his typical 2.5 year old self.
So, I decided to google “when do kids stop napping?”. I learned that:
“By age 2, most toddlers have given up their morning nap but still need an afternoon snooze to see them through the day. About a quarter of kids stop napping altogether by the age of 3, another half between ages of 3 and 4, with the final quarter continuing to nap until they’re 5 or 6.”
– Baby Centre (source)
Then I decided to ask friends. I was told “my almost 6 year old still needs a nap!” I was also told “our oldest had naps until 4.5. our youngest was done napping by 3”. So anecdotally, this quote above seems to be fairly accurate. And, let’s be honest, if there is anything I’ve learned as a part thus far, all kids are different, so hearing that some kids stop napping by 3 and some by 6, just seems to make sense.
So, we decided to talk to daycare about his nap schedule. It turns out, in the last month he’s become a horrible sleeper there too. We get a daily report and we’ve been able to see that his typical 1.5-2 hour nap is not happening any more, some days it’s 45 minutes and other days it’s 2 hours. But, we also learned that he is a light sleeper who wakes up to even the quietest little sounds. And, during nap time he prefers to talk to himself, and try to wake up his sleeping friends. To try to let his toddler friends have better naps, they’ve actually had to move his bed over to the pre-school area, where the bigger kids don’t nap as long.
All of this reminds me of 2 years ago, when he dropped his second nap and started only napping once a day. And so, I suspect we will see his nap vanish in the next month or so.
The plan with daycare is to try letting him sleep for a maximum of 1 hour during the day. And, if that doesn’t result in an improved overall night-time sleep, then we’ll drop it to 30 minutes. And from there, we’ll drop his nap entirely. And on weekends, we’ll do the same thing.
Truthfully, part of me is dreading no weekend naps – that’s my 2 hours to get stuff done! But, part of me is also very excited to no longer have a mandatory mid-day break. And another part of me is totally okay with dropping the nap, so long as the bedtime routine go back to evening stories and sleep in relatively short-order.
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