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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Eliminating Nap Time

Napping  
{napping on daddy in the car}

About a month ago we eliminated naps from Little E's schedule. Some days it was a battle to get him to go down, and he preferred to play instead. Other days it was easy for him to fall asleep, and he showed signs of being tired midday. Battle or no battle, he had a nap everyday that would last anywhere from 90 minutes to 2 hours. The problem came down to his inability to fall asleep at night. No matter what we did, he would not fall asleep at a decent time. He would leave his room and demand one of us to come upstairs to his rescue, and this would last for hours until 10 PM almost every night. It became even more difficult when he kept pushing his bedtime and would fall asleep close to 11 PM. He was getting about 10 hours (sometimes less) of sleep combined, and everyone in the house was cranky.

Sleeping Elliot
{toddlers sleep in the oddest positions}

By eliminating his nap, Little E will consistently go down around 8 PM and wake up around 7:30 AM. It was difficult at first for him to adjust, and he would break down around dinner time, constantly rubbing his eyes from being overtired. On occasions he will still get a nap, usually on the weekends when we're busy and running errands. It's easy for him to fall asleep in the car, but he wakes up super upset which is no fun. Luckily napping only pushes his bedtime back by an hour, which is manageable for us.

Sleepy Little Gentleman
{napping after attending his cousin's birthday party}

While I'm pretty strict about no naps, there are times when I let it slide. Last month Little E felt under the weather after getting a shot from the doctor's office. He was so exhausted but didn't want to give into his nap. I convinced him by having him nap in bed with me. Yesterday he was having issues pooping and probably very constipated, which is rare for my little guy. He suffered so much and was still unable to poop. I carried him for comfort, and within minutes I heard Little E breathing heavily. He fell asleep on my shoulder! I honestly can't remember the last time he fell asleep on me, and there was no way I was going to wake him up. I soaked in our moment for 15 minutes before I realized that it wasn't feasible for my body to keep him sleeping on me. We moved upstairs and napped together for another 2 hours! E didn't go to bed until close to 10 PM last night, but I was okay with that. He had a lot of fun with us after dinner, and I enjoyed our nap.

Napping After a Rough Day

It's not ideal to eliminate nap time from a 2 year old's schedule, but it works for us. I do miss the extra 2 hours I had each day, but I have managed to survive without it. Instead we have quiet time where E will play in his room, and I usually take a quick nap in mine. It gives him down time and a much needed break from the day, which allows him to stay up until bedtime.

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