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Your nap philosophy-- keep it sacred or go with the flow?

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 
I am frustrated and discouraged. Normally we have always been really focused on making sure DD gets her nap. We were/are "keep nap time sacred" kind of people. But then an event comes up, or sometimes we find we're out and about and circumstances just don't allow for a good nap, with all the usual cues (music, blanket, rocker, etc.) DD is fairly used to napping either at home or out in the stroller.

But today we were out and could NOT find a place to stroll around. It was 80*, super sunny, getting to be way past nap time, and we ended up circling a cemetery with DD in the BOB stroller, kicking her feet and singing to herself. DH pulled me away from a SNAKE walking through the grass (no sidewalks there) and I was at my limit. DD was not sleeping. I was frustrated. We were an hour from home (trying to attend an outdoor event DH wanted to go to) and I was feeling awful (33 wks PG right now)

So we ended up driving home, wasting tons of time in the car (DD is usually not good at all in the car and it requires a lot of effort on my part to keep her reasonable happy). DH read 'Peter Rabbit' the entire way home and literally when we drove into our garage, she shut her eyes. So her nap was super late, and most of our afternoon was ruined.

I'm just wondering if I am ever going to get it right? I feel like I never have it all together. When I need her to sleep, she stays awake. Nothing is reliable, even at almost 2 yo. I have another baby coming, and I feel like I can't leave the house and be very carefree, unless I learn to put up with an overtired, cranky kid, or put her needs on the backburner.

Thoughts? Help. greensad.gif

What is your nap time philosophy?? I am wondering how I can adjust my process, or my thinking...
post #2 of 41

We are definitely a keep it sacred household.  My two year old has only ever gone without a nap for the entire day twice in his life.  Even when he was a baby, I was very particular about nap time, and always home when he needed to go down.  Now he naps from 12-2ish every day, and I just make sure we're home for that time.  We occassionally stay out until 12:30 at a playdate or something, and then he'll fall asleep in the car on the way home and sleep a little longer, so that's ok.  But I'm very routine oriented and I think my son benefits from always having nap time consistent.  I also have a 5 month old now, and that makes it so tough because I like her to be home for her (3-4) naps as well.  So I'm just very organized about how we spend time out.  Anytime I want to go to a playdate or get to the park, we aim to be there from 9:30-11, so we can be home in time for lunch and nap and that time is good for both the kids.  In the evening, I just spend time out in the backyard if the baby is sleeping, or take walks around the neighborhood with baby on my back so she can nap if she needs to while my 2 year old still gets out of the house.  We do get out almost every day to a playgroup or playplace or park, but only for a few hours and always home for nap.  If there's something going on during nap time, I skip it, because I cannot deal with my son when he is overtired.  It's better for all of us to make sure he gets his nap.  That's just what works for us, but it does take a lot of planning and there are definitely days where we're all disappointed because baby naps too late for us to get out in the morning or something and we don't make it out of the house.  But it's worth it for a well rested toddler!



post #3 of 41
I am a naps-are-sacred mama. I would totally rearrange my entire life to get a good nap in, when my kids were still napping. (They've all outgrown naps now.) That's largely because my kids seem to be the type that go totally to pieces if they go even a little bit short on sleep. Even now, I frequently turn down really good social invitations, to get them to bed on time, and we have the earliest bedtime of any family in the neighborhood. Plus, my kids would never nap on-the-go, once they weren't newborns anymore. They only slept well in familiar environments.

Actually, with DD1, we'd sometimes let it go, and then just deal with the cranky overtiredness later. But once I had three kids, forget it. No way. Nothing was worth three nutso miserable kids, ever. We'd skip the nap, and then they'd fall asleep in the car, and then bedtime would be too late, and they'd NEVER sleep in, and then the whole next day they'd be edgy.

I always envied those moms whose kids seemed to happily skip naps, or sleep in the stroller or the car, or stay up late without trouble. But my kids just couldn't handle it, and it was only very rarely worth it, to me, to push them.
post #4 of 41

With DS we were totally go with the flow!  But DD is not a good sleeper, and missing a nap in the afternoon does not equal two extra hours of sleep at night...oh no, far far from it! 


It has been sort of a pain in the neck, but nowadays we are definitely nap scheduled...It's a huge cramp in our lifestyle, so I am definitely looking forward to DD dropping from two naps to one and some blessed day getting down to no naps at all.


How I miss those days of having a baby who would nap whenever, where ever, given a boobie and a soft landing spot.  Le sigh.

post #5 of 41

well DD isn't a great sleeper at night regardless of how much she naps so we tend to not sweat it. 


We aim for a general time to start her nap each day (between 1 and 2pm) and then it just depends on her.

We don't rearrange our schedule for her too much though. Today I got her to sleep at noon so we could leave for a party at 1 and it worked fine. 

I guess we are very "go with the flow". It works for us and DD manages to get a nap in every day. We have literally only had 1 day where she didn't nap and she then passed out around 6pm and woke up at 10 to play. It was awful. 


I expect her to nap daily, I just don't push it when she HAS to go to sleep. Usually by 2pm she is cranky enough and more than ready, unless we are out and she is distracted and having a good time.

post #6 of 41
Originally Posted by Llyra View Post
I always envied those moms whose kids seemed to happily skip naps, or sleep in the stroller or the car, or stay up late without trouble.


I used to BE one of those moms and I was all "what's the big deal?  Don't be so neurotic, man...just go with it!"


Karma can be so cruel!

post #7 of 41

Well... kind of both?  My kiddo has never been a god sleeper.  If there are things to see and be involved in, she won't sleep.  This was just as true as the day she was born.  However, if she doesn't sleep, she is even more whiny and throws even more fits and she's intense enough as it is (she is big on control and very hard headed haha)  We don't like to miss naps and we really have to be at home with no distractions (she doesn't sleep well in new places period, naptime OR bedtime)


however, she will sleep in the car just fine so we can go out if we want and either she'll sleep on the way there or on the way home.  The only issue of course being if we go someone too long before nap time so she doesn't sleep in car and plan to stay til long enough after that she is melting down.  This hasn't really come up though... and I'd probably just leave early!  The only exception is if we are at the park with her friends... she'll be quicker to fits but she is happy and distracted enough to handle it so long as she gets a nap in before its too late to screw with bedtime (plus late naps tend to have her waking him SUPER cranky and grumpy and I have ZERO patience for whining.. the sound is too grating on my ears

post #8 of 41

I have always been a go with the flow napping mama, and I guess I still am, but I think with my older daughter it bit me in the butt a little.   We never established a great nap pattern, instead I always, always followed her cues for when she was sleepy, and ended up having a shifting nap time until she was about two, and then she dropped the nap completely!!  So now, she's a little over 2.5, doesn't nap at all....but the trade off was that bedtime got a lot easier, and she sleeps through the night with no issues. 


Now I'm again, going with the flow with my 10 month old, and starting to consider becoming a little more rigid with her.  lol. 

post #9 of 41

With DD1 I was very go with the flow, part of it was very much her, and part me. I'm just not a routine oriented person, it certainly is easier not having to think about a nap! I never knew if she was going to nap or when that was going to happen so I just didn't worry about it. She didn't need much sleep, and honestly she sleeps more now at age 8 then she ever did as a baby, toddler, or pre-schooler. She slept on me or sometimes in the car, and by the time she turned 2, she was completely done with naps. I couldn't figure out people that were obsessed with nap time, or so I thought. 


Then I had DD2. lol.gif She gets VERY, VERY grumpy if she doesn't get enough sleep. I made sure most days we were home for a nap, it didn't always happen, but more often then not. She stopped napping at 2.5 but I stick with a strict bedtime with her or else the grumpy monster returns, and we never had a bedtime for DD1. DS turns 2 on Monday and while he doesn't get as bad as DD2 did/does, he prefers a nap and will really only take one at home. He is starting to phase out naps, they are only about 45 minutes now and for the first time the other day, he didn't sleep a wink all day and was just fine so I'm guessing it will just be a few more months with him napping as well. 


So I'm fine with how I've been doing it for the last 4 years. I try to get the toddler napping more days then not, if it is a really fun thing or day then we skip it and deal with the aftermath later, late nap in the car, late bedtime, etc... With 3 and soon to be 4 kids I can't be home every single day, I really try. There are days I come home just for a nap and then we speed off again. When they are taking two naps a day, I just try to make sure that one of them is a decent one, because there is no way in heck I can be home for two naps every single day. And then there are those days where I come home just for a nap, and they sleep 20 minutes. eyesroll.gif On those days I just think happy thoughts, like when I have no more napping children! Utter bliss that day will be. 

post #10 of 41

I've been go with the flow with both of my kids.  Neither of the have been very predictable in their napping times.  Ds1 was a super-mellow baby whose behavior wasn't noticably changed if his sleep patterns were different each day.  My ds2 (now 2 years old) is a little more fussy if he doesn't get enough sleep but he'll sleep anywhere.

post #11 of 41

We are definitely "keep it sacred" parents. We go with the flow and are relaxed about a lot of things, but not naps. My son is 2, and there have only been two days in his life when he decided he did not want to nap, so he didn't. We arrange our days around naptime, which can be a pain, but I see it my job to protect his sleep. That said, like so many things, it all boils down to your child's personality and what he or she needs, I suppose.

post #12 of 41

Oh, I am go with the flow nap time but I aim for a fairly strict bedtime every night. 8pm..period. The exceptions are when we are visiting someone or if a special friend who DD adores comes over to visit, then she gets to stay up later and visit!

post #13 of 41
She won't sleep in the car I take it? In your case I'd have gone for a little drive so she'd have slept (but it sounds like she didn't sleep in the car). Anyway I am not fussy about naps so much but REALLY fussy about bedtimes. It's a huge deal for us to be out later than bedtime. I find a late bedtime really affects the days afterwards and is totally not worth it. And I am bordering on fanatical about having 'adult time' at night. The thought of my kids being up until 10, 11 makes me shudder, seriously. I don't know how people on here do it.
post #14 of 41

I'm kind of a go with the flow about naps. But then with both ds's their naps during the week were fairly predictable and we didn't do a lot of out of the home activities. Ds 1 was a pretty horrible napper anyway but he did hit an age around 2ish where he didn't nap in the car anymore. We would occasionally change up the nap routines on the weekend in order to get out of the house. Ds2 was pretty consistent on naps in the afternoon. But dh has been putting him down pretty early on the weekends and now I'm struggling to get him to nap at a regular time during the week.

post #15 of 41

We make nap an important part of day unless it is unavoidable. A good nap makes for a good morning and a good evening and better sleep in the night. Kids nap just for a few years so I don't resent it. I work full time and the weekend is the only time I get to spend with my kids; I avoid non-kids events during the day because of it. We have a full time nanny who we could use if necessary but never had during the weekend in the last year. We plan around nap time and if we need erranding and we have the luxury of two parents that day, one of us runs out during the nap time. We'll adjust bed time a bit and nap a bit but best happen at home, in bed.

post #16 of 41

Keep it Sacred. For sure.  DD does not sleep well at night and she needs that extra chance to make it up.  I "went with the flow" for a couple of weeks when DD just would not nap for over 1.5 hours each day, and I'm glad we're back to the nap.  For us, "going with the flow" means no nap at all. Yes, we arrange our entire lives around the nap, but hey, we arrange our entire lives around DD as it is anyway.  I'm hoping the next one will be a sleeper, and then I'd be happy to go with the flow.


post #17 of 41

Keep it sacred. 

It's worth it to me to be a little late to an event or leave an event early so they can nap.   Even my 3 yo.   Crabby tired children can put a damper on anything!!!

Every now and then it's okay to miss a nap for us.   But it's an early bed time.  I'm a big believer in kids needing sleep!  (and parents needed some down time too!)

post #18 of 41

Very very 'go with the flow'.  He almost always naps though, he gets so tired in the afternoon.  I do try and leave the afternoon free for a nap, but if we have special plans I don't worry about it.  He will sleep in the car or sleep when we get back.  Bedtime is also whenever because it depends on when he napped and how long he napped for.  It's just the two of us though so it doesn't bother me if he stays up until I go to sleep, which is usually the case.  If I had to have a strict routine it would drive me insane!  I guess I'm lucky to have a little boy who does well just 'going with the flow'.  I like being able to do things with friends on the weekends or stay late at a friend's house without worrying about any routine.

post #19 of 41

caution to the wind family... ds didn't nap at all today.... makes for a crummy afternoon, but watcha gonna do? just go with the flow... go on with your day. I've been trying to be better about keeping a schedule, and so far its working, but on days we are late, I try really hard not to get frustrated, and call in help if I can. Basically get dh to be off early, or 'invite' a grandparent/auntie for dinner.


ETA; i also feel like I cannot make plans in advance though... we go out v. seldomly.

post #20 of 41

Naptime is very sacred at our house.  I just don't want to deal with overtired, cranky kids and they clearly need the sleep.


So we are home every morning at 9:00 for the baby's nap, and every afternoon at 1 for them both to nap. 


It's kind of a pain to work around, but it's just a season.  Someday they won't need naps and we will have more freedom.  Until then, their need for sleep takes priority.

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