For naps, we are definitely "go with the flow" people. However, bedtime is sacred!
Your nap philosophy-- keep it sacred or go with the flow? - Page 2
We go with the flow, for naps and bedtime. There have been times, when he (18months) did not nap. Since he's about 10months old, he only needs about a 15-45min when healthy. I don't see the point in forcing him to sleep when he is otherwise healthy and happy and not tired.
I also follow his instincts regarding evening bedtimes. He usually wants to go to bed between 7.30-9.30 and sleeps (with the usual night wakings) for about 10.5-11hrs.
I have not found it necessary to manage his sleep. There are and were times when he had a hard time falling asleep, because the day was so exiting, or not active enough, or he's sick or teething.
I feel that same as I sometimes go the bed later than I should because of the events of the day or because I am having a good time with friends, my child sometimes can do the same. Of course, the next day will be a bit harder for all of us. But to me that's just part of daily life. Life is just not so streamlined as some parenting books make it out to be.
I wish we could keep naptime sacred but it never happens. If I get her on a good schedule during the week it gets all out of whack once DP is home during hte weekends. And she and I both get frustrated when she is not on a schedule and end up laying in the bedroom for 2 hrs trying. So we just don't try anymore. If she falls asleep, she falls asleep, and if not.... probably oncea week she gets real tired and falls asleep on her own, usually while having an afternoon drink of mama milk. So I do not sweat it even though... heck, she doesn't get that cranky but I could really use a "lunch break" now and then, lol.
We are disciples of the sacred naptime around here for both kids. Bedtime, too. Both my kids are very, very different (in fact, they are opposites in nearly every way, from personality to pooping habits) but it's been very important to both to them to have regular schedules. Vivian is 5 and still naps nearly every afternoon, which is super for me because I love that break time. Tristan is 18 months and naps at the same time. He actually sleeps less in a 24-hour period than his sister, and is slightly more flexible about sleep--but still, until I implemented regular naptimes, in his crib and not co-napping, his sleep was a disaster and he was a cranky, unhapppy child much of the time. He will sleep in the car and occasionally has 2 naps (as long as the first one is short and happens before 11am, he will usually also take his normal nap a bit later than normal).
Kind of a feedback process. We're go with the flow kind of people, but when my toddler went through phases where he seemed consistent about the length and timing of nap he needed, we'd put more effort into keeping that timing for him. Same for bedtime. In other phases, he wouldn't fall asleep at all or would take forever, despite any consistency attempts. So we'd stop bothering for awhile and just let naps happen or not day to day. Now he's 26 months and nearly done with naps, I think. Which is nice, because he's an absolute terror when he wakes up from one (regardless of timing), with seemingly endless screaming and crying.
I wish i could be a "go with the flow" nap-philosiphiser. I think she needs the extra rest, so even if she doesnt end up sleeping, I have her lay in bed or just have some quiet/down time alone for 30-40 mins. Even that little bit seems to recharge her.
OP, I am in the same boat. With #2 coming, I am very concerned about the whole nap thing. I'm hoping at least keeping "downtime" in the routine, even if she refuses to sleep helps keep the schedule, even if it isnt full on sleeping. HTH =)
Definitely nap time is sacred in our house. But that's really because of DS, not any scheduling on my part. DS naps better & longer at home, he sleeps better at night when he naps well, so it's worth it to rush home at the first eye-rub. We are go with the flow up to a point... we've gotten good at reading DS & we usually keep it local during the day, so we're never far from home. When we travel, we do what we can to meet his sleep needs but it's typically all over the place.
But I'll put it this way, if something (as in, some activity or outing) is totally going to mess with nap time or require that we be willing to skip it, it better be darned important!
Oh man, I needed that kind of laugh :)
We are keep it sacred nap family. I find that I need the down just as much as DD does.
I have found myself in situations similar to yours and it ruins *MY* day if DS doesn't get his nap on time. I swear, I am more cranky than he is! I would say we fall in the "naps are sacred" category but I am always baffled/amazed by moms who seem to have kids who nap on the go and I wonder if I have done this to myself.
I am going to add a hard truth to this thread for the OP. With some kids, kids who will not just nap where they land, or kids who will make up for the lost sleep at bedtim without much crank factor...it's fine to go with the flow and be out and about and carefree. You can be one of those parents where having kids doesn't really disrupt your life, too much. DS was like that. If it was worth it to stay awake he would and he'd be AWESOME 90% of the time. Then he'd sleep for 14 hours that night and wake up happy as Larry.
But with other kids, kids who if they get over tired will not sleep right for DAYS, who will be total crankpot monsters for hours and hours if they don't get a good sleep every 5 hours...well you just have to accept the hand you're dealt and probably NOT go out that much, or hire a babysitter when you want to go out, expecially during the day. OR deal with a very cranky child.
I mentioned it up thread, but I can tell you when you have a baby that needs more sleep regularity than you are able to give...it sucks. We just went on vacation for 4 days where DD was unable to get the naps she needs when she needs them and they didn't last as long as she was used to, and were in a strange place...man! She was just so unhappy. Not only was she cranky and really screechingly adamant about doing everything herself (including trying to launch herself down the water slide, eat with her own sharply pointed fork and drink from a glass bottle by herself at the restaurant, shake a dodgy looking coconut palm, and leap into the deep end of the pool without her water wings.), but then she was sleeping like a newborn again at night, up every two hours to nurse and fuss and then up for the DAY at 5am...some vacation! I need a vacation to relax from my vacation!
So, we realized that in the future, we are going to have to suck up the cost and hassle of bringing her travel cot, and if we really want to relax think seriously about vacationing closer to home so we can bring our favorite babysitter along for a few days to give us a break during the day or so we can do some fun things with DS while DD naps rather than having forced puzzle and game time in the cabin when all DS wants to do is shoot down the waterslides all day.
DH and I have also started to choose to take turns with important events. So for example if he really wants to go to an outdoor all day event, I'd probably let him go with a friend and I'd stay home, or vice versa, because that way at least ONE of us can have fun, ya know?
Also remember that the next baby might be very go-with-the-flow on the napping front, napping in a carrier, or the car or anywhere at all, making things somewhat easier, and you may find that your DD outgrows the nap altogether in a few months. DS stopped napping completely by 18 months...he started sleeping between 12 and 15 hours at night, too!!! God, he was a good baby. (J/K)
I don't think we create a need for napping with little ones. I mean my DS was definitely the odd one out. Most of the parents I know do everything they can to be home (or in a home like place) for nap time if at all humanly possible.
The good news is it only lasts for about 2-4 years and then they usually out grow the need. Most parents on the other hand really miss that mid-day peacefulness of naptime. It is my theory that this is why so many of my generation from the age of about 4 onwards were booted out the back door after lunch rain or shine and told not to come back until dinner. But it's just a theory.
We're a little bit of both. DS (almost 2) has never skipped a nap entirely, but it's certainly been pushed forward or back by up to 2 hours, depending on what we have planned for the day. Same with bedtime--the goal is 8 pm, but it gets moved around. This works in large part because DS is one of those kids who isn't bothered by changes in his sleep schedule. He'll just make up for it the next day and it doesn't result in any grumpiness. But once he's down, he needs to sleep for at least 2 hours, or else he's a complete bear when he wakes up. So we go with the flow about when he naps, but we're very keep-it-sacred about how long.
We are go with the flow people.
My son travels with us and goes on outings a lot, and sometimes, there is no obvious place to nap.
Let me tell you though- he will nap if he wants one. I feel his personality is such (and we are raising him to know that he can get what he needs from us, no matter what) that if he is tired, we will take care of him, even when there is no familiar around him. He is securely attached and is just now learning to ask for what he wants (he is 15 months).
He has fallen asleep in the carseat, stroller, ergo. He crawls into my lap and falls asleep at strange locations. Even when we are home, if I get wrapped up in homework or chores and do not put him down proactively, he will run to the babygate closest to the bedroom and do the sign for milk. (At this point, he only gets milk before sleeping- he is being weaned.)
So I dunno if my son is special in this way or what, but I am blessed!
We're pretty "go with the flow" when it comes to naps. When she was younger, she needed her naps so badly, but she'd also nap pretty much anywhere so it was easier to keep her on track. Now, she's just over two and can stand to go without a nap. She will only nap at home now or in the car. So, if we're out and she's not acting like she really needs the nap, we're fine with skipping it and having an early bedtime that night. In fact, sometimes we prefer it. She usually only skips it because we're busy and if we're keeping busy, then she doesn't really get fussy about being tired.
We are 100% go with the flow for both naps and night time.
Some days we wake up early, some later and all revolves from that. Some days dd (17m) will take two naps, some only one. Depending how she slept during the day, she will either be tired for the night early, late or even super late. We spend a lot of the time outside of the house, and sometimes stay late at our friends' houses. DD will sleep when she's tired. Either in the car, stroller, Ergo, or just while being held. Doesn't matter where she is. She even slept peacefully at an autocross event we went to last year, and it was really noisy.
When she wants to sleep, she sleeps. On the other hand, if she's not ready for bed yet at night there is usually no way I can leave her in her crib. She will not have it. We co-sleep so obviously I won't leave her in our bed. She has a crib right next to our bed. During the day if we're home she sometimes plays in there for a little bit and then falls asleep. But not at night.