Our youngest 2 are 5 1/2 and 3, and both are still taking a 2 hour nap most days (KGer has am KG). Some days they just get crazy and don't nap instead. Their falling asleep time is creeping later and later, like past 10 pm. Our family needs to wake up at 6:30 am to start our day, and the time is non-negotiable for the KGer.
The kicker is that often our older children have activities that require our youngers to be out of the house well past 8 pm, several nights of the week (T, W, Th, F), and so we have held onto the naptime so they can recharge.
It is taking longer and longer for them to settle down for a nap, and in many ways, especially bedtime, it seems like they would do well with eliminating naps entirely. The biggest problem is, that _I_ seriously need a nap most weekdays of at least 30 minutes to be at all functional for the rest of the day. It is less necessary than a year ago, as our 3 year old is finally sleeping through the night.
I am a student midwife, and I am at a day of prenatals most weeks, and they rest or sleep at their childcare location. Late afternoon and evening is CRAZY when they don't sleep.
I am really unsure what to do with this situation. And I never had a 5 year old nap this long--my other kids stopped napping around 3 or 4. Any suggestions?
Wow, that's tough! Activities that keep them up so late at night make eliminating the nap a lot harder. Do they nap on the weekends with you too? How many hours do you think they need, ideally? 11 or so? So, if you eliminated naps, that would make bedtime at 7:30, if they are up at 6:30. But, given their activities, they need to be up late. Have you thought about giving them a nap to recharge, but only of 45 minutes, for example? Or, maybe, given them a nap only a few times a week, the ones you most need the late bedtimes? Definitely limiting the nap length might be a good start, since 2 hours is a lot. Can you recharge for the 30 mins you want if they sleep for 45?
It is so important to prioritize sleep, so maybe re-thinking all of those evening activities, or finding a way to have someone else take the kids there if it is for the older kids might be worth doing...
DS1 (6) , DS2 (3) , DD is here!
We have afternoon church on Sundays, a chunk of 3 hours, and that is also non-negotiable, unless someone is sick, of course. We realise that we are just packed for activities, but I am not seeing it change anytime soon; we may just have to struggle through for the next year or two until they don't need naps anymore. But I will still need a nap when I'm not working. I needed a nap in high school, regularly fell asleep in geometry, and regularly took naps in college once I "accepted" that I am a napper. My husband takes the afternoon driving shift on road trips, my only time in an accident ever was at 1:30 PM.
I read some more about "instituted quiet time"; I forgot that I did this with my older kids for a long time until they didn't need it anymore (usually until around 5 or all-day school). I think we can do "instituted quiet time" and if sleeping happens, great, and if not, we'll wake everyone up at 3:30 pm, no matter what, *except Mondays.*
And the days I have births are also extra "interesting/adventurous."
Thanks for thoughts/comments.
Could you shorten the nap time to 45 minutes to 1 hour? That way you can get your nap in and maybe they will get tired earlier than 10pm but still be able to stay up past 8.
We do quiet time in our house, but our kids are in bed by 7:30, so I don't need them to be able to have energy to be up later.
Whatever you do, I would make it a regular thing every day no matter what your extra curricular schedule is. It seems like Sunday is the day you're out of the house at that time, so maybe that would be the only day things would be different. Consistency and regularity has been key for us as far as our kids and their sleep.
On Wednesday we were all completely wiped out by 12:30 so finished lunch as promptly as we could and settled for a nap; everyone was up by 2:40. The older kids had activities, so we got home at 8:37 pm, and they were all tucked in by 9 pm (that's quick...) and asleep before 9:30 and did not have trouble waking the next day.
Attempt for a naptime today (Thurs) was late (mid-day activity); missed the sleepy window and they were "being silly" on their beds so I got them out of bed by 2:45 to not fall asleep. After a big snack they're doing OK and hopefully early to bed tonight. "Early" will be tucked in by 8:30 or 8:45 pm.
Thanks for suggestions. Very helpful. Looks like, we'll try to have everyone up at 2:45 to 3:00 pm; that will get them roused in time to get sleepy after dinner.
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