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Napping Is Your Friend

Posted by on Feb. 15, 2012 at 12:00 AM
  • 33 Replies

I love naps...who doesn't right? A little break in the day to recharge and snuggle under the covers. A bit of calm, a bit of stillness. Yes, I love naps...which is why I never understood why my kiddo wasn't a great napper. She would only sleep for maybe 45 minutes a pop. Even when she switched to only one nap as a wee one, she still did not take a good, long nap.

But that was just her. She was a good sleeper at night. She wasn't tired or cranky. That was just the type of napper she was -- which went against all of the books I read about napping habits. That is the thing about sleep issues, though, right? You need to figure out what is best and right for your child, no matter what the books and those other moms say. However, there are some overall good ideas and hints to help you get a handle on this whole other sleep issue called napping.

-- Do a similar, but shorten bedtime routine before the nap. You don't need to get on pjs or brush teeth, but reading a book and putting on the same soothing music CD can help your child wind down from playing and ease into naptime. 

-- Kids usually move to one nap around 15 to 18 months, but it can be earlier than that. How to do the switch? Start to move the "morning nap" later. This may mean moving lunch a little earlier, so she has time to play a little after lunch and before the nap.  And when your child hits about three years or so, look for signs she may want to totally stop napping -- though perhaps she still needs some "quiet time" for low-keep playing. When your preschooler stops napping, bedtime may be switched to be a little earlier in the evening.

-- Keep it consistent. It is the Mantra of the Mama: consistency with the time and the routine for sleep makes it work and makes your life that much better.

-- The length of the nap doesn't really matter, just how your child is after it. If your little one was like mine and only slept for maybe 45 minutes or so, it is long as she is rested and energetic. But if your kiddo wakes up and then, an hour later, is cranky and whiney, you may want to look at the routine, try soothing him back to sleep for longer or the time at which you are putting him down for the nap. 

-- Put the kibosh on late afternoon naps. A very late nap can totally mess up your child's nighttime sleep.

What are your best nap hints?

by on Feb. 15, 2012 at 12:00 AM
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Replies (1-10):
by Sarah on Feb. 15, 2012 at 5:32 AM
My kids are older and do not take Naps but will have quiet time to read
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by Meghan on Feb. 15, 2012 at 5:35 AM
My kids are past naps but my older son was not a napper. He would sleep 14 hours a night but refused to nap during the day
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by on Feb. 15, 2012 at 9:38 AM

I don't really have any hints that weren't covered in this article.  My 21 month old usually gets up around 8am, then is ready for a nap around 12 or 1.  That nap is usually around 2 or 3 hours and then he's good until around 9, when he goes to bed.  I know if I wake him up from his naps instead of letting him wake on his own, he's usually grumpy, so I try to let him sleep until he wakes.  Occasionally, he's pushing past 3 hours and I'll wake him after awhile so it doesn't interfere with his bedtime.  *Most* of the time, this works ok as long as he's had 3 hours.  And I still try to catch a nap with him occasionally :)

by Ashley on Feb. 15, 2012 at 10:17 AM
I use the steps mentioned above. We love naps.
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by on Feb. 15, 2012 at 10:29 AM

DS was always a great napper. By a year old he would tell us when it was nap time. LOL

DD is just starting to get away from naps. She is 4.5 and if she takes a too long nap or a too late nap then the night is all goofed up. We aim for a nap starting between 12-1 and she is up by 2-3.

by on Feb. 15, 2012 at 5:11 PM

My kids are older and both in school. My daughter naps at school but not on weekends. I never was good at getting my kids down for a nap. They were fighters and I didn't have the energy for all that. 

by Sarah on Feb. 16, 2012 at 9:34 AM
For younger kids a nap routine
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by Sarah on Feb. 16, 2012 at 9:35 AM
For preschool age kids if they do not want or are hard to get a nap calling it quiet time worked for us
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by Bronze Member on Feb. 16, 2012 at 9:57 AM

I run a daycare out of my home and everyone naps including the 5 year old. It's quiet time to myself. I do lunch and than put the daycare kids down and than put my son down at the same time (or about the same time) every single day. Makes it easier on me and them as well.

by on Feb. 16, 2012 at 3:59 PM
DD doesn't take a nap anymore unless she's been up all night at a sleepover or is sick lol she's 11

DS is almost 3 in may and still consistently naps in the afternoon otherwise he's a crab! He does fight it though but falls asleep rather quickly
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