Monday, March 25, 2013

Naptime Update

I posted a couple of weeks ago about how horrible nap time is in our house. Unfortunately, I don't really have any great news to share but I will post a quick update.

After writing the last post, I decided to see how Grace would do without a nap. Overall, skipping naps seemed to work okay. She would start to get tired around 6ish, but she would power through until bedtime at 7:30 PM and then sleep straight through until about 7:30 AM. She was generally pretty happy and we didn't really have any major tantrums on the no nap days.

I also tried a few days of trying to get her to take naps. We generally spent 30 minutes to an hour of her fighting me tooth and nail for her to actually give up and fall asleep. After sleeping for only 20 to 45 minutes, she would start having a sleep terror and those would last anywhere between 10 to 20 minutes. When she finally snapped out of the sleep terror she would be wide awake but grumpy for the next hour or so.

When I talked to her pediatrician, he really didn't have any good suggestions. He said just to let her cry it out and eventually she will learn, but honestly I can't do that. I've tried and failed at nap time. I know how the cry it out process works (we used it for bed time very successfully) but every attempt I've made at nap time ends up with her screaming for hours on end without ever sleeping. I see no reason for everyone in the house to be extremely miserable when she's doing fine without naps. He said that toddlers at this age still needs naps and that I should keep trying. I didn't argue but I will not be taking his recommendation.

For now, most days we will not be doing nap time.  That might change this spring/summer when we are able to get outside and do more activities that help get her energy out. There are still days where she falls asleep in the car if we are out and about. But most days, I simply encourage her to rest for an hour or two in the afternoon by letting her watch a movie (Tangled is the recent favorite) or by cuddling up and reading a stack of books.It seems to be working out pretty well.

I've learned pretty quickly that what works for one child won't always work for another. In our case, as much as I would love to have a 2-3 hour nap from her each day, it's not worth how miserable the fight makes both of us. I much prefer my happy girl!

Playing night night with Connor and all of her babies

3 comments:

  1. I know someone else who had very similar sleep issues with their 2 year old. It turned out that the little girl was actually not getting enough sleep. She started putting her to bed at 6 pm every night and it made a world of difference in how she would wake in the morning and how she napped during the day.

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  2. Do what's best for you. I finally gave up the morning nap after a week of fighting to get her to take an afternoon nap. I agree, I'll let her CIO at bed time, but what's the point at nap time. I get more 'rest' if she wants to skip a nap one day by having a quiet movie time or something.
    I bet this summer, your daughter starts taking a nap, because like you said, she will be able to get her energy out.

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  3. Got to the same stage as you where was so much better in the evening if we went without a nap.

    Would love for you to link it up at my Empty Your Archive link party - there is a focus this week on sleep and bedtime, Alice @ Mums Make Lists x

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