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|