OBSERVATIONS · slice of life

The End of Nap Time

*First, my parents took Isabelle to Philly on the train while we drove on the PA Turnpike. Then, the five of us ate brunch at Max Brenner. Next, we spent the afternoon at the Please Touch Museum. On the almost 2 hour drive home, Isabelle didn't shut her eyes!
*First, my parents took Isabelle to Philly on the train while we drove on the PA Turnpike. Then, the five of us ate brunch at Max Brenner. Next, we spent the afternoon at the Please Touch Museum. On the almost 2 hour drive home, Isabelle didn’t shut her eyes!

Everyone said it would happen last year. When it didn’t, I thought, I know my kid better than you do.

Everyone said it was going to happen soon. When it does, I thought, I’m going to lose my sanity.

But then it happened last week.  She stopped napping.

I kept trying to get her to nap, but after a full day* yesterday, it was confirmed.

My three year-old no longer naps.

And now I’m left wondering…

When will I have uninterrupted work time?

You see, Isabelle was NOT a good napper when she was a baby. However, she grew into a more consistent napper, sleeping nearly three hours every afternoon. I’ve come to rely on that swath of time to accomplish a lot of work and some writing (though most of my writing happens after she goes to bed at night).

As a way to preserve my sanity, last week I instituted “rest time,” which is 90 minutes of time she may stay in her room laying down or playing with her stuffed animals. Today she sang in her crib, “exercised,” and played with her teddy bears while I itemized my 2013 business expenses for Uncle Sam. She was well-behaved the entire time and in-turn, I got serenaded while I did what is normally a tedious task.

I don’t know how rest time will go long-term. I need it to work. That being said, I’m open to suggestions for making it a time for her to chill out and for me to get things done. Any advice would be gladly appreciated!



19 thoughts on “The End of Nap Time

  1. Keep the rest time and keep the crib for as long as possible. Then, when it doesn’t work anymore, bedtime will be earlier, so that’s ok, too.

  2. I remember doing that too, Stacey. My kids went to their rooms and rested/played quietly-lots of looking at books too. Every one is different. Ingrid, almost 5 is just now giving up her nap, & still sometimes she takes one. Some help may be that if Isabelle is no longer napping, she can go to bed earlier, at least for a while. Best wishes!

    1. I wish that was the case (about the earlier bedtime)! By the time her lights were out tonight, it was 7:53 p.m. (NOTE: She used to go to bed at 8:00 p.m. WITH the three hour nap.) It’s hard since my husband tries so hard to get home from work by 6:30 p.m. We eat so quickly, race her into a shower, and do bedtime stories so quickly as it is. Now…
      Okay, will stop throwing myself a pity party now.
      Maybe she’ll eventually go to bed earlier!

  3. Oh crap. I remember when Maddie gave up her naps – about 2 weeks before I gave birth to Katie. Nice timing, Maddie.
    Sorry, I have no advice for you Stacey. I hope ‘rest time’ works out. Sounds like it’s off to a good start.
    And, I agree with Linda. Maybe no naps can mean a slightly earlier bedtime. Good luck!!

    1. Well, Isabelle decided to do it two weeks before the Slice of Life Story Challenge. Not exactly a new baby, but still rough on me.

      Okay… getting off of the computer now since the wrists flared again this afternoon after doing my taxes. (I sat down to finalize my manuscript for the SCBWI conference, saw Linda’s comment, and then yours, and felt like I should respond.)

  4. Oh, naps are a beautiful thing. I can’t believe that she’s still making it to almost 8 without them! Refueling time is important, too. (I could never call it quiet time, since I had serenaders, also…) You will all appreciate the ability to self-entertain for a long, long time. Good luck! I love the picture of her in her little pink jacket!

  5. This is the moment all mothers dread, isn’t it? I have four kids so there was always someone taking a nap even if the older ones were not. We have quiet time at our house during nap time. Here is how it goes: first, there is a mandatory reading period and then they can choose a quiet activity. The older kids often play downstairs in their play area with dolls or action figures. Sometimes they play a game or watch a movie or read using technology (RAZ kids, Book Flix or MeeGenius). To be honest, I’m not an advocate of using tv to quiet my kids, but the movie days are the best days for me to get a little something done … it’s a length of time when they are engaged in something quiet just like my napper. The nice thing with that is you can control the length of movie they choose…from a LEAP frog 30 minute video on letter sounds to a 2 hour Toy Story movie. Good luck to you both!

  6. Yep…it does happen…however, rest and quiet time is really important. I would do exactly what you did and I would continue it. I remember, even when we were at camp every summer we at least had a quiet time set aside on our bunks. Who knows, Izzy might even start slicing 🙂

  7. With my girls, we did “quiet time”. It sounds like you already thought of this though with your “rest time” concept. For my girls it was that they could play quietly in their rooms, read, or rest. This was especially helpful when Cecilia was still napping but Celeste was not anymore. One of my friends who home schools (1st grade and pre-school) said that she just layered in 2-hours of quiet time a day and that it has been working really well. Here’s to finding something that will work for you and Isabelle!

    I am also sorry to hear that your wrists are hurting again, and right before the March challenge at that!

  8. I remember the day I realized my little girl was no longer going to nap. It is a bit of a slap when you are counting on those hours and suddenly they are gone. It’s tough, but I think rest time is a great idea. Everyone needs down time and she will learn. As far as your wrists go, I am thinking of you. I can only imagine how frustrating it is for you.

  9. I found the hardest part about giving up naps was the time in the evening where they were so, so tired because they just didn’t have the stamina to make it. Many times the nap came every three or four days because they just needed to catch up…kind of like we do sometimes! I wish you luck!

  10. So sorry to hear about your wrists, Stacey! I hope they are feeling better! While I definitely don’t have any advice about the napping, I can imagine what a hard change this will be for you. The “rest time” sounds like a great idea! (Maybe as she gets older, you could “work” together? She might like to draw, read, do pretend chores, etc. as you work? I know I always liked “helping” my parents or doing what they were doing!

  11. My 3 year old gave naps up about a year ago. She will fall asleep during her quiet time about once every two weeks. She watches TV, or reads while I get a few things done, then we read together, or do something crafty that her 18 month old brother just can’t help with. My friend had 5 children and they all had to lay down every day for an hour. They were allowed to have books and nothing else! Doesn’t really work for us though. I so wish I had time to nap every day! 🙂

  12. I remember that time. For every one of my kids it was a different solution. For one it meant an earlier bedtime, but horrible 5 pm crazies, another would play with the older sibling and then crash in the middle of play (so funny finding them asleep in the middle of the room), and then there was the drive in the car until you fall asleep trick. I’d stay in the car doing work, her sleeping if I couldn’t move her without waking. Did that one a lot! Basically it’s catch as catch can! By the way a few of my students watched your google hangout on slicing today. Great stuff, hang in there.

  13. It was early nights, I worked after my daughter went to bed. Then we often woke up at the same time as s he was always an early rise as well. No advice, Just a reminder that this too shall pass.

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