Call me crazy, but I can’t wait for naps to be done! As my daughter grows tougher and tougher to put down for both naptime and bedtime, I can’t help but look forward to the day when my kids are done with napping forever. If you know me, this may amaze you, because I LOVE me some sleep, but hear me out.
When my son was nearing the end of his napping days (at age three), I fought and fought to get him to sleep for a nap for several months. His naps rarely coincided with my daughter’s, and I felt like I spent all my time trying to keep small people in their beds. When I came to terms with the fact that he had just outgrown the need for a nap, it was like a world of opportunities opened up for us. (Okay, maybe that’s a little dramatic!) I loosened up a bit on making sure my daughter was home for two naps a day, and let her snooze in the car sometimes because it was awesome to be able to be out and about without the need to rush back home for a nap. Going from two to one napping kids has been way better than I would’ve guessed, so I’m reaaaaaally hoping my vision of no nappers is going to be as awesome as I imagine (because parenting always works out like that, right?).
Here’s what I won’t miss about napping kids:
- Once they’re REALLY ready to drop their naps, kids who don’t nap go to bed easier. Yeah, yeah, I know that if kids are over tired they turn into crazy people who never sleep, but kids who are just actually ready to stop napping tend to go to bed earlier, in my experience (and I have one non-napping kid, so I’m pretty much an expert).
- No planning your whole life around who’s napping when. You know how lame you feel when you tell your childless friends “Sure, we’ll be there, but we’ll be late because of so-and-so naps until 3?” Well, gone are these days! You’ll still be late, because . . . well . . . kids, but at least you can insert whatever weird, kid-induced reason you have that day and be rid of that feeling that you’ve lost all sense of cool.
- If you have two kids, there is no “break” when only one kid’s napping anyways! Sure, my son can entertain himself fairly easily at age four. But, he’s still four and has a real knack for needing a snack, butt wipe, you name it, at the worst times. Let’s just say that anyone with two kids is not “sleeping when the baby sleeps,” all that often, so a midday snooze, a chance to catch up on laundry (is that a real thing people do?), etc. is probably not going to happen.
- The nap struggle is real – and I’d just as soon be done with them! I know some moms with magically good sleepers. Some are naturally good, others have good sleep habits as a lot of hard work from parents. I read every popular baby sleep book on the market when my son was young, have a decent routine, and still . . . my kids hate going to bed. Naptime is no different for my daughter. She usually goes down somewhat quickly, but it’s not exactly fun for anyone involved. I’ll happily bypass this battle as soon as I think she can make it through the day napless without turning into a total grump.
- The car nap. If you know me well, you know that I have NO SHAME in driving around for two hours to keep a kiddo napping if I have to. In fact, I even have a routine. It goes like this: kid falls asleep, I instantly start craving a McDonald’s diet coke (by now it’s a Pavlovian response), find the nearest drive-through, put on a podcast, and hope the preschooler has enough battery in the iPad to last for the duration of naptime. Why do I do such things? Because CAR NAPS SUCK. I have actual envy of people whose kids fall asleep in the car and easily transfer to the crib, but my kids have never ever done “the transfer” successfully, so instead I just drive around looking lost for as long as I can keep her asleep. People, living your life craving McDonald’s every time your child falls asleep is no way to live. So, no, I will not miss the car nap. And hopefully, I will not miss the napping stage at all.
Moms of older kiddos, what do you think? Do you love the freedom of having non-nappers, or miss the days of snoozing toddlers?