Fighting the nap

Elanor is moving towards shedding her nap entirely.

I really miss when she was a baby and would sleep anywhere, anytime.  Or even when she stopped sleeping so easily in the stroller, she would sleep in the car back in the US.  I didn’t really feel like I had constraints on my comings and goings related to her naps.

Until VERY recently, if we were out and about, Elanor would take a much later than usual nap, but she would eventually give in and take a half hour to an hour nap.  The last three times we’ve been out during the day, she has flat out refused to nap.  All day.

Now, even when we put her down at home and aren’t out, she fights that nap.  Her nap, which used to be at noon has been fought back to 3pm or later.  Of course, when that happens, bedtime is also being pushed back.  Yesterday she fought the nap twice and cried until hysterical (20 minutes) at which point we had to get her up before she cried so hard she puked.  Then she fell asleep in the stroller around 8pm when we were walking to the mall.  She slept about 40 minutes and then was up until 1.

I’m struggling with the idea of enabling her to not nap at all and trying to put her down earlier, or trying to be far more regimented about what time she gets up and goes down to a nap.  Do we just NEVER leave the house?  I don’t know.

I sort of expected that she’d be a kid who gives up daily naps fairly early, but I was thinking that would be sometime between 2 and 2.5….not 19 months.

Thoughts?  Advice?

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4 Responses to Fighting the nap

  1. Saffy says:

    Advice? A glass of wine 🙂

    Ugh. You had me at the crying so hard she puked. Poor you, poor little sausage 😦

    Let me know what the answer is. Remember – you’re taking the lead on all this stuff and we’re learning from you.


  2. Rachel M says:

    Sounds like she’s one determined little girl! No idea what to tell you. We’ve managed to keep Charlotte on a 2 hour nap in the afternoon and still in bed by 8pm. We try to wear her out in the morning so a nap is inevitable. But is sounds like you are already doing that and it’s not working. I’m not sure what age they are supposed to give up naps but I’m seeing her pediatrician this morning so I’ll ask.

  3. i am in — and have been in for well over a year — nap jail, as a friend once called it. when the who was napping twice daily, i was home for those naps without fail. now that he’s down to one nap, i would say i am home for that nap 95% of the time. i plan our outings around them. we have a morning thing and/or an afternoon thing, but we are almost always home from 12:30-3ish for his nap. when i decided to sacrifice my comings and goings for his regular naps, i was resentful. and angry that i couldn’t do anything. my mother regularly made little remarks about how “kids are adaptable” and i could basically disregard his nap if we were out and he would “catch sleep when he could.”

    still, i believed i had to do all i could to help him get the sleep he needed and, in return, get me the sleep and break i needed. (i always hoped good naps would yield good nighttime sleep.)

    the upshot is that the who is a stellar napper. he rarely, if ever fights it and goes down happily. he sleeps hard for 2-3 hours, wakes, plays for a bit, has dinner, a bath, books, and is back to bed for 10-12 hours.

    why am i telling you all this? my philosophy on sleep is that it is essential and crucial for littles and we need to do everything we can to help them get it, which means, for me, continuing to live in nap jail and make sure we are home for a decent bedtime. of course there are exceptions to the rule. today, for example, we went to the museum with a friend. he napped 20 minutes on the way in, 5 minutes on the way home, and that’s it. this weekend, we’re going to a wedding that doesn’t start until 6pm. we’ll keep him out as long as he can stand it. but…on each of these occasions, one sacrifice will be made. today, because his nap was non-existent, we will be home for an early bedtime, despite my needing to go to the grocery store and trader joe’s. for the wedding night, we will nap him late in the afternoon, despite wanting to spend the day sightseeing in a city we’ve never been to.

    so, i guess my very long-winded advice to you is to succumb to the nap jail yourself. create and enforce a napping routine that does not (as a rule) get interrupted by midday outings and when you do have to go out midday, maybe don’t begin an outing to the mall at what would otherwise be bedtime for a non-napped kid.

    • Crystal says:

      I don’t think I’d mind nap jail if it was going to mean noon-3 everyday. The problem is that it could mean anything from noon to seven. Which is just untenable.

      Of course she’s been napping like a dream since I posted this entry, including an “on the go” nap yesterday after her gastro appointment.

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