We’re there. At the beginning of the end. Just when my 6 month old is starting to develop some kind of consistent nap schedule my 2 year old is starting to skip naps altogether. I think she realizes it isn’t advisable and that it isn’t much fun for any of us when she refuses to close her eyes and welcome what dreams may come. But she’s two so she has to try it once in a while. If these no-nap days are somewhat trying for her, they are absolutely grueling for my husband and I. A no-nap day requires that we expedite dinner so that our toddler does not fall asleep in her food. A no-nap day means that bath time may not happen regardless of how much paint/mud/food/poop coats our tiny human. It means that she will behave horribly to her little brother, that her wants will come across as demands instead of requests, and that the next morning we’ll all be awake earlier than usual. No-nap days suck.
The only consolation is the one on one time that sometimes emerges when I least expect it. If my baby sleeps for more than half an hour I can usually complete an entire craft project with my daughter. Or we can practice spelling short words on the chalkboard. Or I can read her more than one library book at a time. One day I will really come to look forward to that special time with her, one day when she stops taking naps because she doesn’t need them anymore. That day won’t be here for a while yet. In the meantime we’ll muddle through the best we can- treating each day as its own experiment in child-raising.
This week we’ve filled the no-nap time with painting, Melissa and Doug puzzles (another excellent gift idea for 18 months- 2 1/2 years is the puzzle pictured here- it comes with wooden boards and a collection of wooden shapes to put in them), and reading. It would be quite pleasant except that the child with whom I’m doing these things is exhausted.
I’m still holding on to the hope that this is just a phase, perhaps when this growth spurt/teething episode passes our old friend naptime will return to us for a good long while. Here’s hoping.
When did your kids give up napping for good?