Monday, January 25, 2010

Dropping the nap

I have said many times that I have no idea what I would do when the boys dropped their nap and that I would only let it go from my cold dead hands. So it should come as a great surprise to everyone that we decided to force the boys to NOT nap this weekend.

For the last month, we have been on this downward spiral of later and later bedtimes. Or rather, sleeptimes. We still put the boys to bed at 8PM but they consistently go in and out of their rooms EVERY NIGHT after 8. Sometimes until 9. Sometimes until 10. Sometimes after 10. This was making the parents extraordinarily cranky. They weren't just doing the normal bedtime stalling. This was out of control. One night I caught Nate in Alex's room showing Alex his puppy's outfit. This would be fine except Alex was dead asleep and Nate was shaking him, trying to wake him.

That is when we had to admit they are ready to stop napping. We decided to test this theory over the weekend. Instead of naptime, we told the boys it was quiet time and they could take toys into their rooms. We cut back the time they were in their rooms and made sure they did not sleep. Sure enough, when bedtime rolled around, not a single peep was heard after 8PM.

Sunday we again did not let them nap, and again we did not hear a peep after 8PM. They were considerably cranky in the afternoon, but I had so much more patience dealing with their tiredness knowing I would get a break at 8 PM.

I was unable to sleep last night, thinking about this last big sleep transition for my boys. I was up for a long time, wondering how the time had gone so quickly.

19 comments:

Joanna said...

The after noon crankiness should pass in a month or so. No naps really frees up your days and makes trips easier to plan. Since you weren't napping anyway, it should be a fairly easy transition.

Of course, we are having bedtime and middle of the night sleep issues too, so I don't know what's going on with Michael. Maybe it's developmentally related?

Sadia said...

It's such a huge step, isn't it? It feels the Great Toddler and Small Child Divide has been crossed. :)

Mel and Jess still nap at school, and get to sleep without issue, but naps on the weekend are almost unheard of, although Jess has been getting quite tired in the later evening. I chalk that up to listening to Melody chatter all day.

Quiet time has mixed success at our house. Some days, they're too wired to avoid chatting, then playing, then running around the room screaming like banshees.

Carrie said...

Congratulations on the smooth transition! I am wondering when we make the 2-to-1 nap transition in our house.

Susan said...

Wow, good for you on having this happen at your boys' age. I agree with Joanna it does really "free" you up as far as planning and schedules, etc.... I must have had sleepers because my boys took regular naps through Kindergarten. But bedtime was 9:00 p.m. to give both working parents more time with them. Our Kindergarten at the time had a quiet time with mats and my boys would zonk right out ;) They played hard.

HT said...

Our daughters go to bed at 8PM as well and for the last 4 - 6 months they will not take a nap on the weekends.

When they are really dead tired I will let them take a nap, otherwise it is just a fruitless exercise where they run around the bedroom!

Fortunately when they go to sleep at night they are normally out for the count within 15/20 minutes!

Beth said...

We dropped the weekend naps long ago. (At least it feels like long ago.) If we go anywhere in the car after 2:00 or 3:00 p.m., though, William can't help but to fall asleep. Sometimes it's good, but sometimes it just makes him more cranky. Do your boys have as much trouble falling asleep on weeknights? Will they still take naps at school?

mel @ the larson lingo said...

I am so glad you posted this....As you know Kate just turned 3. But, for the past month or so, she has been trying to avoid taking a nap. On the days she takes a nap, we still put her to bed at 7:30-8 pm, but she doesn't fall asleep until 10ish. On the days she doesn't nap, she is SO cranky around 5-6 at night or if we are running errands/coming home from a playdate she will fall asleep in the car. So, i know she needs a nap. Instead of cutting it out completely, maybe I should only let her nap for an hour (instead of 2). Hmmmm...thanks for letting me think out loud! Glad you guys were able to find a good solution for your boys, I hope it continues this week & beyond!

Bert Bell said...

Enjoy while you can. I feel like I turned around and my sweet 5 year old stepson suddenly became a 16 yr old. His 16th birthday is today and I can't help but remember the sweet 5 year old red headed chubby cheeked lil man I used to snuggle on the couch with on Saturdays watching Sponge Bob. Makes me wonder where the years went. It also makes me more prayerful as we are entering the stage of driving and dating.

Mel said...

My sympathies. I really miss the nap, but it does make bedtime a little easier.

Karen said...

Been nap free here for a while too. It does make the bedtime easier, even though the time from about 5-6 can be cranky time.

I agree with Beth that if we go somewhere in the car mid-afternoon, Michael will take a nap but it's normally less than an hour.

And there is less to plan around, which is a bonus!!

DesiDVM said...

We're kind of in-between with the whole nap thing right now. J has plenty of days when he doesn't take a nap, and then he's so tired that he's usually ready for bed by 7pm. Other days he starts to fall asleep no matter what I do and ends up napping for a good 2 hours or so and we let him stay up til around 8:30 on those days.

With the baby, however, I still like the nap days LOL. Most days when I'm home I can get both kids to take an afternoon nap at the same time...and that means Mommy (who's still up 3x a night with the baby) can get a nap too! At daycare J usually just has "quiet time" but almost ALWAYS falls asleep in the car on the way home (around 5:30pm) so I think he's not quite ready to stop napping altogether.

HeatherV said...

I am taking some hope that the afternoon crankiness may some day pass, although not napping usually means Ben is hyped up and in super whiny mode for the 3-7pm solo Mommy shift. I agree this is a big developmental shift to cross into the adult world.

We try to channel this energy with walks in the neighborhood, park, library. But with the school change and 3 pm pickup I lost my ability to get errands run minus child in tow. Usually a hungry and poopy child on most days.

At least come 7 pm he is tired, I am tired and he is out for the night. I'm praying this baby has not sleep issues!!!

Carrie77 said...

Nathan stopped napping once we brought Autumn home from the hospital, and I must say he goes to bed around 7:30-8pm and isn't out of bed until the next morning at 7:30am. I hope it goes well for you! Us mommies need our break at night so we can refuel for the next day.

mames said...

i know our set is a full year younger, but they started the late bedtime months ago...and so went the nap. especially when tim took over at home and they seemed to think that meant something like 'no napping needed'. it has been rough on and off, we still have one go down occasionally, but they are out like lights by 7. ah, the sweetness of it. i honestly do not miss it terribly, but that is in part attributed to the fact i am out of the house much more now with work.

not planning around their 'schedule' is nice after the early times of feeling dictated by it. good luck to you and them, sounds like they are ready and so are you.

Megan said...

I'm curious too, along with Beth, about napping at school and how week days go. Hugs on thinking about kids growing up. I always need hugs when I think about that. When I *really* think about it.

Goddess in Progress said...

Hope the transition continues to go well! I too, obviously, am of the "nap until you're 15" school of thought. But I'm starting to see how life without naps could be possible. And maybe even fun. Especially since they're starting school five mornings a week in the fall... :-)

Lee Anne said...

You will get used to it and actually come to love it I think. My boys stopped napping about 6 months ago and I fought it for a few months before that. When they were consistantly not falling asleep until 10 pm I knew it was time. Now they go to bed at 7:00pm and wake at 7:00am. It is actually rather nice. We have our cranky moments from time to time but you will adjust and deal with it. I have found when they show signs of crankiness that is when we all sit together and watch a little TV. Even just one little show (20-30 minutes) will make a huge difference for mine. I never could get them to do the "quiet time" thing in their room.

jungletwins said...

Wowser. This is momentous. At this point, just shy of 2, I cannot imagine my girls lives without naptime. But I guess that day will come- sniff, sniff. Good for you, holding it together. I'm sure I'll be a basketcase.

Shannon and Carey said...

Woman, you are speaking my language over here. Abigail and Porter are 3.75. I stay home and this is a much needed break for me (sometimes I feel like I'm dying by 2pm, lol). I am going to have to cut nap time short. Some night we go in like 8 times. it get sooooo frustrating!
I am looking forward to this no napping in a way as to free us up to do more things....not having to be at home at a certain time.
Thanks for this tip.
Shannon in Austin