Death of Nap. Death of Sanity.

I’ve heard tales of this sort of thing on the street.

A child under the age of three phasing out his afternoon nap.

An Urban Myth, of course.

Or at the very least, a lack of parental know-how. They must not be timing things accordingly. Perhaps the lighting isn’t adequately creating a restful atmosphere. Overly stimulating post-lunch media? Maybe they serve juice instead of water?

At any rate, it couldn’t happen to me. Certainly not. I shan’t even entertain the thought.

Well, peeps. I’m here with my street cred to tell ya,

It’s real.

It’s true.

It’s horrifying.

Zachary’s naps have sprung with the spica. We fought it. We denied it. I bounced the kid silly for an hour the other day until he finally realized it was his crib or motion sickness. But, even that has stopped working.

“I’m just not tired, Mommy”

And I believe him.

He’s not tired at 12:00 pm.

Or at 1:00, or 2:00

It’s debatable at 3:00.

And at 4:00…

the sky comes crashing down around us all in a loud, thunderous, decimating explosion.

“Mommy! I’m tired! I want to take a nap!


What happens if the child takes a nap at 4:00 pm?

He’s up till 10:00 pm.


So, after much debate, discussion and tears (ours, not his), we made the painful decision to try something new this week.

No nap. Not even an attempt. An EARLY bedtime and all should smooth out within a few days.

How did it go?

God Awful

In fact, I made the mistake of accepting invitations for two play dates this weekend, planned for the early evening/wartime hours.


I did this TWICE this weekend.  Because evidentially I didn’t embarrass myself quite enough on Saturday and felt the need to go back for more on Sunday.

Two different evenings.

Two different psychotic break-downs.

Two different calm, sane families as witnesses (both with a child who sits at the dinner table, quietly consuming prepared food for a period of time spanning longer than ten minutes-something I know nothing about even with all naps intact)

It would seem that I am trying my best to ensure no friends are made here in our new neighborhood.

My sweet, loving, slightly precocious little boy turns into a high-pitched, squealing banshee, who would be prescribed 17 different drugs if observed by a child psychiatrist during these episodes. (And I would certainly be prescribed a handful of my own, should I catch the doc’s eyes, even for a quick second.)

He is out of control.

I am out of control.

Isabelle joins the ranks of the ‘out of control’ just for uniformity, I guess.

She naps just fine-

Not three and four hour stretches I’ve heard parents claim their kids give them. I know nothing of that sort of luxury. Never have. Good Lord, what on earth would I do with that kind of time?

If one of my children has ever napped for more than one hour and 45 minutes, I’ve checked for a pulse.

So, that’s that.

Except it’s not.

This nap CANNOT go. It’s not working.  There is a reason why kids don’t usually drop it until after preschool begins. It is unnatural for any human to go through 13 hours of entertaining two toddlers without so much as a five-minute reprieve.

This just won’t do.

No siree.

Must figure out a new plan.

Until then, all post-3:00pm play dates are out of the question. I must salvage what friendships remain!

have a click!


21 responses to “Death of Nap. Death of Sanity.

  1. Brilliant. xoxo Katie

  2. Oh Em… I don’t claim to be an expert. But here’s what worked for me. I have always told my kids. It’s nap time or it’s bed time and you don’t have to sleep but you have to be in bed. For nap I set a timer. For bedtime I just said. Goodnight.

    My kids have always been early risers no matter what time they got to bed so they ALL are in bed by 8:30. Even my 13 year old and again I say.. It’s bed time not sleep time. They need time away and so do the parents.. Pour the wine. As for late day play dates.. Ya, I’d skip them for now Hang in and hang on

    • I am trying this as I type. He always did quiet time very well up until now. In fact he would often ask to go in his crib with some books. Now, he has decided it is more fun to tear around in his rediscovered mobile body! I understand. I needed this validation that needed a small period of time for myself (which usually means to pay the bills or prepare them dinner) is necessary and OK. I’m ordering a timer on amazon and hoping this will become the norm

  3. Oh my – sorry to hear you are in the midst of naptime struggles. It is definitely not an enviable position. Here is my attempt to make you feel a little better: my youngest gave up her regular naps by about age one-and-a-half. She began taking them every other day and then every two days. I even occasionally allowed 4 pm naps in my house. The naps would last 1-1.5 hours and bedtime at 8:30 usually was not a problem.

    Hopefully you can find a compromise with him on the rest time. It seems that he is still in need of the downtime. I know you will figure it out. 🙂

    • that is exactly what is happening here. It seems he only needs the nap every few days, but this isn’t conducive to instilling a routine that he can understand and expect. I tried the 4:00 nap wondering if we could still keep the 8:30 bedtime, but it didn’t work. On top of that, since he got his cast off he seems terrified of the dark while in his room. Even with a nightlight, he screams in terror when we leave. This is a child who from about 14 months on would put himself to sleep happily in his crib. This is just a phase, I hope.

      • A routine is definitely best for everyone. I believe my younger ones fought the need to rest more since everyone else was up. Even if it was quiet time in the house, I think they thought they were missing out on something exciting. Hopefully he’s settling into a new routine that works for everyone this week.

      • Still figuring it out….thanks, Rita!

  4. What time does he wake up in the morning? Maybe wake him up at 7 so he’s a little more tired at 1? Then do the imposed rest/quiet time? I hate when people give me advice. ha

    • I used to hate it when people gave me advice, but that was back when I felt i knew what I was doing. Ever since I gave in to the fact that I am clueless and stopped pretending I am mother of the year, I have no problem. I just assume people know more than I now. 😉

      as for wake up. 7:00 am. He really seems to need this nap every few days. But as I have said in another reply, that doesn’t led itself to a clear routine. I’m getting a timer and we are going to try to re-instill a “quiet time” He can do what he wants, sleep or no sleep, but it needs to happen every day.

  5. We had the same attempt, and I fought tooth and nail. Tried my way: it’s quiet time. You’re in your room and may lie in bed and read or play but you must be quiet and stay in bed.
    Didn’t work.

    Then I tried a long drive every day at 1:00. Worked but killed me. I was exhausted, polluting, and spending too much money on gas. It often took 30 minutes to get him to sleep, at which time I’d pull over and read.

    Spouse did the unthinkable: laid down with him. Read to him and they both fell asleep. It was a holiday weekend and he did four days of napping with the 3 year old. I almost killed him because that meant to get toddler to nap I had to nap.
    So I would lie down with him and read and fake sleep. I often fell asleep first. But that kid napped easily and regularly until he was 5. No joke.

    Quiet time during sister’s nap. Jessica’s wording is awesome. Bed time not sleep time.

    • Yes. I like that too (jess’ wording) We are working on that right now…he is screaming. Baby sis is sleeping in the room next door, amazingly.

      I understand the death wish for spouse. But I also understand how enticing it is to do when you just need a break and know that will work.

      Maybe I should be thankful that it didn’t work for us this weekend. I tried to lie down with him as I really did need a nap and he bounced around the bed the entire 45 minutes until I banished him from the bedroom to go play with Daddy while I finished my own nap!

      5, huh? I wish. I fear that will not be our reality with either child.

  6. Must…regain…sanity. We have quiet time if Coop refuses to sleep. He can have a book or toys as long as he is quiet. I have the luxury, though of not having another wee one trying to sleep when Cooper fights it so it’s easier said than done. Good luck my mommy warrior friend…may the force be with you and the sand man with Zachary!

    • And that is exactly the problem. I have become quite desensitized to my children’s screaming antics, but Isabelle shares his wall and two overly tired kids may have me packing my bags and running off to Guam. Guam. Is is quiet there? Can i take a nap? Just a short one?

  7. Laura Dysarczyk

    I believe in naps for everyone at every age! 🙂

  8. Wish I could remember how long you all napped, but seriously, I no longer have any idea. Isn’t it comforting to know that once the transition is over, you won’t remember either. I’d be glad to nap with him, so I guess I’ll just have to keep him for awhile…..just kidding! From Mom with love.

  9. I don’t have a remedy, my kids napped well so far the ones who have given it up until 3, but i remember even giving it up after that was hard, they are just plain tired and earlier than bedtime. I did’t read comments above so it redundant, disregard my suggestions and again they are just suggestions. My great friend did quiet time with her child when she gave up the nap, she still does at age 5. read, play quietly, but 2 hours in your room, start now, so it is routine..unfortunately i never did it with my first so couldn’t with the other…put him to bed 6:30 if you have to until it irons out. Try maybe for a 2:00 nap even if he says he’s not tired, chances are he is….just know you are not alone, we have all been there with the death of a nap, and I stilll go through it with Preston, turning 4 in two months, he ffalls asleep around dinner time if he stops long enough, then what..we wake hime withing 30 min, miserable…mommy misearable, bu tbedtime is still by 9..which is later than i like..i like 8-8:30 bed… hang in there….hugs

    • Thanks, Erica…
      We are trying the daily quiet time now. so far we get a nap every other day. Which is probably all he needs, but I’m hoping to really make a habit out of the time regardless of what he does with it. I will say though that 2 hours seems like a long time if he’s not sleeping, but amazing that it worked for your friend. Right now, we are aiming for 45 minutes and if he isn’t sleeping at that point, he’s done. sigh

  10. p.s. my kids don’t sit at the table for long on a regurlar basis either, even if napped, you are NOT alone…I often wonder what I have done wrong as a parent……

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