When I became a mom, no one told me about the transition to no nap time. All of the books I read told me how to transition from four to three, to two, to one nap, but never no naps. I naively assumed that my kids would be napping until kindergarten because that’s what my mom tells me I did. But my oldest child’s personality, combined with the fact that her birthday falls just after the cut-off date and she won’t be able to go to kindergarten until she’s 6, means that I will have a couple of years at home without a nap time break.
My daughter stopped napping at 2 years 4 months. It was two days after Christmas when she went from taking a nice, long 3-hour afternoon nap, to not napping at all. Not so conveniently, my 4-month-old son was still taking three naps a day, and I really needed the house to be quiet for the afternoon because I work from home. So, I implemented rest time.
Every day during her usual nap time, I would put her in her crib with her favorite books and stuffed animals and let her play, sing, and jump up and down to her heart’s content. Most days she would play in there the entire time, and some days she would actually fall asleep. This continued for over a year, when we finally made the switch to a big girl bed. With that, came the end of rest time.
No longer contained in the four walls of her crib, rest time was less appealing and every day she’d inch her way closer to the door and eventually out of it. Since her little brother still takes a good nap and they share a wall, I gave up on the idea of rest time when it became more and more of an argument every day.
Gone is my guaranteed alone time. And I miss it.
I didn’t expect to mourn the loss of nap time, but as a stay-at-home/work-from-home mom who recharges by being alone, it’s a new challenge for me. Suddenly, getting my work done, maintaining a clean house, and working out are all things that feel more difficult to accomplish. How do I do everything that I need to get done, without that nap time break?
I don’t have an answer to this. I’m still trying to figure it out. I know that as my daughter gets older and more independent, I won’t feel like I have to entertain her as much during this time. For right now, puzzles, coloring, and let’s be honest, TV, are getting us through a non-existent nap time while her brother gets his sleep.
As far as napping until kindergarten goes, there is always hope that my son will follow through. He loves to sleep, just like his mommy.