Oh naps. The current bane of my life. I guess I am fortunate for this to be the thing that is troubling me so much, as in the big scheme of things it’s not a big deal. But I feel like our life revolves around the all important nap. I have tried to be one of those easy going mums who accept invitations to play-dates at whatever time of day – only to discover it leads to MISERY for all involved. If Ted is out and about when he wants to be asleep, he will shout at the top of his one year old voice, for the duration, until I admit defeat and take him home – by which point he falls asleep in the car and has a too-short nap and continues to be miserable throughout the day. So once I had figured out when Ted was tired and needed a nap, I stuck to his daily routine which made for a happier baby and a more productive mummy. Great.
Ted decided at 12 months old he was just a one nap kind of guy and started refusing his afternoon nap. He would just stand in his cot and shout until I gave in and came to get him. I kept offering him an afternoon nap for a number of weeks, panicking that he had been awake for too long and would be over-tired by bed time. Sure enough, he kept refusing. He was sleeping fairly OK at night time so I thought fine, we are done with you afternoon nap. He is still having his morning nap, and it is exactly that – a morning nap, when according to the copious unnecessary reading I have done he should be pushing it to a lunchtime nap now that he has dropped his afternoon nap. So I tried to push it back. Again, a big mistake. This child wants to nap at 10am – and not a minute later or he will have a meltdown. I am fortunate in that once he is asleep at this time, he will go for at least 2 hours, and sometimes on a REALLY good day, he will go for 3 hours. I try to use this time productively – bung a load of washing on, stick the dinner in the slow cooker and tidy up the lounge. Other times I drink tea and watch The Real Housewives of Atlanta or have a nap myself. I absolutely treasure that time, especially when Ted has gone to sleep without a battle – those days I feel like I am living the dream. The only downside to all this is for some reason most toddler play groups are in the morning, so we miss out. They literally all start at 9.30am. Who are these Supermums who are out of the house with both them and a toddler fed, clean and dressed by that time, let-alone the toddler not wanting to be going back to bed? I have found one afternoon playgroup which starts at 1.30pm, we had a great time but missed it this week as Ted was still asleep…… Some days I feel like I can’t win! I know he needs his nap but I would really like us to get out a bit more. I think between now and Christmas I am going to make a real effort to go to groups as by December I am going to be pretty heavily pregnant and probably won’t be up to it. I may have to start waking him up from his nap to make sure we can go to the afternoon group, or maybe I should be brave and try out another morning group. I am sure he won’t explode.
Of course, I have written all of this and Ted has refused his nap this morning, and didn’t go down until 12. A constant reminder that these little people aren’t robots, and just like us some days they are more tired than others, less hungry than others and aren’t going to stick to a schedule every day. I am trying really hard to go with the flow – allow Ted to sleep when he is tired and to make the most of the things we can do any time of day – the library, the park, local soft plays – even swimming. I want him to be as active and social as possible, without being a slave to the nap.
Do your little ones nap well? What is your daily routine like? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments below Xx