Thursday, April 14, 2011

nap strike

We're dealing with a nap strike. Just as I'd formed the blissful thought of how much more reliable the afternoon nap has been for Lilly this past year, she's now simply refusing it.

Unfortunately (or fortunately?), I kind of know why. I've been lying down with her to sleep for nap and night since she was born (she'll be three in two months) and seeing the hours of a day that can take, I guess I just had enough in the end. It's not like it's been a conscious decision, however, though Leighton has been thanking me for what I'm doing for us, for the family, for the time he and I now get by me leaving Lilly in bed awake at night after nursing her down and then cuddling some, including the work it has taken after that when at first she wanted to leave the room or would whine.

Her wanting to leave the room at night or whine only lasted a couple of nights though, as did the whining. It's been more about 'enforcing' the getting ready for bed thing when she wants to run around, even when dead tired, that's been the issue. Nighttime lately has been quite the ordeal (dealing with an overtired child) as well as a liberation. - Finally, I can get up and have some time to myself at night (though that implies that I've been staying up too late too).

The other (negative) outcome of this new (positive?!) turn of her being able to sooth herself to sleep after I've nursed and cuddled with her, is, ahh, that she simply refuses to nap. We'll lie down, I'll nurse, we'll cuddle, she'll be snoring, it's been 45 minutes; I tease my body out of the bed, and snap, she's awake -- "mama!"

I can't even begin to express how frustrating this has been. Yes, both my husband and I enjoy the time at night we're getting now. But man, the afternoon gets long and exasperating. I can see how overtired she is. So it's not like she's just grown out of the nap; she still clearly needs it! As is evident from this new phase of whiny exhausted spells of her crumbling up on the floor if I won't go get her that green bag she so desperately needs that's lying on the floor just a foot in front of her face.  Or something else along those lines.

I asked her yesterday: Why can't you nap? She answered: It's so difficult to sleep. - Why? I asked. - I'm thinking, she responded. - About what? I searched. - About mama. - Mama what? - Mama helping me. - Helping with what? - Helping me sleep.

Then there are days, like this past Tuesday, before winter set in again as it feels like it has today, and we were out in our shorts and sandals and hats, goofing around, none of us even wanting to try for a nap, and all was good. May those days return again soon (or some other restorative winds).


  1. I remember these days - and I'm sure Shannon will chime in with her much more direct memories. They're rough, for sure, and there's no single way to proceed. Like everything else it differs depending on the kid (and the parents)! That said, though, Lilly's answers to your questions are so cute and heartbreaking! Smart kid...

  2. Thanks, Christopher! Yes those answers just broke my heart too. She's such a big girl, yet my little baby still.

  3. C gave up his nap right after his 3rd birthday. We had to start putting him to bed much earlier. He had been going to bed around 8/8:30 and we had to move it to 6 for a few nights and then eventually 7. It took him about 3 weeks to adjust. Now we grownups have our evenings free. C has Quiet Time from 2-3 every afternoon where he has to play quietly in his room by himself. That helps everybody chill out and make it through the afternoon. We thought we were doomed when we realized he was really giving up the nap, but our current system works great for everyone. After the adjustment phase he hasn't been Mr. Crabby Pants in the afternoon.

    Whether it's a strike or the nap going away, you'll find something that will work for all of you. Pretty much every parent of a 3-year-old I know does things differently, but all their different systems work well for them. So, have no fear. You'll find an answer.

  4. Kan tenke meg det er slitsomt- jeg har sagt det 1000 ganger til klaus- hvordan skal vi klare dagene når de ikke lenger vil ta formiddagsluren sin.... barna er ekstremt aktive om dagen, og sover derfor også mye. Uten det ville jeg vært knekt....

    Jeg lover deg en ting som du kan ha å se frem til når dere er så slitne: når dere kommer til Oslo kan jeg babysitte en kveld så dere får dere en date! ;)

  5. Thanks, Tara! Naps seem to have returned (knock on wood), at least for now. She's gotten more used to our new routine with me leaving her awake at night working really smoothly (double knock on wood). I did implement quiet time when she didn't nap, but it was really frustrating, the battle of wills and just adjusting to change, I guess.

  6. Takk, Hege! :) Gleder meg til å få (minst!) en kveld igjen med dere også!


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