Thursday, August 2, 2018

MOM LIFE :: When Toddlers Outgrow Naps

I believe we are in the midst of a transition this week.  I think that we might be ready to drop nap time.  It's been 4 days.  The signs are all there.  For starters, he's not tired after lunch.  When we try to go down for a nap, he resolves to walk around his room instead.  I think transitioning him to a toddler bed got us on this path.  He knows he can easily get out of bed now so, unless he's very tired, he chooses to walk around his room instead.  It's a game for him.  It doesn't matter whether I stay in the room or leave.  He's very strong-willed so if he decides he's not tired, nap time's off the list.

I realize he's getting close to that stage when he'll be developmentally ready to drop naps anyways.  But, given the fact that he's never been a great sleeper per se, I figured we had more time.  I guess it's not happening.  He seems okay in the afternoons, but by dinner time he's falling asleep at the table.  Literally.  I know I have to work on moving dinner time up so that he can get to bed earlier since they toddlers his age need 12- 14 hr of sleep per night.

Dropping naps means I have to rethink my afternoons.  I used to get work done around the house or for school when he was napping.  I realize I can just pop in a movie for them now after lunch but it's not something I want to do every day.  So I'm working on self-play with him after lunch.  I'm lining up the usual suspects (puzzles, coloring sheets, building blocks and Lego's) and starting a rotation to keep him engaged after lunch until we are ready to go out in the afternoon.  So far, he seems to be into playing.

I wonder if this new routine will stick or if it's just a phase.  If it sticks, I wonder what he'll do when he goes back to daycare in September as I go back to teaching.

How did you handle the transition away from naps with your toddler?  Did you miss nap time?  Let me know in the comments below!  I find that each kid is different so even if you've gone through this before you find yourself needing new tricks.

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