Goodbye Nap – Hello Double Shot Lattes
If you are a parent of a toddler you should have by now whittled the sacred two naps a day down to one and trust me, I know you are dreading the day that the one becomes none. The general rule of thumb is this should happen somewhere between the ages of two and three but each toddler is quite their own person (I know you already know that!) and some end up still needing the nap as they head closer to their third and fourth birthdays. Hell, I’m 31 and I still need mine!
I get asked a lot how one will know when the last nap should go and there are two quite opposite but obvious signs: either your toddler will start sleeping longer and longer during the day and therefore shifting his/her nighttime sleep hours into the day which means they’ll probably not be falling asleep till very late at night, OR they won’t want to nap at all during the day and the process of putting them down will become more and more difficult.
Bizarrely, most toddlers I meet, including my own, fall into the first category and seemingly love that middle of the day nap more and more just as they resist nighttime bedtime more and more. As my newborn approached three weeks, my toddler’s long day nap really seemed like a miracle as I could finally catch up with the piling amounts of work around me, but of course I was paying for this as his bedtime was slipping later and later. So I did it: crazy me decided to cut out the nap cold turkey (again, this is a personal choice but our toddler has always worked better with cold turkey when it comes to giving things up like the pacifier etc.).
The report so far is:
- I am insane for doing this with a newborn.
- I have taken up drinking double shot lattes to make it through the day.
- Most importantly my toddler is much much happier and he is going to bed almost two hours earlier.
Now, I’m not going to deny that there are about 20 mins each afternoon that he tries to curl up into a ball while resisting “I don’t have to take a nap because I’m a big boy” , as his eyes flit into the back of his head. It is at this point that my double shot latte comes in handy as I need the energy to do jazz hands, turn up the 90s gangster rap that for some unknown reason litters my iPod and we dance. So if your toddler needs to drop that nap, even if you have to take up therapy to get through it, you can do it. I know you can!