To Nap or Not to Nap

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I have a love/hate relationship with naptime. I love naps when they all are actually asleep (or at least quiet). It’s when I get the most done. But there are so many issues with nap time I couldn’t fit them into one post unless you want to read my thesis on naptime. So I’m breaking it up into a series. (I feel very trendy, I’ve had two series now.) The first problem I have with naptime is when to put them down (for a nap…get your mind out of the gutter!). Ideally they would take a nap at the same time every day. Routines are good for kids, and it gives me a consistent time to get all my stuff done. That and I can possibly take a nap myself. But the problem is the kids don’t always cooperate with that.
First is the issue of one nap versus two. King Toot is still small enough where he really needs two naps during the day. But Urpling only needs one. So they tend to stagger…one sleeps than the other, than back again. So I don’t have them all sleeping at the same time. King Toot also can hear the girls playing and so it takes forever for him to wind down because he wants to be part of the action.
Then there is the bad night sleep problem. This is where due to illness, teething, or just dumb luck; one or more of the kids did not sleep well the night before. So then they end up tired and needing a nap way earlier, like before lunch. But then you worry about whether or not they’ll get hungry half way through their nap, if they’ll wake up so early that they will need to go to bed at 5, things like that.
On the opposite end, there are times where they just don’t seem tired. So do you just let them skip the nap that day? If you try to make them nap when they’re not tired they will not sleep but just throw fits, play, etc. while you have to keep going in to try and get them to lay down. But sometimes if you don’t give them a nap then you end up with kids having constant melt downs around 5 and then you’re facing the whole ridiculously early bedtime situation again.
I really invest way to much time fretting about whether to nap or not to nap. I finally just had to put up the white flag, stop trying to make their routine fit my schedule, and just put them to bed when they seem tired. There are still stressful days, but at least I have more energy to handle it since I haven’t spent it worrying about what to do. Speaking of which, it is 10:30 in the morning and my kids are melting down. So score one for me, looks like we’re getting and early nap time today!

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