The Nap Drop

“Please don’t go to sleep,” did I really just say those words?! Yes I did and I’ve said them multiple times this week. Words that I thought would never come out of my mouth.

We are currently in the middle of dropping one of my son’s two naps and I must say, it’s an odd feeling. I have so many questions…. Is he truly ready? Doesn’t he need the sleep? Is he beyond ready and I’m forcing sleep? Is he throwing everything out of his crib because he’s not tired? What nap do we drop? Is his nap time cutting into his night-time? What am I going to do with him the hour and a half he used to nap? When am I going to shower/blog/do the dishes/gather myself? Am I being selfish? Ugh, we’ve been pretty smooth sailing in our current routines and now things are getting bumpy.

The pediatrician said that children typically drop to one nap a day around a year old. Well my friends, here we are and here we are. With the doctors convincing, I’ve decided to rearrange our schedule to include just one nap. There’s no time like the present, so we might as well do this.

Fisher has not been napping well this week, which is a change for him. His naps have been shorter than normal. I can sense his need to be awake, alert and active. The last several days, he has taken so much time to settle to sleep. He throws his blankets out of the crib and when I go in he laughs, crawls around the crib, stands and says mama. It’s frustrating and melts my heart at the same time. I walk out of his room thinking, “He is so cute, I love him so much but he is not coming out of that crib without a nap!” He has refused his afternoon nap since the moment he turned one year old, funny how that works. But I think we want to drop the morning nap and combine the two naps into one earlier nap, so I’m going to have to retrain my son.

I’ve been on a mission the last two days to get this routine going, but it hasn’t gone as planned. I planned to keep him up, playing, out and about running errands, have lunch earlier than usual, then go down for an early afternoon nap. Which, if all went accordingly, would be two to three hours long. Not the case. The last two mornings, my son has been so sleepy that my heart hurt for him. He was showing all the classic sleepy cues: yawning, rubbing eyes, quieted, eyes glazed over and then the deep stare that screams, I’m about to drift off to the land of dreams. Trying to keep him awake has made me feel so guilty. I’ve started questioning the nap drop.

The last two mornings, Fisher has fallen asleep, but only for brief periods. There was no stopping him. Provided a lot of settling time, he has taken short afternoon naps too and has been wide awake around his bed time. It’s taking him a good hour to settle down before going to sleep for the night. The last two days haven’t been a win but they have given me some insight. We’ve just got to come up with a rhythm, which takes trial, error and practice. I have to remind myself that it’s ok to be flexible…. for a little while at least.

I guess we’ll keep trying and slowly wean into a new routine and schedule. Our predictable schedule is no longer. At the time being, it feels like things are getting a bit out of control, though I realize it’s just a transition period. I just need to figure out what we are transitioning to, will keep you posted. Change is difficult for this structured and organized mama, but I got this. I know it ultimately benefits my little guy and that’s what this is all about. It’s his world, I just live in it!

I’m curious, when did your little drop to one nap a day? How did it go? Please share any ideas you may have for smoothing the nap drop transition.

Peace & Love,

Molly

19 thoughts on “The Nap Drop

  1. Great post… And I feel your frustration! We really struggled with nap and bed time for our little guy. The best thing I learned (from a sleep trainer) was that kids should be asleep no more than 5 hours after they wake from a nap. Once we got into the swing of that as our marker it helped dictate nap time and bedtime and he started falling asleep much faster! Good luck with this transition!

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  2. It was before a year for my little guy. He dropped the morning nap on his own. I found while he was transitioning to have a calmer morning for a few days. I also learned that if my little guy slept too long he had trouble sleeping at night. I have to wake him up around the 2.5 hour mark if he’s still sleeping so that he sleeps at night.

    Remember that this transition time is only temporary and you’ll get into a good new routine soon! (It took my little guy about a week until he got used to the new routine). He had to adjust to a daycare routine; which was hard because his natural routine was a little different.

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  3. Oh how hard it is to adjust to the ever changing schedule! I now tell myself “don’t fall in love with the plan” because every time I do, the schedule changes! Sam’s drop to one nap came as a necessity when he started his part-time school. It forced him to give up his morning nap and he was so worn out from playing hard at school that he fell into a 12:30pm nap time. Of course that all changed when school let out for the summer and he started pushing his boundaries. Right now I’m on the nap time struggle bus with him again since he’s transitioned to a toddler bed. I cannot get him to nap at all so back to sleep training once again for us! As my husband says, at least he has a zest for life! Ha!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Toddler bed?! Oh my goodness, big boy! When do I have to start thinking about that?! How old was Sam when he started school? I guess we better get used to our babies driving us crazy, payback’s a bi@*h!

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  4. My daughter would nap every day at 11 AM and she would sleep for two hours straight. She would always get sleepy again around 5 PM and that was when it was a struggle to keep her awake. I had to sing songs and play with her to make her stay awake. It was very difficult but totally worth it!

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    • Thanks for sharing! It’s so helpful to have other stories to reference. I’m trying to figure out a routine that supports maintaining going to bed at a decent time. It’s tough but just one of the many challenges of mommin’! Thanks for reading and commenting!

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  5. I have 4 kids and a 2 month old. I have to say each child has been diffrent. Some loved naps and other’s didn’t. The only thing that has been the same is they all eventually got tired. So I had to pay attention to when they looked tired or got cranky in the day. I started to noitice a pattern each day in when they became tired. Also I had to be strict with the time I put them to bed. That way their body stayed on the same clock. O yeah, also I didn’t let them sleep too long during nap because it cut into bed time. Sorry for the long comment! ๐Ÿ˜‹

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    • Thank you so much for reading and commenting! It’s been so helpful hearing from other moms. I’m certainly starting to notice a pattern. Once this pattern gets nice and set another transition will come along, you’re right.. Just gotta roll with the punches! I’m learning ๐Ÿ˜Š

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  6. โ€œHe is so cute, I love him so much but he is not coming out of that crib without a nap!โ€
    This made me LOL a little, as I do the exact same thing with my daughter. It’s so tough walking out on her when I know she needs to nap, but all I want to do is just play and cuddle and smother her in kisses!! But I am also trying to get rid of one nap, and it goes well some days more than others. I try and keep her occupied so she doesn’t assume she’s tired, but with the hot hot HOT weather we have been having its hard to keep her up!

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    • Thank you so much for reading and commenting! I’m glad to know I’m not the only one struggling with the nap drop. It’s a very real struggle and you are right, some days are better than others. We’ve had three good days of just one nap, so I feel like we are moving in the right direction, but just this morning my little snuck in a ten minute cat nap. He’s taking his afternoon nap now and all is well. Just gotta go with the flow as every day is different! Good luck mama!

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  7. I can completely relate to this post. As a former teacher turned SAH mom I had dreams of visual schedules and activity times and STRUCTURE to my day. Unfortunately my daughter needs flexibility and choice. Ugh! I am happy she’s so independent but man has it been hard for me to be so flexible. Glad I found your blog to relate/vent to ๐Ÿ™‚

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  8. Pingback: Baby Schedule: 12 Months | Speechbaby

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