No Longer Needed

Well. I guess it had to happen sometime.

DorkySon has finally given up his afternoon nap.

I blogged a few months ago and said that I thought it was on the cards, so I was making the most of the post nap snuggles that he was still lavishing on me.

But now we are done.

In the long term, it’s going to be a very good thing. It will mean that we can go out to lunch without stressing about getting home in time for a snooze. It will mean much more flexibility on days out. It already means that he is going to bed earlier and falling asleep almost immediately.

But at the moment we are in a transition phase, where he is not so tired that he needs to nap, but is too tired to do anything requiring much energy or concentration in the afternoon.

By 2.30 or 3pm, the eye rubbing has started. He is still quite bouncy, but much clumsier than usual. His moods are very fragile – there has been more grumpiness, more cheekiness and a lot more tears than we are used to from our sunny wee boy. So we are spending a lot of time under blankets on the sofa, reading books, watching CBeebies and playing games on the iPad. It is no great hardship given how cold it is outside at the moment, but it makes me very glad that he reached this stage now rather than last summer.

The other thing I’ve noticed is that it makes the day feel a LOT longer when there’s no nap. It seems to have shifted our whole timetable. On the days when he’s not at nursery in the morning, he’s asking for lunch by 11, and enquiring about dinner by 3. When DorkyDad has been away travelling, the temptation to stick DorkySon in bed at 4.30 and sink into the sofa with a large glass of wine has been very tempting. I have resisted. Mostly.

There will be exceptions. He napped on holiday, when he was more active than usual and the time difference had already whacked our routine. The motion of a train or car can still lull him to sleep, and he can occasionally be persuaded to take an hour’s snooze on a Sunday if DorkyDad and I promise to do the same.

But, for the most part, naps in this house have been consigned to the same drawer as the baby gros, cot bars and sippy cups.

It’s an ever-expanding drawer, marked “Big boy now. No longer needed.

14 responses

  1. We’re still in a transition phase on napping. Bud is 2y 8m now and he has been napping intermittently for about six months. Some weeks he will go down every day, some weeks he refuses. It all depends on how tired he is, whether he is under the weather, what time he gets up and how active we have been.

  2. Really nice post.
    It’s a bittersweet time. Moving on to nappy-free days (in both senses) feels like a relief. But my son’s also starting to need his ‘Chum’ (a very battered monkey) less and less. Soon, Chum will be stashed away in the back of a cupboard, an old friend left behind. Just the first of many, many slow goodbyes in Austin’s life (including his eventual goodbye to me).

  3. Bless him – nice to have the freedom of no routine in the afternoon though. My toddler’s forced to have shorter naps this year as I collect her from the childminder’s when she used to be mid nap. The tired and grumpiness is often the worst on a Friday afternoon. But it also means lie-ins at the weekend. Joy!

  4. Spud hasn’t napped in the day for a looooong time, he’s 3 and I think Pooh Bear is on the brink of dropping his, he’s 20 mths. It is great that they go to bed much more willingly but I also missed the , at least, an hour break in the middle of the day where I could grab a cuppa or sandwich in peace. They grow too quickly don’t they!

  5. It’s a big transition when the final nap is dropped – Little A is on the way to dropping her’s but it means her sleep is a little all over the show at the moment – she can go without a nap for a few days and still sleep okay if she’s down early, but if she misses her nap too much, she starts waking in the night. Then, if she naps (and it’s in the afternoon) she won’t fall asleep till gone nine. I am hoping this in between phase isn’t going to last much longer!

  6. Ah Ruth, he is growing up! Zachy dropped his afternoon nap a few months ago now and it does give us more freedom. Like DorkySon, a car journey or long buggy ride will send him off for a little doze but mostly it is gone. During the week when he is at nursery, he does not nap at all and will go to bed at 7.30 without a fuss, At weekends if we are home, we have ‘quiet time’ on the sofa after lunch, which is basically where he rests on the sofa with the ipad, a book or disney film. Sometimes he will nod off and sometimes he won’t. We are almost equipment free too… it is scary how quickly time has flown x

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