Mama in the City

A blog about raising my family in downtown Vancouver

Sleep is History: No Naps For My Boy

When Ben was about 14 months old he started to sleep through the night and have these awesome predictable afternoon naps that lasted hours. After not getting much sleep the first 14 months, we truly rejoiced and celebrated this grand occasion. We patted ourselves on the back for getting him to have this really amazing sleep schedule. Sure, the boy still woke up early but he slept quietly and soundly 12 hours all night long and napped solid from 1-4 PM. It was pretty awesome.

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A rare sleep filled moment that had to be captured.

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16 months old and fast asleep in the dogs bed.

We did everything to protect Ben's fantastic sleep schedule and it was a really good run. A few months back we noticed that Ben was just not tired when it came to his usual 730 PM bedtime. We would lay him in his bed and he would call out for things and tell us he wasn't tired. So we adjusted his bedtime and it worked...for a little while. Then his bedtime became 830 PM...then 9 PM...and sometimes he'd been calling out wide awake at 930 PM.

Just as we were pulling our hair out with bedtime frustration, Ben started dropping his afternoon nap. The horror! That glorious 2-3 hour afternoon nap had become a part of my day over the last 1.5 years. I'd use the time to either recover from shift work, or lately to nap my tired pregnant self... etc etc etc. I am sure any of you could find something to do on your own for 2-3 hours each and every afternoon. But if it meant a late bedtime, I guess I'd be willing to suck it up and have him give it up!

The dropping of the nap started out slowly enough with the odd afternoon where Ben proclaimed that he was 'wide awake!'. I'd still try to put him down and go through the same routine but nothing worked. He'd call out and say that he was 'all done mama!'. It's been a solid week now of no afternoon naps and we are moving forward.

The bright side of this no nap sadness (my sadness, not Ben's) is that he is going to bed nice and early. Tonight he was in his bed and fast asleep by 730 PM. I can handle that! The quiet evenings with time to hang out with my husband are really nice. We ate Thai food together and relaxed together in a tidy apartment.

Big boy Ben just before his 3rd birthday playing in the dirt.


kristin said...

Oh, its such a give and take thing isn't it!  ; )  With my big gal, I was able to roll into a continuous "quiet time" when she dropped her nap.  The expectation was that she was to stay in her room for 1h,15mins so that I could have my "break."  I set her up for success and all things fun to do and showed her what the clock would look like when her time was up....  sometimes she ended up falling asleep!   She took to it, but I know that not all do. Enjoy your quiet early start to the night! ; ).  P.S.  Love these photos!  

September 18, 2011 at 8:32 PM  

I was really really hoping for that 'quite time' but it isn't working out how I had hoped! I am still sticking to it though and some days are better than others. I've usually been laying on the bed while he reads books next to me because I'm still feeling quite sleepy. I'm going to try leaving him in his room and see how that one works out.

September 18, 2011 at 9:36 PM  

I remember when S gave up her afternoon nap, it was horrible ahah..because it meant my me time in the afternoons were up, but it did mean an earlier bedtime so that worked out better in my opinion.  But it must be tough for you with the pregnancy, is he willing to do quiet time yet?  Lie down in bed together reading least that way it won't be active playing and it may help you get some rest.

September 19, 2011 at 6:54 AM  
Shannon said...

My just-turned-three-year-old is in the process of dropping her nap and I'm torn about how I feel. Her daycare has a quiet time for everyone, so she knows she has to lie on her bed even if she doesn't sleep, but she didn't nap yesterday or Sunday at all. It meant early bedtime and that my husband and I got to watch a movie together...something we rarely get to do...but I miss my afternoon time! (It did make meeting friends for the afternoon yesterday much easier) I guess we'll get used to this too!

September 19, 2011 at 11:14 AM  
Worldbysmith said...

If you can stick to teaching him that quiet time is what you do in the afternoon he will come to expect it. My guy is 4 now and he still has quiet time so that when baby girl naps...the apartment is quiet and everyone can have some time to themselves. My kids share a room too so him being quiet is extra major important. Best of luck!

September 19, 2011 at 12:54 PM  
huntersprize said...

Oh yes, mine is startign to drop the nap in favor of an early bedtime. No napping does make the days longer when I have to work and he has to entertain himself, but then he's awake until 10 or so and it's just too much!  I should enforce some sort of quiet time in bed with books though. Just for some peace!

September 19, 2011 at 3:10 PM  
Alicia said...

Oh my goodness we are so there.  My little guy just turned two though, and I just haven't been willing to give up his nap, but it takes me nearly an hour of laying with him, sometimes more, to get him down, and he just fights it like crazy.  And then when he finally falls asleep, he's down for the count for 2-3 hours, but by then, it's so late in the afternoon that it pushes his bedtime to 9 or 10!  GAH!  Yeah, we are so there.  Not sure what to do, because I feel like the fact that he does sleep once he is asleep means he needs that nap, but these 10 PM bedtimes are sort of killing me, since that is also my bedtime.  ;)  No evening downtime for mom and dad can be really difficult.   

September 20, 2011 at 3:07 PM  

Around 2 years old Ben did something similar but it ended up being a short phase and he went back to napping for the rest of the year. 

I really despise late bedtimes for my boy so I am happy it is earlier for him right now! Funny enough, when he goes to day care 2 times a week....he naps. Weird. It also means that those 2 days= late nights.

September 22, 2011 at 8:48 PM  
harrietglynn said...

Theo has never slept more than 12 in a full day and since he was one, it's been a lowly 11 (9.5 at night and 1.5 by day :(. I cannot tell you how totally ripped off I have felt when hearing about three hour naps regardless of late bedtimes!  I guess the good thing is I am ready for napless life. 

September 22, 2011 at 9:13 PM  

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