No more naptimes

I’ve always dreaded it. That nightmarish time when the twins would cease to sleep during the day, and I’d lose that precious hour in the middle of the day to recharge my patience levels, do a quick clear round and maybe send an email or two. Well, that day came a couple of weeks ago, and do you know what? I don’t feel harrassed and stressed (well, no more than usual) and I don’t feel like I’ve lost time. In fact I think I’ve gained time.

I was so convinced that Ez and Fonz needed that lunchtime nap, that I would stress about it. And because they would never ever settle left to their own devices in their bedroom, I took to sitting in with them until they slept. Sometimes this would take 15 minutes, sometimes 45 minutes. 45 minutes sat on the floor with my bum going numb and my stomach grumbling for my lunch which I’d have on my own when they were finally sleeping.

I didn’t mind them missing the odd nap here and there, but more often than not I’d plan my day around making sure they got some sleep. We’d rush back from wherever we’d been that morning, with me desperately trying to stop them sleeping in the car so that they’d sleep in their beds. Our time in the afternoon was squeezed – I’d have to get them up and rush them out of the door if we wanted to get out and do something. And this often led to two extremely grumpy toddlers for the rest of the day.

Bedtime wasn’t great either. They would go to bed about 7pm, but mess around playing with each other for at least an hour, sometimes more. Although I could leave them to it to some extent, I never felt like I could fully relax until they were finally asleep. Now, they’re asleep within 15 minutes of their heads hitting the pillow. Out for the count, and peaceful.

Fonz finally gives into sleep

I feel a new sense of freedom. It’s like putting aside some underlying anxiety that I wasn’t even really aware of. We go out in the morning and play until we get bored, not until we have to rush home. I haven’t lost an hour to myself in the middle of the day – I’ve gained over an hour to be out and about. We can nip to the shops, pop to the post office, take the recycling to the dump. These are all things I wouldn’t know where to fit into our day before because time felt so precious, so pressed, so restricted. They were the things I’d do when I was on my own. Chores. Things that ate into my own time. Now they’re exciting adventures.

And when we’re all knackered and we need to slow down, we do it together. We all cuddle up on the sofa and chill out. And it’s lovely.

8 comments to No more naptimes

  • I know just what you mean! I was a bit of a slave to Theo’s nap and was actually pleased when he dropped it. Now I’m back in the middle of it all again, with Noah, but luckily he is a bit more portable and doesn’t mind sleeping in his pushchair so I don’t feel as stressed about getting him home to sleep. But I’m already looking forward to no naps, and I’ve got at least a year and a half of them go, I reckon!

  • Caroline

    When I saw your post title I did a little – ‘Oh no! Poor you!’ So it was nice to hear that it’s not actually been that traumatic. Love that photo of Fonz – brilliant :) x

  • That pic of fonz is priceless. Xxx full days at legoland now await you x

  • We’re trying to introduce ‘quiet time’ to replace the nap so at least we can all have a bit of a recharge in the afternoon – tell you what, they may want to drop their nap, I’m rather keen to hang onto mine!

  • My two dropped their post lunch nap last month – boy are they grumpy sods by 4pm but you’re right by 7pm in bed no fuss and they WANT to go to sleep. Another mile stone reached they are all growing up so fast.

  • Hi Heather
    I was the same – the lunchtime nap became the central part of the day. Everything else would revolve around it. I imagined I would feel bereft when it went but now it has gone, I feel free!
    It is brilliant not being tied to it, to be able to go out for lunch, not to have to deal with afternoon grumpiness and bedtime is much much easier.
    We now have ‘quiet time’ in the afternoon, which is basically watching a bit of tv on the sofa cuddled up. Sometimes he drifts off for a bit, but mostly not.
    It’s lovely, I love it too :-)

  • Sounds like peace and fun combined! I remember dreading the end of nap times with my girl, but by the end she was in such a foul mood when she woke up that no-one was happy till we decided to give it up… Like you, I was slightly obsessed by it, but now she is tuckered out by 7.30, not 9, and I have evenings back! Of course…mini-G is now on strict nap routines too, but at least I know we’ll get there!

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